The UFC welterweight title would change owners for the first time since 2008 as Johny Hendricks edged Robbie Lawler in an instant classic at UFC 171.
Hendricks Edges Lawler
There are simply fights that remind fight fans why they watch and tonight UFC fans got one of those reminders as Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler battled it out in Hendricks’ hometown of Dallas. The two fighters battled over five rounds that saw Hendricks have the advantage in the first two rounds while Lawler rebounded to nearly put Hendricks away in the third and fourth rounds.
Hendricks heeded his corner’s desperation prior to the final frame and turned up the pressure on a tiring Lawler. The strong showing in the fifth was enough to secure a hard-fought victory on the judges’ scorecards, even despite one oddity.
The victory for Hendricks helps to erase the immense disappointment the former OK State wrestling standout felt after coming up short at UFC 167 and makes the two-time NCAA D1 champion the first man to wear the belt since GSP vacated the title in the wake of their fight at UFC 167.
It was over when:
You always hear people talk about “the heart of a champion” and Johny Hendricks showed it tonight as he roared back with a vengeance in the fifth round to seize a fight that was tied heading into the fifth round. Hendricks gutted out a possible injury and an insane amount of damage in the third and fourth rounds to rally hard in the fifth to secure the win over Lawler.
An argument could easily be made for an instant rematch and especially so since there is a rather large mess at the top of the top of the welterweight division. That said, things could get weird over the next few months.