Tyron Woodley took the entitlement from UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler on Saturday night, stopping him with 2:12 left in the first round
It very well could have happened another time over the last year and a half. A loss. An inch here, a missed breath there and Robbie Lawler might not have owned the UFC welterweight belt as he stepped into the octagon on Saturday night. But there it was, in the apparently safe owned of one of MMAs most activity boxers who appeared to be punching his step as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie stood from all the regions of the octagon from his latest challenger in the 170 lb discord, it was on Tyron Woodley to do what Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit could not.
That moment arose early, at 2:12 of round one, with the fastest finish in UFC welterweight title fight biography. Woodley, thick-skulled in the thighs and chest, feinted to get Lawler to plummet his justifications. A smart boxer who made a busines of releasing blaze after a bit of trickery was done in by familiar represents. Before the contest Lawler responded Woodleys technique and velocity were nice, but to do what he did the key was going down and dirty.
Woodley didnt hesitate when he had the chance. In a winking the brand-new endorse outburst forward, loosing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the chin and sent him sprawling to the canvas. A short attack followed before the reviewer, Dan Miragliotta, dove in to intention the assault.
We only was well known that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would hit me with knees and uppercuts to defend it, enunciated Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We departed with the offensive. Something told me he would be open for the right hand and I get for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to win his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt uncovered faults in his recreation to tally a stunning fourth-round strike. The last bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley savor defeat during six contests inside the octagon, as he exposed twinklings of greatnes alongside forestalling a few examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last 18 months standout as best available extend of his memorable occupation, Woodley was put rotating his wheels. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captured the deed from in December 2014, was cast aside last October due to a weight-cutting snafu that wasnt Woodleys fault. He decided he wouldnt fight until he had what he required right in front of him.
Despite the close calls and pervasive evidence of certain difficulties of retaining a UFC championship, Lawler examined so natural with the region that it began to feel like he had been able to deem it for an extended reign. Like Matt Hughes or his heir, the all-time great welterweight, Georges St-Pierre, Lawler appeared to thrive as champ, contacting brand-new altitudes in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to give pure opposing trump anything else, caused Lawler a deserved reputation for activating famed games against unyielding challengers. Lawler represented realized and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Thriving up in Ferguson, a lot of parties enunciated I wasnt going to be anything, he noted. Ive supported them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a month apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing plays and wasted much of their youth to be given to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own roads, they discovered mixed martial arts. Lawler in 2001 at the beginning of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, inaugurated contemplating occasions like starting and supporting a family.
Their occupations eventually intersected a few years ago at the Coconut Creek, Florida-based MMA camp American Top Team. Woodley( 16 -3) called Lawler( 27 -1 1, 1 NC) a acquaintance and explained how he long admired him. I knew what Robbie brings to the table, Woodley did. This was not the fight I would have picked because Robbie is my team-mate.
The former champ intimated he deserved a rematch, but holds the view that in no way was he guaranteed to get one. Im a mean individual, Lawler suggested. This is what I do for a life and I would have had no problem doing the same to him.
The welterweight disagreement has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Many reviewers detected in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys hazards this week when he said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson rapidly announced out Woodley after UFC 201 shut out with a bang.
Claiming treaty leading up to a fight against a being reputed to introduce campaign, Woodley intimated the only occasion that represented him nervous on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how mollify he find. Something told me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley articulated after becoming the ninth welterweight champion in UFC history.
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