Tyron Woodley took the title from UFC welterweight endorse 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 past year and a half. A loss. An inch here, a missed breather 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 possession of one of MMAs most tournament fighters who appeared to be making his step as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie stood across the octagon from his latest challenger in the 170 lb split, it was on Tyron Woodley to do what Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit could not.
That moment saw early, at 2:12 of round one, with the fastest finish in UFC welterweight title fight biography. Woodley, thick in the thighs and chest, feinted to get Lawler to droop his protections. A smart boxer who made a career of unleashing hell after a little bit of deception was done in by familiar signifies. Before the contest Lawler announced Woodleys technique and hasten were neat, but to do what he did the key was going down and dirty.
Woodley didnt hesitate when he had the chance. In a blink the brand-new champion burst forward, releasing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the chin and mailed him sprawling to the canvas. A short shelling followed before the umpire, Dan Miragliotta, descend in to result the assault.
We only knew that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would make me with knees and uppercuts to defend it, read Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We proceeded with the offensive. Something told me he would be open for the right hand and I disappeared for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to prevail his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt disclosed defects in his recreation to tally a impressive fourth-round stoppage. The last bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley savoured overcome during six bouts within the octagon, as he displayed twinklings of splendour alongside annoying a few examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last 18 months standout as best available strain of his memorable vocation, Woodley was put revolving his rotates. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captivated the entitlement from in December 2014, was cast aside last-place 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 widespread evidence of the difficulty of holding a UFC championship, Lawler gazed so natural with the region that it began to feel like he could view it for an extended predominate. Like Matt Hughes or his successor, the all-time enormous welterweight, Georges St-Pierre, Lawler appeared to thrive as champ, reaching new altitudes in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to tell pure contending trump anything else, returned Lawler a deserved honour for provoking legendary contests against steadfast challengers. Lawler represented recognise and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Ripening up in Ferguson, a lot of people replied I wasnt going to be anything, he memorandum. Ive testified them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a month apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing sports and invested often of their youth devoted to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own paths, they found mixed martial arts. Lawler in 2001 at the beginning of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, embarked entertaining happenings like starting and subsidizing a family.
Their business eventually intersected a few years ago at the Coconut Creek, Florida-based MMA clique American Top Team. Woodley( 16 -3) called Lawler( 27 -1 1, 1 NC) a pal and explained how he long admired him. I knew what Robbie brings to the table, Woodley added. This was not the fight I would have picked because Robbie is my team-mate.
The former champion suggested he deserved a rematch, but acknowledged that in no way was he guaranteed to get one. Im a mean individual, Lawler replied. This is something that I do for a living and I would have had no problem doing the same to him.
The welterweight disagreement has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Many commentators detected in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys occasions this week when he said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson quickly announced out Woodley after UFC 201 closed out with a bang.
Claiming peace leading up to a fight against a human reputed to make crusade, Woodley hinted the only happening that cleared him anxious on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how pacify he find. Something told me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley told after growing the ninth welterweight endorse in UFC history.
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