Tyron Woodley took the claim from UFC welterweight champion 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 sigh 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 belonging of one of MMAs most play fighters who appeared to be reaching his stride as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie stood across the octagon from his latest challenger in the 170 lb disagreement, it was on Tyron Woodley to do what Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit could not.
That moment came early, at 2:12 of round one, with the fastest finish in UFC welterweight title fight history. Woodley, thick-skulled in the thighs and chest, feinted to get Lawler to cease his securities. A smart fighter who made a profession of loosing inferno after a bit of deceit was done in by familiar signifies. Before the bout Lawler said Woodleys technique and velocity were neat, but to do what he did the key was get down and dirty.
Woodley didnt hesitate when he had the chance. In a blink the brand-new champion flare forward, loosing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the chin and communicated him sprawling to the canvas. A short attack followed before the adjudicator, Dan Miragliotta, plunge in to cease the assault.
We simply knew that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would reach me with knees and uppercuts to protect it, said Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We went with the onslaught. Something “ve told me” he would be open for the right hand and I went for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to acquire his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt disclosed loopholes in his competition to score a stunning fourth-round stoppage. The last-place bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley tasted win during six contests within the octagon, as he displayed bursts of magnificence alongside frustrating a few examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last-place 18 months standout as the best stretching of his memorable vocation, Woodley was stuck inventing his rotations. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captured the claim from in December 2014, was cast aside last-place October due to a weight-cutting snafu that wasnt Woodleys fault. He ended he wouldnt fight until he had what he wanted right in front of him.
Despite the close calls and widespread evidence of the difficulty of retaining a UFC championship, Lawler examined so natural with the region that it began to feel like he could brace it for an extended predominate. Like Matt Hughes or his heir, the all-time enormous welterweight, Georges St-Pierre, Lawler appeared to thrive as endorse, contacting new elevations in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to tell pure campaigning trump anything else, afforded Lawler a merited reputation for sparking famous contests against steadfast challengers. Lawler represented recognized and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Originating up in Ferguson, a lot of people said I wasnt going to be anything, he memo. Ive proved them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a month apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing plays and spent much of their teenager devoted to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own channels, they discovered mixed martial arts. Lawler in 2001 at the very beginning of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, began contemplating happens like starting and subsidizing a family.
Their professions eventually met 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 said. This was not the fight I would have picked because Robbie is my team-mate.
The former champ showed he deserved a rematch, but to be recognised that in no way was he guaranteed to get one. Im a mean individual, Lawler said. That is something that I do for a living and I would have had no problem doing the same to him.
The welterweight split has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Numerous pundits felt in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys occasions this week where reference is said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson instantly announced out Woodley after UFC 201 closed out with a bang.
Claiming peace leading up to a fight against a mortal reputed to bring campaign, Woodley proposed the one thing that cleared him apprehensive on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how soothe he felt. Something told me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley said after becoming the ninth welterweight endorse in UFC history.
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