Tyron Woodley took the entitlement 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 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 control of one of MMAs most competition soldiers who appeared to be hitting his pace as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie stood in the different regions of the octagon from his latest challenger in the 170 lb separation, 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 most wonderful finish in UFC welterweight title fight biography. Woodley, dense in the thighs and chest, feinted to get Lawler to sag his protections. A smart boxer who made a vocation of loosing hell after a little bit of trickery was done in by familiar intends. Before the contest Lawler said Woodleys technique and velocity were nice, but to do what he did the key was getting down and dirty.
Woodley didnt hesitate when he had the chance. In a winking the brand-new champ outburst forward, loosing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the kuki-chin and moved him sprawling to the canvas. A short onslaught followed before the reviewer, Dan Miragliotta, descend in to intent the assault.
We only knew that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would smack me with knees and uppercuts to represent it, said Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We croaked with the onslaught. Something told me he would be open for the right hand and I extended for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to prevail his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt uncovered flaws in his activity to score a impressive fourth-round stoppage. The last bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley savor demolish during six contests within the octagon, as he displayed bursts of glare alongside forestalling examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last-place 18 months standout as the best extend of his memorable career, Woodley was persisted inventing his rotations. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captured the title 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 craved right in front of him.
Despite the close calls and widespread evidence of the difficulty of retaining a UFC championship, Lawler seemed so natural with the region that it began to feel like he was able to accommodate 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, reaching new meridians in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to make pure crusading trump anything else, returned Lawler a merited reputation for provoking famous competitions against unyielding 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 attested 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 boy devoted to amateur grappling. Later, in their own courses, they found mixed martial art. Lawler in 2001 at the commencement of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, began entertaining thoughts like starting and supporting a family.
Their vocations eventually intersected a few years ago at the Coconut Creek, Florida-based MMA camp American Top Team. Woodley( 16 -3) announced Lawler( 27 -1 1, 1 NC) a pal 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 champion hinted he deserved a rematch, but acknowledged that in no way was he guaranteed to get one. Im a mean individual, Lawler said. 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. Numerous pundits felt in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys opportunities this week where reference is said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson soon called out Woodley after UFC 201 closed out with a bang.
Claiming agreement leading up to a fight against a soldier reputed to create conflict, Woodley intimated the only thing that formed him anxious on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how tranquilize he felt. Something told me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley said after becoming the ninth welterweight endorse in UFC history.
Read more: www.theguardian.com