Tyron Woodley took the name 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 seemingly safe belonging of one of MMAs most recreation soldiers who appeared to be punching his pace as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie stood in the different regions of the octagon from his latest challenger in the 170 lb schism, 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 history. Woodley, thick in the thighs and chest, feinted to get Lawler to lower his securities. A smart fighter who made a occupation of loosing hell after a bit of deceit was done in by familiar makes. Before the bout Lawler said Woodleys technique and rush 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 champ flare forwards, loosing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the kuki-chin and moved 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 affect me with knees and uppercuts to defend it, said Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We led with the offensive. Something “ve told me” he would be open for the right hand and I led for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to prevail his first major MMA belt after veteran Nate Marquardt disclosed faults in his activity to score a startling fourth-round halt. The last-place bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley tasted win during six bouts within the octagon, as he displayed bursts of glare alongside annoying examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last 18 months standout as best available stretching of his memorable occupation, Woodley was remained spinning his wheels. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captivated the entitle from in December 2014, was cast aside last-place October due to a weight-cutting snafu that wasnt Woodleys fault. He chose 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 searched so natural with the region that it began to feel like he was able to hold it for an extended reign. Like Matt Hughes or his successor, the all-time great welterweight, Georges St-Pierre, Lawler appeared to thrive as endorse, reaching new heights in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to give pure engaging trump anything else, generated Lawler a deserved honour for triggering legendary tournaments against tenacious challengers. Lawler represented recognise and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Developing up in Ferguson, a lot of people said I wasnt going to be anything, he noted. Ive supported them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a few months apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing plays and invested much of their teenager devoted to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own practices, they discovered motley martial arts. Lawler in 2001 at the very beginning of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, began envisaging happens like starting and substantiating a family.
Their professions 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 sidekick 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 proposed he deserved a rematch, but to be recognised 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 department has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Many reviewers felt in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys lucks this week when he said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson promptly called out Woodley after UFC 201 shut out with a bang.
Claiming peace leading up to a fight against a gentleman reputed to make struggle, Woodley proposed the one thing that induced him anxious on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how tranquilize he felt. Something “ve told me” I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley said after growing the ninth welterweight endorse in UFC history.
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