Tyron Woodley took the deed 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 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 control of one of MMAs most game boxers who appeared to be touching his step as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie countenanced in 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 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 cease his defenses. A smart fighter who made a career of releasing blaze after a bit of deceit was done in by familiar means. Before the bout Lawler said Woodleys technique and rapidity 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 new champ volley forward, releasing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the kuki-chin and cast him sprawling to the canvas. A short attack followed before the reviewer, Dan Miragliotta, dove in to terminate the assault.
We precisely knew that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would make me with knees and uppercuts to represent it, said Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We departed with the blitz. Something was just telling me he would be open for the right hand and I croaked for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to acquire his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt uncovered faults in his recreation to score a stunning fourth-round halt. The last bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley savoured overcome during six contests inside the octagon, as he displayed bursts of greatnes alongside annoying examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last 18 months standout as best available stretching of his memorable profession, Woodley was fastened rotating his wheels. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captured the deed 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 required right in front of him.
Despite the close calls and pervasive evidence of the difficulty of holding a UFC championship, Lawler looked so natural with the belt that it began to feel like he had been able to 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 endorse, contacting new meridians in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to give pure crusading trump anything else, rendered Lawler a merited honour for provoking legendary games against tenacious challengers. Lawler represented realized and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Growing up in Ferguson, a lot of beings said I wasnt going to be anything, he observed. Ive attested them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a month apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing sports and spent much of their teenager devoted to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own directions, they discovered mixed martial arts. Lawler in 2001 at the commencement of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, inaugurated entertaining happens like starting and subsidizing 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 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 endorse proposed he deserved a rematch, but holds the view 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 separation has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Numerous reviewers appeared in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys likelihoods this week where reference is said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson immediately announced out Woodley after UFC 201 closed out with a bang.
Claiming conciliation leading up to a fight against a humankind reputed to fetch war, Woodley showed the only thing that obligated him apprehensive on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how calm he seemed. Something was just telling me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley said after growing the ninth welterweight champion in UFC history.
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