Tyron Woodley took the entitle 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 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 possession of one of MMAs most competition soldiers who appeared to be hitting his stride as champion.
As Ruthless Robbie digested in all the regions of 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 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 stop his defenses. A smart boxer who made a occupation of releasing blaze after a little bit of deceit was done in by familiar intends. Before the contest Lawler said Woodleys technique and rush were neat, 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 champion erupt forwards, releasing a right hand over the top that cracked Lawler on the kuki-chin and cast him sprawling to the canvas. A short onslaught followed before the referee, Dan Miragliotta, dove in to discontinue the assault.
We only knew that Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would punch me with knees and uppercuts to protect it, said Woodley, from Ferguson, Missouri. We croaked with the offensive. Something was just telling me he would be open for the right hand and I proceeded for it.
Four years ago Woodley failed in a bid to triumph his first major MMA belt after ex-serviceman Nate Marquardt disclosed loopholes in his tournament to score a startling fourth-round stoppage. The last bout of Woodleys career outside the UFC was his first loss in MMA. Twice more Woodley savor win during six bouts inside the octagon, as he exposed flashes of glare alongside annoying a few examples of underused talent.
While Lawlers last-place 18 months standout as best available elongate of his memorable job, Woodley was persisted rotating his wheels. A matchup against Johnny Hendricks, whom Lawler captured the claim 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 missed right in front of him.
Despite the close calls and widespread evidence of the difficulty of holding a UFC championship, Lawler seemed so natural with the belt that it began to feel like he had been able to harbour 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 meridians in and out of the cage.
A willingness to give it all, to tell pure contending trump anything else, dedicated Lawler a deserved reputation for provoking legendary rivalries against unyielding challengers. Lawler represented realise and flourishing potential.
Woodley had none of it. Flourishing up in Ferguson, a lot of parties said I wasnt going to be anything, he memorandum. Ive substantiated them wrong.
Lawler and Woodley came into the world a few months apart in 1982. The 34 -year-old pair grew up playing sports and wasted much of their youth to be given to amateur wrestling. Later, in their own methods, they discovered mixed martial art. Lawler in 2001 at the commencement of his adult life. Woodley in 2009, after graduation from the University of Missouri, embarked contemplating circumstances like starting and corroborating a family.
Their occupations eventually intersected 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 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 champ showed 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 living and I would have had no problem doing the same to him.
The welterweight fraction has long been among the UFCs most interesting. Numerous critics detected in place of Woodley, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson deserved the next shot at Lawler. Thompson himself seemed to dismiss Woodleys chances this week when he said he hoped to meet Lawler next, though Thompson immediately announced out Woodley after UFC 201 shut out with a bang.
Claiming treaty leading up to a fight against a being reputed to bring struggle, Woodley showed the one thing that constituted him anxious on Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, was how appease he experienced. Something was just telling me I should just enjoy this moment, Woodley said after growing the ninth welterweight champ in UFC history.
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