34 year old American Tyron Woodley blitzed the battle-tested Filipino-American “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in the very first round to score an emphatic knockout and win the UFC World Welterweight Champion Sunday afternoon (Philippine time) at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Going into the bout, Lawler had gone through wars with top contenders Johnny Hendricks and Rory McDonald just to keep the presitigious crown. Unlike those two opponents however, Woodley started the bout as the aggressor, immediately cornering the champion after a combination.
Lawler was patient and defensive afterwards. Seeing this, the former All-American wrestler feinted a takedown with a couple of minutes remaining in the round. With the Filipino-American’s guard down, Woodley found an opening and connected on a clean overhand right that clocked Lawler right on the chin. The American then rained on punches before referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the contest just 2:12 into the bout.
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“I was in the back I was relaxed, extremely relaxed,” the ninth-ever UFC Welterweight Champion said after the bout. “He’s a friend of mine but I have envisioned of having this belt on my waist since stepping into the Octagon.”
“We knew Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown, that he would be hitting me with knees and uppercuts and being aggressive to defend it,” Woodley added. “So I used a little speed and a blitz to cover the gap, and when I saw the opening, I went for the right hand. Something kept telling me that right hand was going to be open and I went for it.”
Woodley though shared that it was not a good feeling to score a knockout victory over a teammate but the circumstances called for it.
“I don’t want to feel amazing about knocking out Robbie but he has the belt,” the new champion closed.
On the other hand, Lawler, who had his five fight winning streak snapped, reflected that he failed to follow his gameplan.
““He feinted me and my hand went down, he threw a punch over the top and caught me,” he said. “I expected that kind of stuff but I did not move the way I wanted to and he caught me. It is what it is.”
With the loss, Lawler’s record goes down to 27-11. Moreover, he will be on the other end of the record books as this is the fastest recorded finish in a Welterweight Championship bout in UFC history.
Result: Tyron Woodley def. Robbie Lawler to become the new UFC World Welterweight Champion (TKO 1, 2:12)