Just think about that for a moment. All of the training, the years of dedication, the hours at the gym, the sweat and tears, the sacrifices at home… and he fell a hair short of that gold strap. And although we as fans and pundits alike can tell Robbie that he has absolutely nothing to regret… that he fought one of the best fights in the history of the welterweight division… it would do little to quell his thoughts of “what if I had done this” or “what if I had done that”.
“It’s easy to look back now and look at the things you should have done, but yeah, I probably should have pressed a little bit more and pressed to finish,” Lawler said, after the fight. “I didn’t do it tonight, and he fought a hell of a fight.”
The fight was so close that it all came down to a single takedown, late in the final round. That takedown was doled out by Hendricks, and when he landed it, the look on Lawler’s face was a foreshadowing of the scorecards to come. He knew that the championship had just slipped through his fingers.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh s–t, he’s laying on me.’” Lawler said. “That’s what I was thinking.
“ … The thing is, when you leave it up to the judges, those things happen. I just didn’t do enough tonight, they thought. I need to go back to work, obviously, and work on some things, work on throwing a little bit maybe, some more punches. I thought I fought a pretty good fight. I defended some takedowns. It was a hell of a fight.”
The main catalyst for Lawler’s second-guessing, when it comes to the volume of strikes thrown, is just how close he was to ending Hendricks’ night in the third stanza. We saw “Big Rigg’s” knees buckle, his eyes widen, and a look of concern was readily apparent.
“I saw his legs buckle a little bit, but he recovered pretty fast, and he was throwing back.” Lawler said. “He’s a dangerous opponent, and once again, maybe I should’ve pressed a little bit more and took the fight to him a little earlier.
“He brought it tonight, he was in shape, and he got the victory.”
Although Lawler was unable to walk away with the victory this past weekend, he can at least take solace in the fact that – even in defeat – his stock hasn’t gone down an inch. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; Lawler is probably one win away from challenging for the welterweight strap again. And if it was Hendricks that he faced, the second time around?
“I would go out there and finish him this time,” Lawler said. “I should’ve done more in the fight and thrown more punches, thrown more kicks and took him out.
“I don’t know. It’s easy to look back now and look at the things you should’ve done.”
(Quotes via MMAJunkie.com)