Georges St. Pierre relinquished his UFC Welterweight Championship and for the first time in six years, we have a new champion. After feeling like he got shafted out of the title in the first place, Hendricks claimed he would not let the title escape him again. The fight was a lot closer than everyone thought it would be and it came down to the wire.
Robbie Lawler would open every round strong, connecting with heavy blows but Johny Hendricks would answer with counter shots that were just as hard as Lawler’s. Robbie would fade in the middle of the round and this allowed Hendricks to change levels and take his opponent down. Robbie Lawler seemed to have injured his leg in the second round as he never put much pressure on it since the knot formed on his shin. This restricted him from putting much power on his punches. Hendricks landed shots at will and changed levels constantly; he was fighting like a smart champion.
Robbie Lawler felt like he was behind two rounds and started to turn his volume of offense up in the third. Lawler landed three leg kicks in a row and started to pick apart Hendricks in the middle of the round. Hendricks showed the same signs of frustration he showed in his fight against GSP whenever GSP would land a significant shot. Hendricks was groggy at one point, but he recovered and made it to the fourth round.
Lawler continued the fast pace in the fourth round and opened up the round by landing a series of unanswered punches. Hendricks finally fired back after eating punishment and they repeated this process for the rest of the round. None of Hendricks’ punches seemed to do significant damage but the majority of Lawler’s shots landed flush.
Johny Hendricks stopped Robbie Lawler from gaining momentum at the opening of the fifth round by clinching with him and pressing him against the fence. What proceeded after the separation from the referee was an exciting exchange of unblocked punches from both men. Hendricks would land big shots that backed Lawler up, then Lawler would answer with a series of his own. Hendricks took Lawler down with a minute left in the round and the fight was so close, the takedown may have cost Lawler the fight.
Johny Hendricks was awarded the unanimous decision victory and the UFC Welterweight Championship was buckled around his waist.
Johny Hendricks def. Robbie Lawler by way of Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)