UFC 181 Results: Robbie Lawler Earns Title with Split Decision Over Johny Hendricks

December 7, 2014
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We have a new UFC welterweight champion.

Robbie Lawler won a split decision over Johny Hendricks in the main event at UFC 181 to become the promotion’s 170-pound champion on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Despite being behind in total strikes going into the final round, Lawler turned up the volume late and won the split nod with scores of 48-47, 47-48 and 49-46.

“That’s how we fight in the UFC,” Lawler said. “That’s how you fight championship fights.”

Lawler came out swinging in this one. He pressured Hendricks and eventually forced a clinch, but Hendricks survived the offense and worked towards a takedown in the second half of the first round.

ALSO READ: UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II Live Results

The second round had Hendricks land an effective combination before pressuring against the fence and earning a takedown. Lawler, however, recovered and later landed a significant front kick. The two traded blows before the end of the second frame.

Robbie LawlerHendricks utilized combinations as he continued his push in the third round. At several moments he threw punch combinations and finished them off with leg kicks, both on the inside and outside of Lawler’s thighs.

Hendricks continued landing more punches than Lawler as they entered the fourth round, staying far more active up to that point in the contenst. After a Hendricks takedown, Lawler was able find an angle to land several punches from behind his opponent’s back before the round’s time expired.

SEE ALSO: UFC 181 Fight Highlights Video: Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler

The final round had Hendricks clinching and pinning Lawler, preventing any attempts from the latter fighter to apply an offense. Lawler finally made some separation in the last 30 seconds and unloaded a barrage of strikes before the fight’s time expired.

With the win, Lawler evens up the score between the two fighters. In their first meeting, Hendricks won a unanimous decision in a competitive fight last March.

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  • Jason Priest

    Great win for Robbie! Hendricks blew it with all the stalling.

    • uncle

      The judges made it clear they don’t want another GSP lol.

      • bob

        stupid comparaison…

    • Yah, he really blew it by controlling him almost every round except the first and by giving him a mild flurry at the end of the fifth.

      Lawler is my favorite fighter, but that was bullshit. You’re delusional and fair-weather if you think otherwise with that disgusting decision. That was worse than when he fought GSP.

      • MuayThaiFood

        When you say he blew it you must be referring to all that time he spent with his head between Lawler’s legs right?

      • Jason Priest

        “wall and stall” is not control. Judges got it right.

  • TJ

    how can Robby even be proud of winning the belt with a performance like that? and who was the judge that scored the fight 49-46 Lawler? did they even watch the fight? Big Rig got robbed tonight

    • TheCerealKiller

      Look at the last fight.

      • TJ

        the first fight with Lawler/Hendricks was closer than this one, razor thin decision for Big Rig, this fight was robbery. and for all the people criticizing the “lay and pray wrestling just to gain points”, GSP did the exact same thing for YEARS and everyone praised him for it because he was a “smart fighter”, don’t change your minds just because you don’t like Johnny

        • Jason Priest

          Lol at “robbery”. And GSP never walled and stalled his opponents, NEVER. He actually took them down and controlled them from top control, which Johnny failed to do. Judges don’t give points for stalling. Herb Dean told Johnny 4 different times to fight, and then had to separate them. Great win for Robbie.

  • guest

    terrible. lets give the win to the guy with less overall strikes, less significant strikes, less takedowns, and less “octagon control” the belt. Brilliant!

    • guest

      Yes, my sentence structure sucked there

  • Raylen

    Johnny got robbed!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • uncle

    You gotta risk it to get the biscuit” Lawler took a chance it paid off.

  • GrasshopperMMA

    I’m glad they gave Lawler the decision. I hope they keep scoring that
    way. You shouldn’t be able to win a fight by keeping your head on
    someone’s crotch for 5 founds. Hendricks ran away and Lawler came to
    fight. Pettis’s finish was awesome. Melendez is no joke!.. Great
    night of fights.

    • TheCerealKiller


    • Jason Priest

      Spot on.

  • Spike

    I hope Hendricks can stop crying now!!!

  • TheCerealKiller

    I won’t even read the article.

    Hendricks thinks he won by head-between-Robbie’s legs. It was a close fight, but f— him.

  • battle ready

    First of all, I thought Hendricks won by usual UFC criteria. I was very surprised when the 49-46 score was given to Lawler. Lawler had a rough 2nd and 3rd rounds. I thought he was gaining some momentum towards the end of the 4th round and I gave him the 5th round since Hendricks was playing the “stop fighting, stick my head in the sand, and hope I get the decision game”. I would like to give the first round to Lawler. He was aggressive and was giving some nice knees with his back up to the cage, and Hendricks wasn’t creating any real damage. I was afraid that the take down at the end of the round was enough to steal the round, but shouldn’t have been.
    What happened to Hendricks in the 5th? All the clinching and stalling was embarrassing. I was embarrassed for Hendricks just watching it. The fight was his to win and he just stopped fighting! Hendricks showed a lot of skill tonight, and you can convincingly argue against the decision, but Lawler showed he had the will and the heart to win in the fifth. I haven’t heard so much booing from the crowd for such a big fight for a long time. Some people say GSP seemed to stall and hope for the decision, but I don’t remember anything so pathetic and boring as what Hendricks did towards the end. Gained respect for Lawler for his heart. Lost respect for Hendricks for his approach.

  • Kenny Powers

    I thought Hendricks won at first but after I rewatched the fight i broke it down like this. 1st round was close but I gave it to Robbie because I think he landed the harder shots even tho Johny got the TD. 2nd round was close but i gave it to Hendricks for more strikes and control. 3rd round was all Hendricks, no question. 4th round was really close but i gave it Robbie, Hendricks stalled a little and I think Robbie landed cleaner shots. 5th round Hendricks stalled big time, Robbie’s round no doubt. It really could have gone either way, if Hendricks didnt stall in the 5th he probly would have won. Anyway, great fight, both great fighters and Im happy for Ruthless, he deserves it.

  • Jason Priest

    Also, one more thing. Did anyone else notice the incredible bias in Joe Rogan’s commentary? It’s absolutely unbelievable. I used to love Joe, but lately I’ve been wanting to turn the volume down. Everyone at my house was like wtf is Joe talking about? As of late, he’s been really bad. Thoughts?

    • uncle

      I believe Joe is still fair minded, it may seem like he is talking about
      the other fighter too much but as a MMA analyst you always have to give
      data about a fighter the casual fans may not know their background he
      just trying to get m up to speed.