The 22 fighters competing at UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II stepped on the scale Friday afternoon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, making all 11 bouts official in the eyes of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
UFC 181 is headlined by the highly anticipated rematch between welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and the man he defeated to win the belt, Robbie Lawler. Due to being sidelined by injury, the bout is Hendricks’ first title defense, while Lawler has stayed busy defeating Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown to earn is return shot at the title.
“I”m excited about this fight, but talk is over. Let’s do this,” Lawler said after stepping off the scale.
The champ didn’t mince words either. “Defend my belt, that’s all I’m really thinking about,” said Hendricks. “Robbie, I want to knock him out.”
There is no drop-off in anticipation for the co-main event, which sees lightweight champion Anthony Pettis put his belt on the line against former Strikeforce and WEC champion Gilbert Melendez. Both Pettis and Melendez have been out of the cage for more than a year and are coming off of coaching season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter.
A title fight is always important, and both men see this is a tremendously important part of their resumes.
“(It’s) the most important fight of my life right here,” said Melendez. “Anthony Pettis is a tough guy but I’m bringing the fight of my life.”
Pettis felt much the same, ready to make a statement after being sidelined for so long, saying, “I’m back and I’m ready to do this.”
There was plenty of tension between several of the fighters during their staredowns, including the two title fights. None was closer to spiraling out of control, however, than heavyweight main card fighters Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub, who took most of the people on the stage to keep them apart.
(Photos courtesy of Trevor Van Soolen)
UFC 181 Hendricks vs. Lawler II Weigh-in Results
Main Card (on Pay-Per-View)
Johny Hendricks (170) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
Anthony Pettis (154.5) vs. Gilbert Melendez (155)
Travis Browne (243) vs. Brendan Schaub (244)
Todd Duffee (236.5) vs. Anthony Hamilton (256)
Tony Ferguson (156) vs. Abel Trujillo (156)
Preliminary Card (on FOX Sports 1)
Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Francisco Rivera (135)
Eddie Gordon (185.5) vs. Josh Samman (185.5)
Corey Anderson (204.5) vs. Justin Jones (204.5)
Raquel Pennington (136) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (135.5)
Preliminary Card (on UFC Fight Pass)
Sergio Pettis (135) vs. Matt Hobar (136)
Clay Collard (146) vs. Alex White (145.5)