Speechless. That is how some UFC® fans are feeling after the two big title fights they watched Saturday night.
After five rounds of back and forth jabs, kicks, takedowns, grappling and pins, one could argue both fighters have never looked better.
It was, ultimately, Lawler who came out on top, as the new welterweight champ!
Let’s take a look back at a few key moments in the fight:
Hendricks vs. Lawler IIKey Moment 1: Lawler came out hot! “Ruthless” did not wait a moment to start his attack. He came right up to “Bigg Rigg” and started swinging.
Key Moment 2: Lawler conserved his energy in the third round while Hendricks threw punches.He seemed to allow Hendricks to tire out, which ended up giving him an advantage in final moments of the fight.
Key Moment 3: As Hendricks attempted a takedown, Lawler became like an uncaged Hulk, landing a series of furious punches and elbows on Hendricks head and body.
Time ran out as he unleashed every last ounce of energy on a waning Hendricks. Result: After five complete rounds, Lawler escaped the dreaded wrath of “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks and won by a split decision. Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler was crowned the new welterweight champion.
In the end, it was the culmination of Lawler’s explosive energy and his clear emotional commitment to the fight, along with a few strangely-timed breaks on Hendricks’ part, which won him the fight.
However, fans and fighters erupted over social media after the controversial decision.
Fighters such as Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson, Phil Davis, and many more, all chimed in on the fight through twitter.
Despite the controversy, no one can deny Lawler’s win was a long time coming.
Pettis vs. Melendez
UFC® lightweight title holder, Anthony Pettis also defended his belt against fellow The Ultimate Fighter 20 coach, Gilbert Melendez, as the co-main event at UFC® 181.
The two have never faked any love for one another, having made it clear throughout their TUF of their mutual dislike. Pettis managed to keep his title after the fight ended two rounds later.
Here were a few key moments in their fight:
Key moment 2: Although Melendez came into the second round with the same energy, and continued to take hard shots, Pettis was able to counter them. Within the first minute or so, he was able to drop Melendez and lock in a lethal guillotine choke.
Result: Melendez was forced to tap at out within the first two minutes of the second round, making Pettis the UFC lightweight champion for the second time. The submission also marked the first time in Melendez’ first submission in 26-fight career
Despite having walked into the fight sworn archrivals, the two grabbed hands and Pettis paid homage to Melendez' long fighting career.
Melendez also complimented Pettis, admitting "Showtime", essentially, made him feel old.
Pettis got what he wanted: the chance to show doubters that he was still the best, despite his 15-month hiatus. The two walked into the fight sworn archrivals but left appearing more like admirers.
The beginning of 2015 will feature more highly anticipated fight bouts, including Cormier vs. Jones at UFC® 182, the return of middleweight hero Anderson Silva at UFC® 183, and a double title fight at UFC® 184 featuring Weidman vs. Belfort and Rousey vs. Zingano.
You can see these fights live for yourself, while enjoying complimentary gourmet food, a premium open bar and receiving other exclusive extras with UFC VIP Experience!
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