Well, I guess you could say we were wrong. It only took 2 minutes and 12 seconds for us to realize that our prediction for UFC 201 was way off base. Did anyone really expect a knockout by Tyron Woodley in the first round? If you made that prediction, then I am impressed.
Recently in the UFC, we’ve seen the belt exchange hands in several divisions. Whether it was Luke Rockhold giving it up to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 or Rafael dos Anjos handing it over to Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night, no one can seem to keep the belt. And how can we forget about the women’s bantamweight title?
UFC 201 proved to be no different. Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler looked to defend his belt against Tyron Woodley in Atlanta, but the king ended up losing his one-and-a-half-year reign. Lawler had put on an impressive show, eagerly climbing his way to the top and successfully defending his belt twice. It just so happened Woodley decided to have an impeccable performance while Lawler let his hand drop just enough to let Woodley take advantage and send him packing.
As we pointed out in our predictions blog, Lawler had only ever been knocked out once – which was by Nick Diaz in 2012. It almost seemed laughable to think he would get knocked out by Woodley. Yet, here we are. Woodley proved he can throw quite the punch as his right hand connected perfectly with Lawler’s jaw and Lawler stumbled to the mat. Woodley added a few more punches and before we knew it, it was all over. Referee Dan Miragliotta waved it off and Woodley became the new Welterweight champion.
As mentioned earlier, the passing of the belt in the UFC seems to be a common occurrence nowadays. Lawler became the seventh champion to lose his belt THIS YEAR. It definitely keeps things interesting and clearly demonstrates the amount of talent in the organization. It makes it challenging to predict the outcome of these fights, but in the end, this is a great thing for UFC fans. Who doesn’t love the element of surprise? If it was so easy to predict these fights – and if our predictions were always right – the fights wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. It can be disappointing when a champion falls, but at least we can be thankful for a good fight.
Lawler will likely have to wait a little while before he gets another shot at the title. He may take the winner of the upcoming Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit fight or go for a third fight with Rory MacDonald.
For Woodley, it only makes sense to see him defend his belt against Stephen Thompson, the No. 1 in the Welterweight division. That will a fight you don’t want to miss.
As for us, we’re heading to UFC 202 next to see Conor McGregor get another shot at Nate Diaz. You can join us as a UFC VIP! Get premium seating, enjoy gourmet food and an open bar, meet fighters, and more. We hope to see you there!