The upsets continue to pile on and the casualty this time around was none other than Ruthless Robbie Lawler. As sad as it is to see such a fan favorite go down so quickly after close battles against Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit as well as damaging skirmishes with Rory MacDonald, it’s time to welcome a new king of the welterweight division in the form on Tyron Woodley.
Like many upsets, the outcome only brings more confusion as well as intrigue to the division. But first, it’s important to relish in the fact that Woodley entered this fight appearing mentally focused and physically sharp. The mental side of the game comes to play, as well as the fact that Woodley is familiar with Lawler in the training room, which undoubtedly played a factor. Woodley was excellent in pushing Robbie backwards and keeping him tentative, worrying about the speed and power The Chosen One is known for early on in fights. The mental advantage is what led Lawler to start off reserved and on the defensive, but while worrying about Woodley’s wrestling/striking offense, he forgot to block his chin.
The mean overhand right came crashing down on Lawler’s infamous chin with authority immediately causing the longtime fighter to lose balance and fall into the ongoing list of former title holding casualties. What followed were the proverbial nails in the coffin as Lawler was given zero chance at recovering from the initial shot. Woodley’s gameplan worked to a tee while Robbie is left with a huge welt on his right cheek facing another hill to climb. Like many upsets of the past, folks have already begun questioning Lawler’s game plan, his psyche leading up to the fight and during the fight.
It’s fair to say that Woodley shook things up and with a loss to current free agent Rory MacDonald and his desire to fight Georges St Pierre, things only get more interesting from here. Woodley’s long time on the shelf did not appear to hinder his timing and with injuries being less than likely, we could potentially see Wonderboy Thompson get his shot at the title if the stars align.
Woodley’s aspirations to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 202 appear unlikely at best, maybe we could see another title change this year. While on the topic of title changes, it seems that Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were even more incredible than we once thought, considering they made collecting title defenses look so easy.