Johny Hendricks on March 15 became the seventh man to capture the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight crown when he defeated Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision in the UFC 171 main event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. “Bigg Rigg” joins Pat Miletich, Carlos Newton, Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra in the pantheon of 170-pound champions.
A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler and two-time national champion at Oklahoma State University, Hendricks made a seamless transition to mixed martial arts. The 30-year-old Ada, Okla., native and Team Takedown representative has compiled a stellar 11-2 record since arriving in the UFC in August 2009.
Hendricks failed in his first attempt to win the UFC welterweight title in November, when he wound up on the wrong side of a contentious split decision to St. Pierre. Less than a month later, “Rush” vacated the championship to take an indefinite leave of absence from MMA -- a move which resulted in the Hendricks-Lawler pairing at UFC 171.
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