Tyron Woodley had a short night at UFC 201, but two minutes of cage time was all “The Chosen One” needed to collect a new belt and a $50,000 bonus check.
Woodley earned one of the evening’s “Performance of the Night” awards for his performance against Robbie Lawler on Saturday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
The 34-year-old Missouri native became the UFC’s ninth undisputed welterweight champion at 2:12 of the opening round, when a hellacious overhand right sent defending champ Lawler to the canvas. A few punches later, Woodley was the MMA world’s new 170-pound king, returning with a resounding victory after 18 months away from the cage.
Another welterweight collected the second $50,000 “Performance” award, as Jake Ellenberger kept his UFC career alive with a stunning knockout of his own. “The Juggernaut” needed less than two minutes to take out favored opponent Matt Brown with a liver kick and follow-up punches. Ellenberger snapped a two-fight losing skid with only his second win in his last seven outings.
The lone strawweight matchup on the card took “Fight of the Night” honors, with Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Rose Namajunas each receiving $50,000 for their hard-fought three-rounder. Kowalkiewicz got off to a slow start but managed to outwork the former “Ultimate Fighter” finalist over the last 10 minutes of the bout. Two judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of the Polish standout, as Kowalkiewicz improved to 10-0 in her second Octagon appearance.