Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks went five more rounds at UFC 181. This time, the result was a new ruler atop the 170-pound division.
After more than 13 years as a mixed martial artist, Lawler achieved his dream of Ultimate Fighting Championship gold with a closely contested split-decision victory in Las Vegas. The “Ruthless” American Top Team fighter turned up the heat in the championship rounds to bang up his fatigued opponent and claim the strap which Hendricks won in their initial meeting at UFC 171 in March. Lawler claims the No. 1 spot in this edition of the welterweight top 10, while Hendricks falls to No. 2 after a narrow defeat which could very well set up a rubber match down the line.
Related: Pound-for-Pound Rankings
Lightweight ace Anthony Pettis retained his belt with style in the co-main event, submitting former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez with a lightning-quick guillotine choke. Both men keep their spots in the 155-pound rankings at No. 1 and 2, respectively.
In other action, Travis Browne held on to the No. 4 spot at heavyweight by punching out Brendan Schaub; bantamweight Urijah Faber stayed at No. 4 by choking out Francisco Rivera in a controversial finish; and women’s bantamweight contender Tonya Evinger stayed put by demolishing Cindy Dandois at Invicta Fighting Championships 10.
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