Here at the post-fight conference, the consensus is that the main event was great, for the first time in seven years, there was a new UFC welterweight champion.
Johny “Big Rig” Hendricks won a unanimous 48-47 decision in the Fight of the Night against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, and sitting here after the post-fight conference I’m thinking “Wow!”
Lawler was obviously dismayed after the fight and when I asked his feelings, he said, “I’m disappointed.” My initial thoughts were that Hendricks would use his wrestling to get the advantage, but Lawler was able to stuff most of Hendricks takedowns.
“I’ve been wrestling for 15 years, with some high level guys,” Lawler said. “Not the same as Johny, but still really good.”
I asked Lawler about the last twenty seconds of the fight when Hendricks had him down and he said, “I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe he’s laying on me.’”
Hendricks said the weight cut didn’t have anything to do with the fight, “No, losing the weight didn’t have anything to with my performance. Robbie is a tough guy, the weight was my fault.”
At the weigh-ins, I wondered if Nick Diaz heckling him had any mental bearing on his weight cut and he said, “I thought he (Diaz) was a fan.”
Before UFC President Dana White left the post-fight conference, he didn’t say who would be next to fight Hendricks.
Carlos Condit didn’t make it to the conference and Tyron Woodley didn’t see anything wrong with the way he won the fight. “It was a TKO, doesn’t matter what way it happened, whether armbar, leg break, it was a TKO.”
Woodley said he would be a good match for Hendricks and said, “I’m in this to be a world champion.”
Fellow welterweight Hector Lombard was sitting within arms distance of Hendricks when he said, “I’d like to fight for the belt,” while looking at Hendricks. “Big Rig” had nothing to say, and Lombard’s comments were met with some cheers in the presser.
Tonight’s win over Jake Shields was big for Lombard and his stock is sure to rise after his performance.
I asked Myles Jury what his thoughts were on not getting a brawl with Diego Sanchez and he said, “I just wanted to stick to the gameplan. When you’re in a fight, it’s easy to get pulled into a brawl, but I was picking him apart, so wanted to continue.”
Ovince St. Preux said he wanted to make his fight against Nikita Krylov a standup one, but “My coaches wanted me to take him down, so I did.”
The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum said he was happy to get the win over Rick Story and asked him if he got hurt: “Yes I was rocked, I got hit with a big shot, but was able to recover well.”
That concludes it from Dallas for UFC 171, great event and night of fights, UFC 172 will be in Baltimore April 26 where the UFC light heavyweight title will be on the line when Jon Jones takes on Glover Texeira.
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David Kano is lead writer for MMA Show News and co-host of The Hollywood MMA Show. You can follow him on Twitter @TheDKano.
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