By Jaime C. Feal
An absolute war took place for the welterweight title, with Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler standing toe-to-toe for the better part of 5 rounds. In the end, Hendricks emerged victorious to become the new welterweight champion. Both Lawler and Hendricks were hurt in the bout, with Lawler having Hendricks hurt in the middle rounds, and Hendricks coming on strong in the final frame. Starting off the main card, Ovince St. Preux put Nikita Krylov to sleep with a great Von Flue choke. In the lightweight division, Myles “Fury” Jury earned a big win over longtime fan-favorite Diego Sanchez.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Jake Shields (29-6-1, 4-2 UFC) vs. Hector “Lightning” Lombard (33-4-1, 2-2 UFC)
Lombard presses forward and tries to land a left, but Shields clinches up with him. Lombard counters with a beautiful judo throw, lands a hammerfist, but Shields gets back up. Lombard tags Shields with two hooks, gets out of the clinch. Lombard swings and misses with a wild left, but Shields still can’t take him down. Lombard pressing Shields against the fence, lands some more heavy punches, one of which cuts Shields and backs him away. Lombard again judo throws Shields to the canvas, lands a hammerfist and hook, and lets him back up. Shields face is starting to look bad now. Lombard destroys Shields with heavy shots, dropping Shields. Lombard pounces with more heavy ground and pound, but Shields regains full guard with just over a minute to go. Lombard doesn’t do much as Shields locks him down in guard for the remainder of the round. 10-9 round for Lombard.
Lombard still looking for the kill shot, but misses with a couple hooks. Now Lombard lands a sick judo throw into side control. Shields regains full guard and starts to nullify Lombard again. Crowd boos the inactivity, ref stands the fighters up. Both men significantly slower now, barely exchanging punches with two minutes left. Crowd again booing. Shields shoots for a takedown and Lombard sprawls nicely. Shields trying to jab, but not finding much success. Another nasty judo throw by Lombard into side control. 10-9 round for Lombard.
More inactivity as Lombard appears gassed, and Shields cautious. Shields again trying to jab, but nothing there. Low blow from Lombard halts the bout temporarily. Fight resumes, Lombard with a little more bounce to his step, stuffs a takedown. Lombard then gets a trip takedown, but is stuck in the full guard of Shields. Crow booing with 3 minutes to go, ref taking a look at standing them up again. Ref stands them up with two and half minutes to go. Shields misses with a head kick, is still backing up way too much. Lombard sprawls on another telegraphed takedown. Lombard maintaining top control, but not doing much with it. Ref stands them up yet again, one minute to go in the fight. Lombard goes for a takedown, but gets caught in a guillotine choke. Lombard is stuck pretty good, but the round expires. 10-9 round for Lombard.
The judges score the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision Hector “Lightning” Lombard.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (29-7, 6-3 UFC) vs. Tyron Woodley (12-2, 2-1 UFC)
Big right hand from Woodley backs Condit up. Woodley lands another hard right hand. Condit getting rocked early, more power punches from Woodley. Spinning back kick to the head from Condit, but Woodley defends nicely and pushes him against the cage. The welters go to the war in the clinch with body shots and knees. Good uppercut from Woodley, then the fighters break. Good left hook from Condit. Woodley ducks under a combo and gets a double leg takedown. Condit goes for a triangle, and Woodley throws him off and stands back up. Condit now the aggressor on the feet as Woodley starting to slow down. Both fighters land heavy punches. Condit tries a head kick, and Woodley gets another takedown. Woodley lets him up. Spinning back fist for Woodley, Condit with a nice counter. 10-9 round for Woodley.
Condit trying for more headkicks, Woodley blocking them well. Big right hand from Woodley. Takedown from Woodley, Condit winces trying to defend it. Ref stands the fighters back up, Woodley lands a leg kick, and Condit drops and grabs his knee, wincing in pain. The fight is over, TKO victory for Woodley on a likely torn ACL from Condit.
Tyron Woodley wins by TKO at 2:00 of Round 2.
UFC Welterweight Championship (170 lbs.):
Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (15-2, 10-2 UFC) vs. “Ruthless Robbie Lawler” (22-9, 7-3 UFC)
The southpaws take the center of the cage, and Lawler lands some good left hands. Back in the center, Hendricks trying to land outside leg kicks. Lawler working the jab. Hendricks clinches up with Lawler, leaning on him against the cage. They break, and Lawler sprawls nicely on a shot from Hendricks. Good knee from Hendricks in a scramble. Outside leg kick lands for Hendricks. Nice left hand from Hendricks, good jab from Lawler in response. Another jab for Lawler lands. More kicks from Hendricks, a left hand, and a takedown attempt. Lawler defends well, but Hendricks has him pressed against the cage with twenty seconds left. Good left from Hendricks. 10-9 round for Hendricks.
Jab and left from Lawler, but Hendricks pressing the action. Nice left hook from Lawler. A couple jabs land for Lawler, Hendricks with a counter right hook. Hard outside leg kick lands for Hendricks, then some good uppercuts. Nasty combination from Hendricks, going upstairs and downstairs. Hendricks peppering Lawler now, methodically beating him up, big knee. Hendricks on fire, more one-two combinations and a hard leg kick. Good right hook from Lawler backs Hendricks off. Hendricks scoring points with just over a minute left. Hendricks starts tagging Lawler at the end of the round, but Lawler gets a heavy counter left hook in at the bell. 10-9 round for Hendricks
Good outside leg kick from Lawler this time, but Hendricks responds with the same. The welters trade jabs. Hendricks scores with a knee, Lawler swings and misses with a haymaker left hook. Big body shot from Hendricks. Lawler just looking for the counter punch to change the course of the bout, otherwise Hendricks scoring at will now. Lawler still wading forward, landing jabs, looking to set up the big left. Hendricks very measured tonight, mixing it up well. Big left from Lawler, has Hendricks hurt! Lawler measuring his shots, tagging Hendricks with heavy blows. Hendricks showing a great chin, goes for a takedown but gets denied. Lawler back on him, landing more big lefts. Hendricks has recovered, landing nice counters now, but Lawler is still right there. The pace settles at the end of the round. 10-9 round for Lawler.
The fighters take the center of the cage and immediately start throwing bombs. Hooks are flying, not much is landing, but the action is great. Inside left kick from Hendricks, Lawler lands a good left hook and knee. Hendricks getting tagged. Hendricks looking wobbly, back against the cage now. Hendricks gets back into the fight and in the center of the cage, but his nose is busted up. Lawler peppering him with jabs now, nasty elbow. Hendricks comes forward with a good combo, but then eats a hard left hook from Lawler Hendricks is cut over his eye and nose, but still more than game to throw back. Three minutes left. Lawler in control of this round. Hendricks jabbing, trying to wipe the blood from obscuring his vision. Good right from Lawler, now a left. Each welterweight lands a big left hook, both hand in and throw more. Big one-two from Robbie Lawler, snapping the head back of Hendricks. What a fight. Big left from Lawler, goes to the Thai clinch for a knee. Hendricks with a nice combo. Big uppercut from Lawler, Hendricks comes back. One-two again from Lawler, this fight turning into an instant classic. Stiff jab from Lawler, looking sharp. Nice right hook from Lawler, Hendricks still hanging in there with a minute left. More jabs from Lawler, Hendricks is a bloody mess. Outside leg kick from Lawler, then a jab. Big outside leg kick from Hendricks. Hendricks gets a takedown with 10 seconds left, lands a few punches. 10-9 round for Lawler.
The fighters trade jabs in the center of the cage. Hendricks with a lot of head movement, but then eats a left hook while pressing forward. Nice combo from Lawler, then sprawls and defends nicely against a takedown attempt. Ref breaks the fighters for inactivity on the cage. Lawler lands a jab. Outside leg kick from Hendricks. Another left hook for Lawler, defends a takedown. Jab from Robbie, then a left hand. Good right hook from Lawler, and again. Hendricks answers back. Big left hand from Hendricks wobbles Lawler. Uppercut and hard combo lands for Hendricks. Lawler gets wobbled by a hard combination, then gets taken down by a double leg. Hendricks in control. Lawler tries to get up, but can’t do it. 10-9 round for Hendricks
The judges score the fight 49-48 for winner by unanimous decision, and new welterweight champion, Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks