In the main event of UFC 171 out of the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX, Johny Hendricks met Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title. Coming off a loss in his last title fight, Hendricks had to deal with a weight issue the day before the bout as well going in to the fight with Lawler. Both men stood toe-to-toe for five full rounds, and it was Hendricks that came out on top with three 48-47 scores. Check out my play-by-play of the last two rounds of the fight below, or the video highlights above.
Round 4 - Inside leg kicks from Hendricks. A big left and knee from Lawler. Body shot from Lawler, Hendricks responded with a left hook. Lawler responded to that with a stiff jab. Lawler scored with a big left again. Lawler stuffed another shot from Hendricks. Hendricks had some blood on his face. Body shot from Lawler. Jabs from both men, Two big lefts from Hendricks. And another. Lawler with a two-punch combo. Back and forth, back and forth. Huge uppercut from Lawler. Hendricks just ate it and threw three hard shots right back. Two jabs by Lawler. Another combo from Lawler. More jabs from Lawler. Hard kick from Hendricks. Hendricks got his first takedown with 15 seconds to go. The round ended with Hendricks getting a front headlock. Very tough to score, but I'd lean 10-9 Lawler. 38-38 at this point.
Round 5 - Big left from Lawler early. Lawler connecting with jabs. Hendricks dove in for a takedown but Lawler managed to stay on his feet. Knees to the thigh from Hendricks. Hendricks held Lawler against the fence for a while until the ref separated them with three minutes to go. Right and a leg kick from Hendricks. Another shot got stuffed by Lawler. Jabs from Lawler. Nice combo and a right hook for Lawler sent Hendricks backing up. Hendricks came right back and backed Lawler off with four punches. Three straight lefts connect hard for Hendricks. And another. Uppercut. Lawler was wobbling. Huge left from Hendricks and he gets a big takedown. Lawler looks annoyed that Hendricks is holding him down, but he's not doing much to get up. Lawler kept shaking his head to the horn. That round was clearly Hendricks, and I have him winning 48-47.