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UFC 181 results: Robbie Lawler takes controversial split decision over Johny Hendricks

We have a new UFC welterweight champion, and that man is Robbie Lawler.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Lawler is the new UFC welterweight champion. He defeated Johny Hendricks by split decision in the much-anticipated rematch. But it wasn't without controversy, as at least one of the scorecards seems way off of the fight I just watched. One judge had it 48-47 Hendricks, another had it 48-47 Lawler, and the final one had it 49-46 Lawler.

Lawler charged out of the gate, turning down a glove touch and taking it to Hendricks with hard punches and knees in the clinch right away. Hendricks looked a little taken aback by the immediate flurry, but settled down and grinded away against the cage for a while. Lawler continued to land knees to the gut and fought off a bunch of takedown attempts. Upon separation, Hendricks scored with a nice combination and got a late takedown.

Hendricks landed a lot of leg kicks and combinations in the first half of round two, before clinching up and looking for a takedown. He eventually got Lawler down to his butt and controlled him there for a long period of time. Lawler finally got up and landed a hard front kick to the face. They brawled their way to the horn.

The third  and fourth rounds saw Hendricks really establish his striking, busting Lawler up with combos and leg kicks. Lawler got briefly taken down a couple of times in the third and once in the fourth as well. Lawler did land some hard elbows on the ground at the end of the fourth.

Lawler came out a little more fiery in the final round, but Hendricks slowed down the pace and pinned him against the cage. The crowd was actually booing when Hendricks tried to get the takedown, as the ref separated them twice due to inactivity. Lawler opened up with some big shots as Hendricks stalled out looking for another one, but couldn't get away from him. Lawler was all over him for the last 20 seconds, beating the crap out of out him all the way to the horn.

I personally didn't see any way that Lawler won three rounds, much less four on one card. Nonetheless, there is a new champion.

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