UFC 201 ended in shocking fashion in Atlanta, as Tyler Woodley pulled off a huge upset of former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, knocking him out two minutes into the first round.
Pre-fight analysts questioned whether even Woodley deserved a shot at the belt, having been out of the Octagon for 18 months. He was also slated as a slight underdog, with betting odds against him. But the Chosen One stayed patient and confident, finally facing what might have been the only opportunity to prove them wrong.
Coming from a two-win streak, Woodley went into the Octagon seemingly tense and nervous. The fight started slow, with neither Lawler nor Woodley throwing a punch for about 40 seconds. But Woodley, who is also known to be an aggressive starter, worked through his nerves and closed the distance. He then threw a huge overhand right on Lawler.
A hook that sent Lawler crashing down to the canvas prompting Woodley to lay it on the former champion with some ground and pound. The fight was stopped at 2:12, and a new UFC welterweight champion was crowned.
A replay of the knockout was shared by a fan via twitter.
“I knew what Robbie brought to the table. He’s a tough competitor. This is not the first fight I would pick. He’s a friend of mine. I admire his career. Hats off to Robbie, but I’ve been envisioning this belt being around my waist my entire life.” Woodley said, after the fight.
Lawler, who attempted his third title defense, suffered his first loss in six fights, and now stands at 27-11. Tyler Woodley, on the other hand, has won three straight, with this being the biggest KO of his career. The welterweight champ now stands 15-4, in a division with a long list of possible contenders to defend his title against, led by Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson who has seven consecutive wins.
PHOTO COURTESY: Antonio Fucito/ Flickr