Johny Hendricks thought he was the UFC welterweight champion last year after going the distance with Georges St-Pierre.
Saturday night, when the scorecards were announced, Hendricks was on top of the division, earning a decision over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171.
“Gosh dang it,” said an exuberant Hendricks. “This means everything to me. Thank you to you guys. Thank you (to the UFC). Thank you to my wife.”
Hendricks broke down after receiving the title from UFC president Dana White. Last year, “Bigg Rigg” dropped a split decision to GSP.
After taking the first two rounds with his effective striking, Hendricks was nearly finished by Lawler in the third and fourths.
Hendricks scored a late takedown in the final round, securing himself the win and the title.
“In the fifth round, I knew I had to win it,” he said, “and I did.
“Robbie is a tough dude, a stud. I promise I will be facing him again.”
UFC 171′s finish wasn’t as controversial as some cards have been lately, but it still created a good buzz around Twitter.
In the main event, Johny Hendricks became the new UFC welterweight champion by besting Robbie Lawler via decision. Hendricks earned the win with a late takedown in the fifth.
Fellow UFC fighters and personalities, including Nate Diaz, sounded off.
One hell of a main event! @ufc
— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) March 16, 2014
Awesome fight now time for some killer instinct one some @Xbox one
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) March 16, 2014
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 16, 2014
Hendricks, Lawler scorecard pic.twitter.com/D7FIaXYO0d
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 16, 2014
Hendrix got justice for gsp fight. The winner looks like he got his butt kicked and the loser don’t have a mark on him
— Chris Clements (@menaceclements) March 16, 2014
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) March 16, 2014
Hendricks’ likability factor is damn high and his improvement is obvious. Hard division in which to reign for a long time. Who’s next?
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) March 16, 2014
Hendricks pulled it out in the 5th rd, in my opinion. Landed a nice left that changed the tide and the leg kicks paid its dues! #UFC171
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMasterAljO) March 16, 2014
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) March 16, 2014
Thats a wrap! UFC171 Hendricks with the winning takedown @JohnyHendricks
— Kenny Monday (@KennyMonday) March 16, 2014
— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) March 16, 2014
— Antonio sabato jr (@antoniosabatojr) March 16, 2014
UFC 171 went down Saturday night from Dallas and saw the crowning of a new welterweight champion, as Johny Hendricks bested Robbie Lawler.
Hendricks and Lawler engaged in a five-round battle, and the two were named the “Fight of the Night.”
“Performance of the Night” bonuses went to both Dennis Bermudez and Ovince St. Preux. All four picked up an additional $50,000.
The live gate for the card was $2.6 million with an attendance of 19,224 inside the American Airlines Center.
Hear what Matt Brown, Jake Ellenberger, Erik Koch and others have to say about tonight’s main event fight at UFC 171 between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler in the video below.
MMA Interviews caught up with all of those fighters recently to get their thoughts on the bout that will determine a new champion in the UFC’s welterweight division.
FightLine will have complete coverage for you throughout the night.