UFC fighters Chael Sonnen and Daniel Cormier turned in their MMA gloves for suits and ties this weekend, sitting in on the UFC 171 coverage for FOX Sports.
The card featured the crowning of a new UFC welterweight champion, as Johny Hendricks bested Robbie Lawler. Several other key 170-pound contenders were in action, and both Sonnen and Cormier broke down the action on the FOX Sports 2 post-fight show.
“I don’t know that Johny looked that good, but he was effective with the high volume attack,” Sonnen said. “He had Robbie on the defensive most of the fight. We learned just what a competitor he is and how badly he wanted it in the end.”
Cormier, a former coach of Hendricks while the new champion competed at Oklahoma State University, stated that “Bigg Rigg” returned to his wrestling roots.
“In the fifth, Johny picked up up and went to the wrestling default and secured the victory with the takedown,” he said. “I thought he fought well.
“When his wrestling wasn’t working, he was able to stand and throw with Lawler. He’s still improving.”
Hendricks lost to Georges St-Pierre last year in a bout many felt he won. Cormier feels that fight was a difference-maker against Lawler.
“Johny learned from the GSP fight,” he said. “GSP took the fifth round at the end. He did it this time.”
In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley stopped Carlos Condit after landing a vicious takedown. Condit suffered a knee injury, awarding Woodley the TKO win.
“It was what we thought would happen,” Cormier said. “Woodley threw big exploding right hands, trying to knock him out. Tyron was winning this fight when Carlos got hurt.
“But Carlos was getting some momentum when that happened and Tyron was slowing down.”
Sonnen gave Woodley credit for more than just his win, saying he “played it just right after his fight. He grabbed the mic and said he wants to fight for the title.
“And good for him. He’s now the No. 1 contender and should fight for it.”
Cormier was impressed by another welterweight, Hector Lombard. The former Bellator champion defeated Jake Shields via decision.
“We’ve watched Jake a long time and no one has done this to him before,” Cormier said. “Nobody does what Hector did to him. Could he have fought harder from the top? Yes. Do I blame him for winning? No.”