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.
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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.
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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.
And just like that, Tryon Woodley beats Robbie Lawler to become the new #UFC welterweight champ. #UFC201 #AndNew pic.twitter.com/ZUyLS92oEO
— Dhruv Shanker (@madonionslicer) July 31, 2016
“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.
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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
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