After two successful title defenses, UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler was stunned by Tyron Woodley via first round KO on Saturday night (July 30) at UFC 201.
Lawler became the seventh UFC champion to fall this year, ending a title reign that began in December 2014. And, it came via a crushing overhand right by Woodley, putting the now-former champ away at the 2:12 mark — the fastest finish in UFC welterweight title fight history.
Woodley (16-3) is a former teammate of Lawler’s at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. Despite the joyous moment, he says it was bittersweet taking the title from an opponent he admired.
“I was relaxed in the back,” Woodley said. “I was nervous that I wasn’t nervous. I knew what Robbie brought to the table. He’s a tough competitor. This is not the first fight I would have picked. He’s a friend of mine, and I admire his career. Hats off to Robbie. Ever since I stepped in this Octagon, I’ve had this mission. It feels amazing.”
It was just the second knockout loss of his career and the first since 2004. “It is what it is,” Lawler said. “He feinted me, my hand went down, he threw a punch over the top and it caught me. I expected that kind of stuff, but I was sitting back a little bit, not moving like I needed to. He took advantage.”