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UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II — Main Card Results & Commentary

(Props: Gian Galang. Click for full-size images.)

Kwanzaa — which is traditionally observed from December 26th to January 1st — has come early, my friends. Tonight’s UFC 181 pay-per-view card is headlined by Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler, in a rematch of one of the greatest fights of 2014. Plus: Anthony Pettis‘s first lightweight title defense after winning the belt over 15 months ago, a heavyweight scrap between Travis Browne vs. Brendan Schaub, and the first appearance of the Duffman in two years. Should be pretty okay.

Our old friend Aaron Mandel will be sticking live “Hendricks vs. Lawler” results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest updates, and let us know how you feel in the comments section or on twitter @cagepotatomma. Let’s do this…

UFC 181 Preliminary Card Results
- Urijah Faber def. Francisco Rivera via submission (rear naked choke), 1:34 of round 2
- Josh Samman def. Eddie Gordon via KO (head kick), 3:08 of round 2 — BAH GAWD HE KILLED HIM.
- Corey Anderson def. Justin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26)
- Raquel Pennington def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via technical submission (bulldog choke), 4:59 of round 1 — BAH GAWD SHE KILLED HER.
- Sergio Pettis def. Matt Hobar via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
- Clay Collard def. Alex White via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)

Hello PotatoHeads, we’ve got a great card for UFC 181 tonight, welterweight and lightweight titles on the line and some fun heavyweight fights, stay tuned right here and refresh frequently for live round-by-round updates on the fights.

Tony Ferguson vs. Abel Trujillo

Round 1- Trujillo with a flurry to open.  Good body kick from Ferguson. Right hook from Trujillo drops Ferguson and then rushes him against the cage.  Ferguson is rocked but defending and creates separation and appears to recover.  Ferguson gets tagged again, answers back but pays for it with a takedown from Trujillo.  Ferguson back up clinched against the cage defending knees from Trujillo. They separate back to the center.  Trujillo tags Ferguson again and wobbles him slightly.  Trujillo eats a body kick but takes Ferguson down.  Ferguson working rubber guard.  Armbar attempt from Ferguson but he is paying for it with ground and pound raining down from Trujillo.  They go back to standing.  Right hand from Ferguson tags Trujillo and he follows with more punches.  Round ends with a flying knee from Ferguson.  I’d say 10-9 Trujillo based on the early damage but Ferguson came on strong at the end and Trujillo was slowing.

Round 2- A minute in and not much action.  Ferguson sprawls well and lands on top of Trujillo.  Threatening with a darce.  Ferguson falls to his back going for a kimura but Trujillo gets free.  Ferguson drags Trujillo back down against the cage and threatens a choke and knees the body.  Trujillo gets back up and slams Ferguson down but Ferguson pops right back up and Trujillo is definitely tired.  Ferguson drags Trujillo down by his neck and takes his back.  Ferguson continues working the back, isolates an arm and then transitions quickly to a rear naked choke, it’s deep, under the chin and Trujillo has no choice but to tap.

Tony Ferguson defeats Abel Trujillo via submission (rear naked choke) 4:19 of round 2

Good win for Ferguson, weathering an early storm and coming back for a strong finish.

The special announcement that was teased for after this fight is an announcement with Joe Rogan and CM Punk, formerly of WWE, announcing that he’s signing with the UFC.  He mentions he’s done “some kempo and Brazilian jiu jitsu” so he’s ready to go!  Good luck man…

Todd Duffee vs. Anthony Hamilton

Duffee hasn’t fought in nearly two years, he’s got an opportunity here on the PPV card to make himself known again in the heavyweight division.

Round 1- Duffee with two strikes to start.  Hamilton reaches for a takedown with no success.  Duffee clobbers Hamilton with a right and flattens Hamilton, he’s out! Triumphant return for Duffee.

Todd Duffee defeats Anthony Hamilton by knockout at :33 of round 1

Travis Browne vs. Brendan Schaub

Round 1- Browne tosses a Schaub leg kick aside, Schaub tries to turn it into a takedown but Browne defends and tries a flurry of punches and kicks.  Good straight left from Browne. Schaub shoots for a takedown and gets Browne down in the middle of the cage.  Browne works up but Schaub throws him back down, Browne spins and is on top for a moment, Schaub up and clinching Browne against the cage.  They separate and Browne hits Schaub with an uppercut that hurts him, Schaub down defending but not well, he’s hurt and Browne is transitioning to mount with ease, raining down punches.  Schaub is defending just enough to keep it from being stopped.  Browne flattens Schaub out on his back and the ref is very close to stopping it.  Schaub tries to scoot his hips back in but Browne flattens him and keeps hitting him until Mario Yamasaki has no choice but to stop it.  Schaub protests but he was getting tagged.

Travis Browne defeats Brendan Schaub by tko at 4:50 of round 1

Champ Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez

Man, as a fan I’m PUMPED for this fight, fantastic match-up here for the title.

Round 1- Melendez shoots in early and puts Pettis against the cage.  Pettis defending well.  Head kick from Pettis blocked and Melendez on him with a takedown.  Pettis works back up but Melendez is on his back against the cage working a hook in.  Melendez staying patient and relentless on Pettis’ back against the cage, working punches and trying to get the fight down.  Pettis separates but only briefly as Melendez is back on him with a takedown against the cage.  Melendez getting some good strikes in on Pettis against the cage.  Pettis gets up, throws a spinning kick to the body but Melendez back on him with strikes and a takedown attempt.  Pettis fighting him off again but eating some strikes.  Pettis separates and throws a flying knee but Melendez stays tight and works Pettis back to the cage. Body kick from Pettis to close the round.  10-9 Melendez on my card.

Round 2- Melendez connects, eats a punch from Pettis as he works for another takedown against the cage. Pettis hits a good body kick but Melendez answers back with punches, trying again for a takedown.  As Melendez drives in against the cage to take Pettis down Pettis tags him with a good punch, Melendez leaves his neck open for a split second and Pettis grabs the neck and throws on a tight guillotine.  Pettis flips Melendez over and gets the tap.  Wow.

Champ Anthony Pettis defeats Gilbert Melendez via submission (guillotine choke) 1:53 of round two

Champ Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler

The rematch of one of last year’s best fights!

Round 1- Lawler comes out firing with punches and knees.  Lots of knees to the body and those look painful for Hendricks.  Lawler is out for blood early, punches and knees to the body and Hendricks appears to have woken up and starts firing back.  Lawler slips but recovers and Hendricks pressures Lawler against the cage where they are now stalling for over a minute. Lawler now working more knees to the body from a defensive stall against the cage.  Hendricks digs his head in for a takedown and Lawler looks to strike.  Lawler with more knees from the cage and they separate.  Hendricks with some nice striking on a slower-looking Lawler.  Hendricks finally gets the takedown and ends the round on top.  Tough to score, 10-9 Lawler for me.

Round 2- Big exchange again early from both men.  Lawler tries a head kick and pays for it with a body kick from Hendricks. Nice jab from Lawler. Lawler with some nice strikes but paying for it a little with some solid Hendricks’ leg kicks. Right hand from Hendricks tags Lawler and Hendricks goes in for a takedown against the cage.  Hendricks kneeing Lawlers thigh from the clinch stall against the cage.  Hendricks completes the takedown against the cage and has Lawler sitting against the fence with his legs tied up underneath him.  Hendricks throws a knee to the body and Lawler pops up.  Head kick to the face of Hendricks lands! Hendricks seems okay and fires back.  Good left by Lawler and they exchange body kicks that would both put me in the hospital.  Lawler throws a head kick, misses, falls over and Hendricks pounces and rolls for a last second guillotine but the round ends.  Really tough one to score, 10-9 Hendricks?

Round 3- Front kicks to the body from Lawler.  Lawler throws a good combo.  Hendricks with a two punch combo punctuated by a thunderous leg kick.  Hendricks with another combo.  Slower pace so far with Hendricks a little more active this round.  Good punches and kicks from Hendricks, Lawler mostly in a defensive shell here.  Hendricks shoots a takedown and gets it in the middle of the cage.  Lawler quickly works back up but gets put against the cage, clinched.  Hendricks scores another takedown as the round ends.  10-9 Hendricks, clearest round so far.

Round 4- Jab from Lawler to start. Lawler a little more active to start.  Hendricks flurries back.  Hendricks clinches Lawler against the cage but nothing happens so Herb Dean separates them.  Hendricks again getting the better of the exchanges in the middle of the cage. Lawler just misses with a huge headkick.  Pawing punches from both fighters.  Lawler tries a headkick again that misses.  Joe Rogan thinks Lawler may have hurt his right hand.  Hendricks shoots in for a takedown and gets it in the middle of the cage. Lawler works back up and they are striking again.  So many punches being thrown between these two fighters.  Hendricks closes the distance and smothers Lawler again against the fence.  Lawler on top from a sprawl and rains down heavy elbows on Hendricks as the round ends.  Still 10-9 Hendricks though, and I believe Lawler now needs a finish to win.

Round 5- A tired but technically skilled brawl to open as they both throw with nothing major landing.  Hendricks drives in for a takedown and presses Lawler into the fence, again, crowd boos.  Herb Dean separates the fighters.  Both fighters strike, a little more landing from Lawler.  Hendricks shoots for another takedown against the fence and eats strikes from Lawler.  Crowd boos and Herb Dean separates.  Hendricks shoots in again as Lawler sprawls against the cage. Hendricks digging deep for a takedown as Lawler sprawls and desperately elbows huge bombs on Hendricks! They are landing! Lawler separates and charges forward throwing huge kicks and punches! Hendricks is hurt! Lawler pouring it on as Hendricks looks to be in survival mode.  Round ends, wow, unbelievably flurry to try to close it out by Lawler.  10-9 Lawler but as I score it, Hendricks has three rounds to two.

Robbie Lawler defeats Champ Johny Hendricks via split decision (49-46, 48-47, 47-48)

Wow, that was…unexpected. Curious to know what everyone thinks, I think a clear argument can be made for Lawler winning rounds 1 and 5. I feel confident saying Hendricks won 3 and 4, I guess that leaves it to round 2.  I’ll be very curious to see the round by round scores from the judges.

Gotta feel happy for the veteran Lawler who is JACKED UP on adrenaline still in the interview from that 5th round.  ”That’s how we fight in the UFC, that’s how we fight championship fights. I did it!”

And that’s all for tonight, thanks for hanging out.

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