Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to pay-per-view (PPV) for a thrilling mixed martial arts (MMA) event yesterday (Sat., July 30, 2016) in Atlanta, Georgia, as UFC 201 gave fight fans — who packed into the Philips Arena– a wild night of action. In the main event of the evening, Tyron Woodley shocked the world by knocking out Robbie Lawler to win the Welterweight title in the very first round (see it again here).
The co-main event provided combat fans with a thrilling bout, as Rose Namajunas and Karolina Kowalkiewicz went to war for three rounds, with Karolina pulling out the split-decision win (recap here).
Biggest Winner: Tyron Woodley
Going into the fight, Woodley was still looking for the respect he felt he rightfully deserved after taking out the likes of Carlos Condit and Josh Koscheck, among others. And there’s no better way than to get that respect than by knocking out one of the most dangerous and beloved champions in the sport today.
And in the first round, no less.
With the win, Woodley completed a life-long journey to capture UFC gold to prove once and for all he truly is the best 170-pound fighter on the planet. But his work has just begun, as he will now have a huge target on his back; and this guy will be the first to take his best shot at it.
Runner Up: Jake Ellenberger
Facing a three-fight losing streak, Jake needed a win in the biggest way as he took on fellow striker Matt Brown. Not only did he get the much-needed “W,” he did it in impressive fashion, knocking out “Immortal” in the opening frame with a crushing liver shot.
Now, not only does he have another finish on his resume, but he can sleep easy knowing he won’t be handed his walking papers anytime soon.
Biggest Loser: Robbie Lawler
Unfortunately for “Ruthless,” his title reign, which went on for nearly two years and two title defenses, came to an end with a crushing right hand from “The Chosen One.” Now, the former 170-pound champ will have to climb his way back to a shot at the strap, which can easily be one impressive win away.
Still, it’s a tough loss for a man who hasn’t tasted defeat in his last five outings and has not been finished since 2009.
Runner Up: Rose Namajunas
“Thug Rose” saw her title fight dreams go out the window after losing a razor-thin split decision to Kowalkiewicz after three rounds of intense action. It’s an unfortunate speed bump for Rose, who had been on a good run, taking out Paige VanZant, Angela Hill and Tecia Torres to get closer to the strap.
For complete UFC 201: “Lawler vs. Woodley” results, including real-time play-by-play updates, click here.
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