(Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)UFC 181: Keys to Victory for Robbie Lawler RJ Gardner December 3, 2014 Events, Previews, Spotlight On Saturday, December 6, 2014, the UFC heads to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV for their final pay per view event of the year UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II. As the last PPV of the year, the UFC has put together a spectacular fight card featuring two title fights and a host of other great matchups for the fans to enjoy. But the fight that has everyone’s attention is the main event rematch between UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and number one contender Robbie Lawler. Their first bout for the then vacant UFC welterweight title at UFC 171 was an absolute barn burner with both men standing toe-to-toe looking for the finish. In the end, Hendricks was able to edge Lawler on the judge’s scorecards to earn a unanimous decision victory and the title. Since that bout, Hendricks has been sidelined with an injury while Lawler has rebounded by defeating two top welterweight contenders to earn another shot at the title. Considering just how close their first fight was, Lawler has the tools and the ability to win the title this time around. Footwork Lawler’s first key to victory this time around is his footwork. Lawler is much more fluid on his feet than Hendricks and that will allow him to avoid damage and create angles. If Lawler tries to brawl with Hendricks, he will lose this fight on the cards again. But if he utilizes his movement, he will be able to tire Hendricks out and set up his more diverse striking attack. Combinations Lawler’s second key to victory will be combinations. Hendricks is a home run hitter; his striking game is predicated on landing that one big shot to end the fight. Lawler on the other hand has big time KO power, but his striking game is much more advanced. Lawler will mix punches, kicks and knees to keep his opponent off balance. Takedown Defense The last and most important key to victory for Lawler heading into UFC 181 is simple—stop the takedown. In their first meeting, Hendricks was able to secure the victory with well-timed takedowns. While Lawler has a solid wrestling base, Hendricks has one of the best wrestling resumes in the welterweight division. This has to be Lawler’s focus heading into this bout because if Hendricks can take him down, he’ll come up short again. Lawler has to keep the fight on the feet for all five rounds if he is going to become the new UFC welterweight champion.