On Saturday, December 6th the UFC held UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

In the night’s main event we saw a rematch of one of the best fights of 2014 when Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler clashed for the second time for the welterweight title. In March, Hendricks defeated Lawler to win the vacant title in a fight that literally came down to the final minute of the last round. The fight was seemingly tied at two rounds a piece leading into the final round and after an even round, Hendricks landed a timely takedown in the final moments. The look on Lawler’s face after he got taken down told the story. The veteran welterweight had let the title slip through his grasp.

Hendricks was injured in that fight and hadn’t fought since. Lawyer however got right back in the cage. He knocked out Jake Ellenberger in May and won a decision over Matt Brown in July to earn the rematch against Hendricks.

The welterweight title fight wasn’t the only one on the card Saturday. Anthony Pettis defended his lightweight title for the first time against number one contender, Gilbert Melendez. Pettis was long considered one of the biggest rising stars in the sport and that potential was finally realized last August when he defeated Benson Henderson to become the lightweight champion.

Pettis took time off after that fight due to an injury and is now making his first title defense because of his coaching duties on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Melendez. Melendez only had two fights inside the octagon. His debut was a close decision loss to then champion, Henderson. Melendez followed that loss with a decision victory over Diego Sanchez in one of the best fights in the division history.

Those two title fights were only part of a very stacked card. Travis Browne returned for the first time in eight months against Brendan Schaub on the pay-per-view card and Urijah Faber faced Fransisco Rivera in preliminary action. The pay-per-view card kicked off at 10 p.m. ET the preliminary action preceded that on both Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Abel Trujilo vs. Tony Ferguson

Round 1: The round started off with Trujilo moving forward and throwing punches in bunches. Trujilo dropped Ferguson with a hard right, but Ferguson was quick to recover. Trujilo then scored a double-leg takedown, but Ferguson was quick to get the fight back to the feet. Ferguson landed a big body kick, only to be taken down by Trujilo. Trujilo then landed some heavy ground and pound while Ferguson tried to work his guard. With the fight back standing, Ferguson landed a few good punches of his own that sent Trujilo back peddling. Ferguson stalked down Trujilo for the rest of the round. 10-9 Trujilo.

Round 2: Ferguson picked up where he left off in the first by stalking Trujilo. Trujilo tried to land a bomb only to be taken down by Ferguson. Ferguson went for a d’arce choke, rear-naked choke, and an armbar, all which Trujilo escaped from. Ferguson continued to press the action on the ground. Trujilo looked dead tired with two minutes left in the round. Ferguson continued to work over Trujilo on the ground. Ferguson sinks in the rear-naked choke and Trujilo tapped out.

  • Robbie Lawler def. Johny Hendricks by unanimous decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) – Wins UFC Welterweight Title
  • Anthony Pettis def. Gilbert Melendez via submission (guillotine choke) Round 2, 1:53 – Retains UFC Lightweight Title
  • Travis Browne def. Brendan Schaub via TKO (strikes) Round 1, 4:50
  • Todd Duffee def. Anthony Hamilton via TKO (strikes) Round 1, :33
  • Tony Ferguson def. Abel Trujilo via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2, 4:19
  • Urijah Faber def. Fransisco Rivera via submission (bulldog choke) Round 2, 1:34
  • Josh Samman def. Eddie Gordon via knockout (head kick) Round 2, 3:08
  • Corey Anderson def. Justin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26)
  • Raquel Pennington def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via submission (bulldog choke) Round 1, 4:59
  • Sergio Pettis def. Matt Hobar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Clay Collard def. Alex White by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.