Watch Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler full fight video highlights above, courtesy of ESPN.
UFC 171 took place March 15, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. UFC welterweights Johny Hendricks (16-2) and Robbie Lawler (22-10, 1 no-contest) met in the UFC 171 main event, which aired live on pay-per-view, for the UFC welterweight title.
For more on Hendricks' classic win, check out the play-by-play by MMA Fighting's Chuck Mindenhall below.
Round 1: Referee is Dan Miragliotta for this main event for the vacant 170-pound belt. Lawler, who first fought in the UFC at 18 years old, a dozen years later fighting for the belt. Hendricks, who many thought beat Georges St-Pierre in November, gets his second chance. They both come out in souhtpaw stance. Lawler the first to land it, and Hendricks slips along fence. He eats a good shot, but he is okay. They return to center. Hendricks unloads his own left, and that grazes Lawler. Hendricks moves in and shoves Lawler back on fence, and starts working his knees into the inside of his thighs. Lawler with the whizzer, shifts to free his own left hand, which gives him something to work with. As they separate, Lawler tucks a shot in. Again Hendricks swoops in for takedown, and Lawler up to the task of thwarting it. They trade some jabs, and Lawler comes over top with a left that doesn't land flush. Hendricks working his right hand, and the pattycake continues while each looks to deploy the left powerbomb. Good jab by Lawler lands flush, and Hendricks eats it. Nice jab to overhand left by Lawler. Lawler smiles through a combination, predicated by a left leg kick from Hendricks, and sets up a takedown with another. He still can't dump Lawler down, and they tangle up on the fence. Clinch game, and Hendricks still the dictator. The round ends on the fence. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Hendricks, 10-9
Round 2: Second round sees Lawler out quick, lands a jab and a follow-up. Lawler circle. Big left from Lawler tags Hendricks, but he manages to eat it. Lawler with a lot of head movement, definitely making himself a difficult target. Hendricks with a kick, which he's been going to frequently. Now another leg kick from Hendricks, that one was audible. A little redness over Lawler's eye, and his shin has some swelling. Hendricks moves in with a combo, two punches then a knee, and all of them sneak through. Lawler covered up a little bit. Now he's smiling again, and returns fire just as Hendricks lands a left. Lawler stings him with a right, and we continue on in the middle of the cage. Again a high-low combo from Hendricks, who comes over top with a one-two into a leg kick. He's mixing things up extremely well. Hendricks opens up with a punch to leg kick, and Lawler fires off a counter which lands. Lawler still moving his head, and Hendricks tries to catch the moving target with a knee. Misses. Lawler beginning to stand in front a little more, looking to land that death knell. Hendricks picking Lawler apart, but just as he began to look comfortable, Lawler bangs home a left hand. Right back to it, now Hendricks putting on a striking clinic, landing a series of shots from all over, and just as the round ends Lawler hits him with a big left hand that makes both men smile. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Hendricks, 10-9 (20-18 overall for Hendricks)
Round 3: Hendricks opens up with a barrage, and Lawler now tries some kicks. He lands one, two. That'll make Hendricks think twice about the other areas of danger. Lawler still hunting for that left, and narrowly misses on a long arching throw. Hendricks just the quicker on the exchanges, as he gets off four or five more shots in a sequence while Lawler covers up and searches for his counters. Hendricks has been first for much of the fight. Now they exchange lefts, and each man lands. Big shot from Lawler! Stuns Hendricks with the left, and he hits him again. Now he is sensing an end. Hendricks is wobbled. Bleeding. He is on his feet, and he is getting tagged. Lawler methodical about it, landing shots selectively. Hendricks tries for a takedown, but Lawler fends it off. Hendricks still looks hurt, and Lawler hits him hard with a right-left combo. Still coming in, putting his gloves on Hendricks. Hendricks now lands a big left, and shows that he's still there. High drama. Good right jab from Hendricks. Lawler just couldn't muster the energy when he had Hendricks on the ropes to put together the end sequence. Now Hendricks is around, and he's at the center, waving his right hand out there. Blood on Lawler's eye. He smiles as he eats a flashing right, and the round ends. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Lawler, 10-9 (29-28 overall for Hendricks)
Round 4: Championship rounds. Good exchange and Lawler lands the better shots. Hendricks still getting his though, as he returns on the next exchange. They are now swinging more freely. Lawler crisp in an exchange, and he he teeing off on Hendricks with jabs and follow-ups. Hendricks shoots in for takedown, but is stuffed again. Not a lot of movement from Hendricks, and Lawler continues to pelt him with jabs and left hand crosses. Hendricks bleeding from right eye profusely. Lawler still the aggressor, pushing the action. A lot of blood on Hendricks eye, who is now eating punches from all ranges and all levels. Nobody will question either man's chin. Lawler with a steady assault, keeps hammering away. Now it's Hendricks with a big combination! He lands several shots unanswered. Both guys happy in the other's wheelhouse. Lawler still smiling and throwing. Both guy's arms are heavy, but they are winging. Leg kick from Lawler, and now some jabs from Hendricks. They are still trading shots. Crazy fight! Inside of half a minute to go, and Hendricks digs in and shoots on Lawler, and for the first time gets Lawler down. Whoa. That might sway the judges, but Lawler landed far more shots throughout. MMA Fighting scores R4, 10-9 (38-38 overall)
Round 5: They come out, Lawler all sadistic smiles. They trade immediately in the middle. Big counter left cross from Lawler, and it connects big. But Hendricks zombies forward, and now snaps up Lawler's leg and maneuvers him into the fence. Once again, good takedown defense from Lawler, who stays low and wide. Big knees into the thighs from Hendricks, who is toiling for that takedown. More knees to the thighs on the fence. Miragliotta has seen enough, breaks them apart and brings them back to center. Leg kick from Hendricks. Both still have pop in their punches, but are operating on fumes. Lawler solid right jab, missed with left. Hendricks eats two more punches. Crazy wild punches from Hendricks, and one of them knocked Lawler back. And here he comes again, pushing ahead landing two big shots on Lawler. Crazy! Both guys are exhausted, but they are throwing. Hendricks definitely the more offensive right now, and Hendricks comes in and lands three big shots, leading to takedown on the fence. Wow That might do it. Lawler looks up and sees clock, might be seeing his chance of title slipping away. Half a minute to go, and Lawler is on fence, trying to get up. Hendricks bulling him into the links, and landing shots. Short elbow. Hendricks came alive in the fifth, and it looks like he's going to be the champ. MMA Fighting scores R5 for Hendricks, 10-9 (48-47 overall for Hendricks)
UFC 171 official results: Johny Hendricks def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)