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Dana White: Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks 3 'wouldn’t be a bad idea'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Johny Hendricks and Las Vegas judges apparently just don't get along. A little over a year after Hendricks dropped a controversial split decision to then-champion Georges St-Pierre, history repeated itself at UFC 181 as Hendricks faded late and lost another controversial split decision, this time to hand over his UFC welterweight title to Robbie Lawler.

"I say to these guys all the time: don't leave it in the hands of these judges," UFC President Dana White said of the decision on FOX Sports 1. "You've gotta stand up and you've gotta go for it. I thought Johny looked good standing up. He was getting off, he was landing some punches. But then he'd go for that shot and just sit there and waste time.

"I talked to (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva, who said, ‘you can't win a fight with your head between a guy's legs for three rounds.' You have to stay busy. So yeah, Robbie Lawler wins this one."

White was reluctant to offer his own scorecard, though he didn't seem surprised with the way things played out when left to the hands of the judges. Overall Lawler outlanded Hendricks 167-145 in total strikes, according to FightMetric, but a large majority of his work took place in the first and fifth rounds, while Hendricks seized control of the middle frames. Hendricks also scored five of his 17 takedown attempts throughout the fight.

Ultimately the rematch ended up being even closer than the welterweights' first meeting, a gritty, phone booth style contest that ended with Hendricks unanimously winning a back-and-forth ‘Fight of the Year' candidate. And while Hendricks shouldered a large portion of the blame this time around, acknowledging at Saturday's post-fight press conference that he took his foot off the gas pedal -- even bluntly saying of his performance, "I didn't fight" -- he also noted that he'd welcome a third crack at Lawler if the UFC wanted to book it.

Back in October, the UFC awarded its next welterweight title shot to Tristar's heir apparent to St-Pierre, Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald. MacDonald even flew into Las Vegas to watch Lawler-Hendricks 2 cageside, though White was thoroughly noncommittal afterwards when asked if UFC 181's strange result changed the promotion's 170-pound plans.

"I don't know. The trilogy wouldn't be a bad idea," White said.

"We'll see what happens."