The upheaval at the top of the UFC continues unabated.
Tyron Woodley scored a stunning knockout victory over Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC 201 on Saturday night, needing just 2:12 to knock out Lawler and claim the UFC welterweight championship at Atlanta's Philips Arena.
With the victory, Woodley became the seventh new UFC champion crowned in as many months this year.
"I was in the back, I was relaxed, I was nervous that I wasn't nervous," Woodley (16-3) said. "I knew what Robbie brings to the table. This was not the fight I would have picked because Robbie is my teammate, but I've been picturing myself with the belt around my waist and I made it happen."
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Woodley pressured Lawler from the outset and never let him get settled. It didn't take long for this approach to pay off, as he pushed forward and got Lawler to fall for a feinted right hand, which left him wide open for a brutal right to the jaw which sent him crashing to the mat. Woodley pounced and rained down punched until referee Dan Miragliotta waved the bout off.
While the Ferguson, Mo., native was overjoyed at winning the title, he also took care not to gloat after defeating his American Top Team teammate in Lawler.
"We knew Robbie would be well prepared for a takedown," Lawler said. "So I used a little speed and a blitz and I closed the distance, something told me the right hand would be there. I don't want to feel amazing about knocking out Robbie Lawler but he had the belt and that's what I wanted."
Lawler, who had a marvelous run in which he returned to the UFC and held the welterweight belt for a year and half, refused to make any excuses after the defeat.
"It is what it is," said Lawler (27-11, 1 NC). "He feinted me, my hand was down and he came over the top and caught me."