The UFC has not had a stellar year in 2014. This year has been plagued by week fight cards and injuries to top fighters that have kept them out of action. Sports succeed when the casual fan gets excited. This year, the UFC did not give the casual fan much to be excited about. With that being said, UFC 181 is being headlined by a rematch of one of the best fights in UFC history, Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler. Their first fight was a classic! Both fighters put it all on the line and really went after the championship belt! I have a feeling that the rematch will be just as exciting as the first and will also put the UFC back on track with capturing the casual fan’s attention and bringing MMA into the mainstream limelight. Let’s take a closer look at these fighters and then I’ll make my fight pick in hopes to continue my dominance in UFC PPV main event fight winner predictions.
Johny Hendricks is 16-2 with half of his wins coming via KO/TKO. He’s fought the cream of the crop in the UFC’s welterweight division. His last loss was to George St. Pierre and many think he really won that fight. Hendricks has gone from a great MMA wrestler with knockout power to a great MMA fighter period! He can know mix things up so well that it’s tough to know where he’s taking the fight. He can beat you standing as he showed with the first fight with with Robbie Lawler, but his roots are still in wrestling and can take anyone down, or, use the threat of the takedown to get in some solid power punching.
Robbie Lawler has been an MMA professional fighter since 2001 and has compiled a record of 24-10 with a strong resurgence that started in February of 2013 at UFC 157. In that resurgence he’s 5-1 and has fought some of the best in the UFC’s welterweight division. His only loss in that run was the first match up with Hendricks in which a win wasn’t missed by much. Robbie Lawler has extremely dangerous KO power as has been shown in 19 of his 24 wins where he’s finished the fight with a KO/TKO. Lawler has excellent wrestling ability, but he uses it in reverse. He stops takedowns and keeps the fight standing where he can launch KO/TKO bombs reminiscent of a UFC legend, Chuck Liddell.
In their first fight, Johny Hendricks suffered a bicep injury in the first round that made his takedown attempts weaker than usual. It forced him to stand and trade with Robbie Lawler more than he wanted to. Hendricks looks to be healthy so look for better takedown attempts while still holding his own in stand up exchanges with Lawler. This will be another exciting fight, but unfortunately for Lawler, it will go much like the first except this time Hendricks will also be able to use more of this wrestling tactics to sway the fight in his favor. I see Hendricks walking out of that Octagon tonight with the UFC’s welterweight belt once again.
Check out the video, Countdown to UFC 181: Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler