Robbie Lawler seized the welterweight title from Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 181 on Saturday night after edging him out by split decision, and despite some believing he’d done enough to retain the belt ‘Big Rig’ opted not to complain, but rather focused on the shortcomings of his own performance.
“I didn’t fight,” Hendricks bluntly stated at the post-fight press conference.
That assessment may be a little harsh – Hendricks had his moments in the fight, but he did seem to fizzle out in the championship rounds and he’s the first to say so.
“I didn’t come out the fourth and fifth like I normally do. It is what it is. I’m gonna be my worst critic. I don’t need you guys to come out and say he looked like sh*t. That’s my job. That’s what it was. I didn’t stay light on my feet like I should’ve. You get lost in the moment. That happened to me and I’ll be back.”
Nevertheless, Hendricks admits that he thought he’d still done enough to win the fight, but on the night only one judge agreed with him and so rather than focusing on the past he’s now setting his sights on what he needs to change in order to win back the belt.
“The fight tonight made me learn a lot about myself…a lot about what I need to do and what I need to correct in my camp,” Hendricks said. “A lot revolves walking around at 215. I’m gonna make that decision; I’m gonna work with Mike Dolce to stay around 195, do everything right because I had that belt and I want it back. I love food too; don’t get me wrong. That’s gonna be a tough decision, but I love that belt more than food.”
Following the fight Dana White wasn’t ruling out the possibility that Lawler and Hendricks could be heading for a trilogy fight, and while ‘Big Rig’ isn’t calling for it himself, if that’s what happens then he’s ready to go.
“Whatever the UFC wants that’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “That’s my management’s job. If my coaches want the rematch right now then we’ll do the rematch. I’m perfectly fine with that.”