Las Vegas hosted another exciting card for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 181.
It showcased the comeback of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, who is coming off a yearlong layoff to defend his UFC Lightweight Title. Moreover, a new champion was crowned as Robbie Lawler took the UFC Welterweight Title from Johny Hendricks.
And a bombshell was dropped as former WWE superstar and native Chicagoan CM Punk AKA Phil Brooks announced he’s entering the UFC.
In the first fight of the main card, Tony “El Cuycuy” Ferguson defeated Abel Trujillo in 4:19 of the second round with a rear naked choke.
“I looked at him; I gave him the boogeyman eyes. In the second round, I went out and loosened my punches instead of holding so tight. I think I was a little too loose going out there; a lot of times it takes me a round to get going,” said Ferguson. He also stated that he felt that Trujillo was getting tired and he was able to take control of the fight from there.
In the co-main event, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis successfully defended his UFC Lightweight Title against top contender Gilbert Melendez by submission due to guillotine choke in 1:53 of the second round. Both Melendez and Pettis were coming off layoffs lasting more than a year and brought an exciting fight to the Octagon.
“I feel amazing. It was a long 15 months off; I’m back! I know how good I am, but a lot of people were questioning how good I am. This fight went a little bit longer. It went two rounds, so you got to see a little more Anthony Pettis,” he said.
Melendez said, “I wanted to test his chin and I really didn’t get a chance. I couldn’t get my combos going. Hats off to Pettis tonight. He’s extremely fast and a very tough opponent.”
Finally, in the main event, Robbie Lawler beat Johny Hendricks to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion. Lawler won in a split decision, 48-47, 47-48 and 49-46, in his rematch against Hendricks. Their first fight had similar results with Hendricks earning the split decision in that fight. Lawler thanked his supporters for the win.
“I’m really happy for everyone around me. It wasn’t a one-person show; I’m really happy for all the guys who have been there for me and supported me all along. Those are the guys I’m happy for,” he said.
Johny Hendricks felt that he was gassing out in the fourth and fifth rounds. He attributed it to bad weight cutting.
“I felt like s—. I wrestled like s—. Robbie was the better man tonight. I will be back and I will get my title back,” said Hendricks.
The huge announcement during the card was that former WWE superstar and Chicago native Phil Brooks, AKA CM Punk, is throwing his hat into the Octagon. He follows fellow WWE superstar, Brock Lesnar, as a professional wrestler making the crossover into the world of mixed martial arts.
“My professional wrestling days are over. It’s awesome to be here. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Brooks.
He has a background in kempo and said he’s been doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu for a long time.
“This is my new career—100 percent. I’m going to go full-steam ahead, all systems go after today, and it’s going to be fun,” said Brooks. “I have nothing but respect for everybody here at the UFC, everybody who steps in the Octagon to fight. And when it’s all said and done, when I’m finished, everybody’s going to have to respect me because I have come here to fight.”
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