Woodley threw a massive right hand that sent Lawler crashing to the Octagon floor, and soon after that the bout was stopped via knockout at 2:12 of Round 1.
“I’be been envisioning this belt being around my waist my entire life,” Woodley said after the win.Both fighters remained patient for the opening minute of the fight. Woodley then stormed in and threw power shots that missed their marks, but led to a clinch against the cage.
The referee separated the two after just a short time in the clinch, and then came Woodley’s opportunity. He set up the right hand and landed it square on Lawler’s face. The champion fell the canvas and Woodley followed him there to engage in the ground and pound.
After three strikes to the head, Woodley was pulled off his opponent and became the new UFC welterweight champion.
The fight was Woodley’s first in 18 months, and even after the long layoff, he showed his strikes still have the power to stop the toughest in the division. With the win, Woodley improves to 16-3 and becomes yet another new UFC champion.