Mixed martial arts fighter Johny Hendricks, Otoe-Missouria, lost a UFC title defense fight on Saturday night to Robbie Lawler, the same fighter he defeated in March to claim the welterweight title.
Hendricks-Lawler was the main event at UFC 181, and the result was a split decision. One judge scored the fight 48-47 for Hendricks, another had it 48-47 for Lawler, and the third judge also found for Lawler, 49-46.
Lawler's victory surprised some watchers. ESPN.com scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Hendricks, and a look at notable tweets from the match compiled by MMA Junkie shows a lot of support for Hendricks' performance. At Bleacher Report, Raphael Garcia wrote that Hendricks was "robbed" and that "When the dust settles, this result may be one of the most contentious decisions of 2014."
"I personally didn't see any way that Lawler won three rounds, much less four on one card," UFC expert Tim Burke wrote at BloodyElbow.com, "Nonetheless, there is a new champion."
Hendricks himself is not protesting the decision. "I didn't fight," he told the media at the post-fight press conference, adding that Lawler is "a tough fighter. He’s a guy that you’ve got to put away. I wasn’t able to do that tonight, and the judges gave it to him."