Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Robbie Lawler could only wonder at what could have been after he lost to new champion Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 171 last weekend.
Lawler took severe punishment in the first two rounds but rallied in the third and fourth, and the match was arguably tied going into the final frame. It was Hendricks who did more damage in the fifth, however, and came away with the unanimous decision victory and the championship.
“I’m just disappointed. So close. It was a hell of a fight. It’s been a long road, a long journey, and I just didn’t see it going down this way,” Lawler said on MMA Fighting after the event.
“The thing is, when you leave it up to the judges, those things happen. I just didn’t do enough tonight, they thought. I need to go back to work, obviously,” the fighter added. “Work on some things. Work on throwing a little bit, maybe some more punches.”
“I thought I fought a good fight, defended some take downs. It was a hell of a fight. He brought it, he was in shape, and he got the victory.”
When asked what adjustments would he make should he get another chance to fight Hendricks, Lawler said he would “go out there and finish him.”
“I should have done more in the fight and thrown more punches, thrown more kicks and took him out,” he added.
But he also pointed out that hindsight was 20-20.
“It’s easy to look back now and look at the things you should have done. I didn’t do it tonight, and he fought a hell of a fight,” said Lawler, who suffered his 10th loss in his professional career.