Thank God: Lawler/Hendricks Decision Proves Stall Tactics Shouldn’t Win Fights

“Hide your head!”

“Hide your head” cried the corner of Johnny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks. Turns out, hiding your head is not an effective way to win a fight.

While one judge’s 49-46 score was way out of line, the end result made everything okay: Robbie Lawler deserved to win the UFC Welterweight title tonight.

Indeed, Hendricks deserves credit for doing more than simply hiding his head: he landed several hard leg kicks and wrestled Robbie Lawler to the ground on multiple occasions. But what would anyone have remembered from this fight? I know what my answer would be, and that’s Johnny repeatedly sticking his head in between Robbie’s legs and keeping it there for as long as possible, stalling and waiting while time ticked off the clock, banking on judges to bail him out at the end.

But Dana White will tell you as quickly as anyone, “Never leave it in the hands of the judges.”

I have to constantly remind myself that the fight was only 25 minutes, because I swear I watched Johnny hide his head in Robbie’s crotch for at least 3 hours.

I had Lawler winning that fight 48-47 by way of winning rounds 1, 4, and 5. When Bruce was reading the scores and read that the final judge had it 49-46, I assumed it was for Johnny, because I’ve grown accustomed to judges rewarding clinging “wall and stall” tactics, even when the “winner” isn’t attempting submissions or doing damage from the supposedly advantageous position.  The 49-46 score for Lawler baffles me, but in the end, screw it, the right guy won that fight.  I’m glad to see judges not rewarding lazy performances.

And yes, I’m aware that Robbie looked out of gas at times. There’s an important difference, however, between being winded and fighting like you just don’t give a shit. Whatever was happening, Lawler constantly looked like he wanted to win that fight. Hendricks, meanwhile, looked like he wanted to win a decision; and the most disgusting part of it was the corner constantly encouraging the stall tactic.

I’m glad to see that it didn’t work. Cheers to the new champion.