UFC 181: "'Hendricks vs. Lawler 2" blew the roof off the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sat., Dec. 6, 2014, with a top shelf pay-per-view (PPV) offering -- one of the best in some time, really -- rich with stories you either need to get up to date on or go back and revisit.
Second time's the charm
Thanks to a split decision victory over Johny Hendricks in the main event, Robbie Lawler is the UFC welterweight champion. Quick reminder: It's 2014. The world makes no sense, folks.
- Considering how close the fight was, it's worth taking a look at the round-by-round breakdown (one, two, three, four, five). The recap tells the story of the fight.
- Watch the highlights and decide if the judges got it right.
- The scorecard shows how the judges saw it, with one judge turning in a particularly baffling card.
- Hendricks has a pretty damn good reason he didn't perform to the best of his abilities, though he's not making excuses for his loss.
- RUBBER MATCH!
Just after the first fight ended, suddenly a man named Phil Brooks, better known as former WWE star CM Punk, showed up to say he signed a contract with the UFC.
- The initial bomb dropping caused quite the stir among both the professional wrestling and mixed martial arts worlds.
- UFC was quick to release the full interview with Joe Rogan. Watch it.
- Dana White had a special welcome. He also gave an explanation as to why he made the deal and how it came about.
- The UFC proved it's still just as much a circus as a legitimate sporting enterprise by signing Punk. And that's completely okay.
- Ariel Helwani went in depth with Punk to get all the answers on his decision to sign, how it came about, what weight class he'll fight in, when he'll debut in the cage, and more.
Highlights and breakdowns
- Anthony Pettis retained his lightweight title by tapping Gilbert Melendez in the second round via guillotine. How he pulled it off needs to be seen to be believed. Break it down!
- Travis Browne stopped Brendan Schaub, and it was about what you would expect from such a fight, though Schaub thought the stoppage was early. Watch here and judge for yourself.
- Todd Duffee needed only 33 seconds to ice Anthony Hamilton. Here's how he did it.
- Tony Ferguson scored a submission win over Abel Trujillo, further showing he may be ready to swim with the sharks. It was a sight to see, I tell you. It was a wild brawl!
- All you can eat from the UFC 181 preliminary card.
- Urijah Faber won his latest fight, but he had to poke and choke to get there.
- Here is one of the most beautiful head kick knockouts you'll ever see.
- And here's a deep gash on Raquel Pennington's forehead. It's graphic.
- Where do they go from here? Find out what could be next for all the main card winners.
- There were some big winners but also some lowly losers.
- He said what?!?
- Here's who got paid extra bonus money.
That, my friends, should be enough to keep you talking -- at least for the time being. What gets your vote for the biggest story coming out of UFC 181?
Sound off, Maniacs.