With his powerful right hand, Tyron Woodley sent Robbie Lawler crashing down to the canvas.
Woodley finished Lawler in the opening round Saturday night at UFC 201, becoming the ninth UFC welterweight champion in the process.
“I was in the back and I was relaxed,” he said. “I was extremely relaxed. Robbie is a friend of mine and I admire his career, but I have been envisioning this belt around my waist since I first stepped inside this Octagon.
“If you set a goal, you can reach a goal.”
Despite not fighting since January 2015, Woodley (16-3) showed no signs of rust. He was on his game early on with the striking, waiting for the right time to attack.
“I knew that Robbie would be well prepared for the takedown,” he said. “I used a little speed, blitzed him and saw n opening. Something kept telling me that the right hand would be opened and I went for it.”
Overall, Woodley is now 6-2 in the UFC, with his two losses coming via decision to Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields.