Johny Hendricks thought he was the UFC welterweight champion last year after going the distance with Georges St-Pierre.
Saturday night, when the scorecards were announced, Hendricks was on top of the division, earning a decision over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171.
“Gosh dang it,” said an exuberant Hendricks. “This means everything to me. Thank you to you guys. Thank you (to the UFC). Thank you to my wife.”
Hendricks broke down after receiving the title from UFC president Dana White. Last year, “Bigg Rigg” dropped a split decision to GSP.
After taking the first two rounds with his effective striking, Hendricks was nearly finished by Lawler in the third and fourths.
Hendricks scored a late takedown in the final round, securing himself the win and the title.
“In the fifth round, I knew I had to win it,” he said, “and I did.
“Robbie is a tough dude, a stud. I promise I will be facing him again.”