LAS VEGAS - Jon Fitch played it smart for years and it paid off with a sterling 12-1-1 career mark in the UFC. But when you fight to decision that often, you're eventually going to get nailed.
The veteran welterweight got drilled by the first punch Johny Hendricks winged his way and the lights went out. Hendricks scored a big upset in just 12 seconds at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Outside of a title tilt against Georges St-Pierre, Fitch rarely gets hit in his fights. He's a tall 170-pounder at 6-foot-1, who uses his length well and usually takes the fight to the ground.
In Hendricks, he was facing a fellow former NCAA wrestler, so he didn't charge across the Octagon looking for the takedown.
[ Related: Kevin Iole's complete UFC 141 recap ]
Fitch (23-4-1, 12-2-1 UFC) missed early with a pair of punches. The fighters circled for a few more seconds and Hendricks surprised Fitch by jumping into a perfectly placed left hook. Fitch fell backwards, his head slammed off the canvas and referee Steve Mazzagatti jumped on top to save him.
Fitch was so out of it that he quickly sat up and pushed forward to grab and control Mazzagatti. The fighter thought the referee was his opponent.
[ Related: Brock Lesnar announces retirement after UFC 141 loss ]
The loss snaps a six-fight unbeaten streak for Fitch. Hendricks is now 12-1 and 6-1 in the UFC. The win over Fitch, ranked by most No. 2 in the world at welterweight, puts him right in the middle of the title chase at 170 pounds.
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