I just got the opportunity the other day to watch this fight again, and as is usually the case with 2nd viewings, I was better able to watch technique and detail with a critical eye. The conclusion I came to was this one: I'd like to see the judging criteria changed. I'd like to the entire fight to be judged as a whole, rather than breaking it up in to rounds. Breaking the scoring in to blocks of time creates an artificial stop to the fight - it's as if the fighters are fighting 3 or 5 separate fights, and the overall winner bring the one who wins a majority of the mini-fights. This creates an incentive to push only hard enough to win 2 or 3 rounds, then coast. I feel this encourages a strategy of gamesmanship, or exploitation of the rules, rather than true combat. (disclaimer: I realize that subs and KO's make this an imperfect analogy, but the basic point stands. Also, if two fighters of very similar, and high, ability are facing off, the chances of a finish are (probably) diminished. This means title fights are more like to be affected by this). To get back to Hendricks vs Lawler: I feel confident in saying that if this fight was judged as a whole, Lawler won. He landed more head shots, more effective punching combinations, and most importantly, was a lot closer to finishing Hendricks than Hendricks ever got to finishing Lawler. But because Hendricks tactically stuck to a strategy where he had an "advantage" in 3 of 5 rounds, he gets the decision. He won using the rules, essentially, while I think it's pretty obvious that Lawler won the fight.