The UFC 195 headliner will go down as an all-time classic as Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit open up 2016 with a superb five round Welterweight clash.
Lawler successfully defended his 170lb title for the second time, earning a split decision win over ‘The Natural Born Killer’ at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was a very close fight, highlighted by both men’s ability to absorb as many strikes as they threw.
It was Condit who scored the first knockdown of the fight, with Lawler returning the favour in the second round. As the bout progressed, Lawler seemingly tired, as Condit continued to use his dynamic range to land buckling leg kicks to the defending champion.
Going into the fifth round, it seemed as if ‘Ruthless’ Robbie needed a finish to retain his championship, with Condit dominating the strikes tally by a significant amount – 117 total strikes to Lawler’s 35 at the end of round four.
The final round was exhilarated by last-ditch Lawler who looked to keep his grasp on the championship he had poured so much blood and sweat for. The 33-year-old used his aggression to force Condit onto the back foot and started to land the superior amount of punishing blows.
Strike after strike, hooks, leg kicks and forearms, Condit’s iron chin and warrior heart weathered Lawler’s ferocious punishment, before both collapsed in unison at the final bell. A sight definitive of the narrative both men had just written into the history books.
A superlative fight, which Lawler likely stole with his fifth round display, being awarded the split decision. However, the betting man would surely chance these two crossing paths again in the future.
In the co-main event, Stipe Miocic furthered his claim as an elite Heavyweight, finishing legendary Andrei Arlovski inside a minute before screaming at Dana White for his championship opportunity.
On the UFC Fight Pass prelims, Dustin Poirier took a unanimous decision over the rising Irishman Joe Duffy.
Both men were scheduled to face at UFC Dublin in October 24, but a concussion to Duffy saw the fight postponed.
It was a three round war in Las Vegas, the first real test of Duffy’s UFC career, however the better wrestler in Poirier used his smothering control to score the victory.
UFC 195 Main Card
Welterweight Championship: Robbie Lawler (c) def. Carlos Condit Decision (split) (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic def. Andrei Arlovski TKO (punches) (Round 1 – 0:54)
Welterweight: Albert Tumenov def. Lorenz Larkin Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Featherweight: Brian Ortega def. Diego Brandão Submission (triangle choke) (Round 3 – 1:37)
Lightweight: Abel Trujillo def. Tony Sims Submission (guillotine choke) (Round 1 – 3:18)
UFC 195 Preliminary Card
Bantamweight: Michael McDonald def. Masanori Kanehara Submission (rear naked choke) (Round 2 – 2:09)
Welterweight: Alex Morono def. Kyle Noke Decision (split) (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Women’s Strawweight: Justine Kish def. Nina Ansaroff Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: Drew Dober def. Scott Holtzman Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC 195 Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier def. Joseph Duffy Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Michinori Tanaka def. Joe Soto Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Welterweight: Sheldon Westcott def. Edgar García TKO (punches) (Round 1 – 3:12)