Fans, pundits, and fellow fighters expected some elite level violence from Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit at UFC 195, and they delivered with a fight that could gain consideration among the best in UFC history. Robbie Lawler retained the title in a contentious split decision, a somewhat shocking result given Condit’s overall output in the fight and what seemed to be three clear rounds for him heading into the fifth and final round.
Condit actually out-struck Lawler in every single round, and 176-92 overall for the fight. Despite those numbers, Lawler still took the second and fifth rounds on every scorecard, with the third round somehow being a swing round in his favor despite having just one clear flurry land. His power strikes did some damage that round, but he was out-worked and out-struck 22-11 in that frame.
There was tons of damage done by both fighters in the fight, with Condit scoring a knockdown with a slick uppercut in the first, Lawler returning the favor with a right hand in the second, and the two delivering an absolute beating on one another in an epic fifth round which may go down as the best fifth round in title fight history.
Condit’s fourth round output had Lawler damaged badly, as he out-struck him 48-6 with a flurry after flurry, pressuring the champion and making it seem fairly clear that Lawler needed a finish in the fifth to win. Lawler absolutely left everything in the cage in that round, but Condit did as well, taking inhuman levels of punishment and staying on his feet. Lawler beat up Condit badly after a hot start to the round from the challenger, landing viciously against the cage and yet somehow not putting Condit away. The challenger found it in himself to continue firing back even as he was badly hurt, bloodied up, and exhausted, and the two draped their arms over the cage at the end as they were absolutely drained.
The split going against Condit despite his ridiculous activity in the bout – he attempted five strikes fewer in that fifth round alone than Lawler attempted in the entire fight – seemed like the wrong result at the end, and there are already calls for an immediate rematch. Though that may not sit well with some other contenders in the field, it might be the only just move going forward.
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]
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