Tonight’s third UFC 167 pay-per-view fight would again venture to the welterweight division as top challengers Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler squared off in the Octagon. The bout would see Lawler the victor after a solid fight that hopefully impressed the UFC brass.
Lawler Upsets MacDonald
It is somewhat fitting on a night that the UFC recognized its 20th anniversary that a longtime MMA veteran kept his recent run going as Robbie Lawler upset Rory MacDonald. Lawler pressed forward the majority of the fight with hard power shots that seemed to keep MacDonald from ever getting very comfortable. MacDonald seemed to lack a sense of urgency for the majority of the fight until Lawler put him on his heels with a vicious third round assault.
MacDonald would end up back on top at the end of the third and while he landed a nasty barrage of strikes to close out the fight. It was too little too late however, as Lawler would get the split decision win. Lawler is now 3-0 in his UFC return and has looked remarkably improved with each fight. The loss for MacDonald is particuarly harsh setback as it not only snaps a five-fight win streak but disrupts any thoughts of a title run for the time being.
Rd. 1- Mario Yamasaki is tonight’s referee. No touch of gloves. Hard legkicks by Lawler earlier and he looks for a headkick. Rory is really trying to keep distance and play it smart so far. Teep to the body by Rory. Legkicks by Lawler. Both men kick each other at the same time. Lawler checks a MacDonald headkick and lands another big legkick. Rory is trying to establish the jab and the body teep. Lead uppercut by Lawler but Rory just avoids the full brunt of it. Nice combo by Lawler and he starts backing up Rory. Rory rotates off the cage wisely and we’re centered. Headkick that lands on the ribs by Lawler is caught but he lands some punches and Rory lets go. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Lawler.
Rd. 2- Rory tries a single and gives it up but lands a nice kick on the exit. Teep to the body by Rory. Light legkicks by Lawler and Rory with a good body kick. Nice strikes by Rory as Lawler backs him up. Nice hook by Lawler. Lawer tries another hook but gets caught by a legkick. Legkick by Lawler and Rory just has no urgency. Finally Rory with some offense and he connects on some nice shots. Good driving double leg by Rory now and Robbie gets double butterflies. Rory finally postures up but doesn’t do much until Lawler forces a scramble. Rory is using a cradle to hold Lawler down. Rory is just controlling posture on top and Robbie lands some punches from the bottom. Rory finally starts throwing elbows from his back at the 0:15 mark. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 MacDonald (19-19)
Rd. 3- Body kick by Lawler and he connects with a solid punch and big uppercut that rocks Rory. Rory staggers around but catches Lawler coming in and lands a takedown. Again Rory does nothing and Yamasaki stands them up. Lawler tags him again and Rory shoots in and Lawler throws him over and takes top with some solid strikes. Rory lockshim down but Lawler backs out and stands him up. Rory is bloodied up and Lawler tags him again. Accidental eyepoke by Lawler and Rory is ready to go after a short break. Rory tries to tree top a takedown by Lawler fends it off in crazy fashion. Lawler drops Rory again and he is landing solid ground-and-poound from side control. Rory is clearly hurt and as he recovers guard he eats a big hook. Rory tries a sweep but Robbie recovers position with 0:40 left. Rory tries for an armbar but Lawler backs out and they are standing. Rory with a driving takedown and he is trying big elbows and ground-and-pound trying to win the fight. Too little, too late though. MMAFrenzy has the round 10-9 Lawler and the fight 29-28 Lawler.
Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald via split decision (29-28,28-29,29-28)