Robbie Lawler used a memorable 5th round to edge challenger Carlos Condit and defend his welterweight belt with a split-decision win at UFC 195.
Condit piled up the points with numerous Muay Thai strikes and appeared to secure the first, third and fourth rounds. But Lawler used well-timed power shots during exchanges and walked Condit down in the final rounds in an instant classic to eke out the win.
The judges saw it 48-47, 47-48, 48-47.
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Lawler and Condit secured Fight-of-the-Night, while Stipe Miocic and Michael McDonald earned Performances-of-the-Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 bonus.
Condit intimated in the post-fight press conference that UFC 195 may be his last fight, despite feeling he emerged from the fight relatively healthy.
As usual, President Dana White was non-committal about a possible rematch.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman weighs in:
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
SHELDON WESTCOTT VS EDGAR GARCIA
WINNER: SHELDON WESTCOTT VIA TKO R1 3:12
WISEMAN PREDICTION: SHELDON WESTCOTT VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: These guys needed a win, so it was all about who got their game plan going and who had the drive to prove they deserved to be in the UFC. Tonight, that fighter was Westscott. He came out and performed the perfect plan. His ground-and-pound was intense, which left Garcia flattened on the mat for a TKO finish.
JOE SOTO VS MICHINORI TANAKA
WINNER: MICHINORI TANAKA VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 28-29,29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: MICHINORI TANAKA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: While I thought the ground game of Tanaka would be key, it was the striking, movement, that caused Soto to be reserved in the first two rounds that gave Tanaka the split-decision win. A tremendous fight, Soto showed a load of ground game moves, but Tanaka just did too much in the standing game.
WINNER: DUSTIN POIRIER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: JOE DUFFY VIA TKO
Wiseman: This was a bloody mess. These guys both came throwing all kinds of bad, dangerous shots. Duffy threw body shots, crisp sneaky jabs, but Poirier used takedowns to get things where he wanted them. On the mat it was all Poirier. His elbows and powerful strikes won him the fight. His cardio showed. Incredible performance over a very strong opponent in Duffy.
TSN 2 PRELIMS
WINNER: DREW DOBER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: SCOTT HOLTZMAN VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: The wrestling of Dober allowed him to take the fight where he needed. He needed for damage and he needed for control. Just an awesome match up as both gave it their all, but the desperate Dober found a way to finally get in the win column.
JUSTINE KISH VS NINA ANSAROFF
WINNER: JUSTINE KISH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: NINA ANSAROFF VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: These ladies didn’t represent themselves well. Kish was throwing herself at Ansaroff, connecting with strikes but looking like she didn’t know any kind of technique. Looked like a qualifying match, rather than a match in the UFC. Kish got the decision win, but both need work.
KYLE NOKE VS ALEX MORONO
WINNER: ALEX MORONO VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: KYLE NOKE VIA TKO
Wiseman: I’ll give it to Morono, he fought better than I thought. For 11 days notice and his UFC debut, I thought he was going to be thrown out of there. However, he messed up Noke, was threatening off his back, and squeezed out a split-decision win. What a debut for the kid. Great fight.
WINNER: MICHAEL MCDONALD VIA SUBMISSION R2 2:09
WISEMAN PREDICTION: MICHAEL MCDONALD VIA SUBMISSION
Wiseman: The experience of Kanehara made things very difficult for McDonald. From the striking to the submission game, but the unbelievable moment of the fight was how McDonald went from being choked to choking out his opponent. Incredible comeback.
WINNER: ABEL TRUJILLO VIA SUBMISSION R1 3:18
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ABEL TRUJILLO VIA TKO
Wiseman: We all know Trujillo for his power, but how he snuck in a choke was amazing. Before that Sims showed striking, but Trujillo mixed things up tonight by showing he has more than just power.
WISEMAN PREDICTION: DIEGO BRANDAO VIA SUBMISSION
Wiseman: This was going to be a submission game, or not since both are black belts. Well it’s turns out the Ortega plan was to gas out DB, then go for the win. You can’t get any closer to plan than what Ortega really did. His submission game in the final round was so smooth. From submission attempt, into another position, and another until he got it. So smooth. Great third round submission by Ortega.
LORENZ LARKIN VS ALBERT TUMENOV
WINNER: ALBERT TUMENOV VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ALBERT TUMENOV VIA TKO
Wiseman: The leg kicks of Larkin were so precise and completely destroyed Tumenov’s lead leg. Tumenov used his boxing to cut off the octagon, so I guess that’s how he got the split-decision win. In my opinion, Larkin was more technical and won the match.
#3 STIPE MIOCIC VS #2 ANDREI ARLOVSKI
WINNER: STIPE MIOCIC VIA TKO R1 0:54
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ANDREI ARLOVSKI VIA TKO
Wiseman: Stipe came in with his right hand ready and it only took a minute before it connected. A right directly to the temple, twice, and it was over. Miocic surprised everyone with that win, but also with his verbal push for a title shot towards Dana. Huge win for Stipe.
(C) ROBBIE LAWLER VS #4 CARLOS CONDIT
WINNER: CARLOS CONDIT VIA SPLIT-DECISION (48-47, 47-48, 48-47
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ROBBIE LAWLER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Condit set a pace at the start of the match and he kept that the entire five rounds. Lawler didn’t wake up until the final round when he knew he needed a finish. Who won this? Condit. However, the judges clearly were sleeping. There is no way that Lawler won that fight. A gross decision by the judges. Condit was robbed.