Lawler knocks off MacDonald

The buzz throughout the arena on Saturday night in Las Vegas was

that Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald was the next big thing,

cruising towards a title shot after a win at UFC 167.

Robbie Lawler had a different plan.

The 12-year veteran came into the bout on a two-fight win streak

since returning to the UFC as a welterweight and he wasn’t about to

let the odds keep him from picking up one of the biggest wins of

his career. Those odds, by the way, were all the up to four to one

by the time the fighters stepped into the cage.

MacDonald came out fighting a tactical and technical battle

early, looking to use his right kick to back Lawler off from using

his power punches. The Tristar product mixed up his attacks

throughout the fight, tossing out a straight jab and then throwing

his kick while also landing a few takedowns as well.

None of it rattled Lawler or deterred him from his ultimate plan

of throwing the head shot that would take MacDonald out once and

for all. After a hard fought, back and forth battle through a very

close first two rounds, Lawler came out as the aggressor in round

three absolutely looking to maul MacDonald and never giving him a

second to breathe.

Lawler attacked relentlessly as MacDonald’s face started to see

the effects of his opponent’s punches. The former Strikeforce

fighter tagged MacDonald with a huge right that staggered his

opponent, but it was one of his signature titanic left hands that

sent the 24-year old fighter to the mat. With a huge flurry of

punches, Lawler tried to put the fight away, but MacDonald was able

to survive. As the seconds wound down, MacDonald was able to grab

one last takedown and tried to land some elbows to even up the

score, but the damage was already done.

When the judges returned their tallies the scores read 29-28

Lawler, 29-28, MacDonald and 29-28 Lawler — the split

decision nod landing in the underdog’s corner.

Lawler is now a flawless 3-0 in the welterweight division while

arguably picking up the biggest win of his career by beating a top

three fighter in MacDonald. The long time UFC fighter can now start

looking at the upper echelon of the division with a title fight in

sight after a victory over MacDonald at UFC 167.

MacDonald (15-2) suffers only the second loss of his career and

at least for the time being no longer has to worry about possibly

being forced to face his friend and teammate Georges St-Pierre with

the welterweight title on the line.