Robbie Lawler wins a split decision over Carlos Condit

Robbie Lawler came out on the right end of UFC 195’s highly anticipated welterweight championship fight when he edged out Carlos Condit to defend his title by split decision. Lawler (27-10 MMA, 12-4 UFC) and Condit (30-9 MMA, 7-5 UFC) lived up to expectations when they stood and traded blows at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. “Ruthless” did what he does best and thrived under those circumstances and convinced the judged to give him the victory despite Condit landing more blows. Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable 170-pound title battle that will hold up in “Fight of the Year” discussion through the end of 2016.

Round 1: Lawler walks Condit into a corner with his hands pumping. Condit has a high kick blocked but it backs Lawler off temporarily. Now a glancing front kick to the body from Condit. Lawler still commanding the center of the cage but he's yet to unload. Lawler goes on the hunt with a right hook and uppercut. Condit defends and circles out, then drills the still-pressing Lawler with a left shovel punch to the jaw. Lawler, possibly stunned, covers up as Condit pounces and lends a smile on the reset. Now it's Condit who starts stalking Lawler, pestering with rangy kicks from distance and tight one-twos in the pocket. Condit glances with a left over the top as Lawler's circling out. Inside low kick lands for Condit, who switches to southpaw. Condit lands a body kick and left hook but Lawler counters with a right. Lawler doing a lot of backpedaling and dodging to close the round. 10-9 Condit.

Round 2: Lawler opens up with a lead left kick to the midsection. Condit glances with a left hook, then lands an inside low kick. Lawler kind of hops and checks the next outside low kick. Condit stays busy with low and front kicks from range but Lawler is dodging or deflecting most of them. Lawler catches Condit clean with a right hook upstairs after a defensive pivot. Condit, still pressuring forward aggressively, walks into a beefy right hand from Lawler, and it drops him onto his back. Condit stabilizes in full guard and ends up ejecting unscathed and apparently recovered. Lawler now checking Condit's low kicks regularly. Lawler finds his timing on a counter right, then follows with a massive left that glances. Condit still kicking from distance and wading into range to initiate with punches but Lawler's counter-striking is dictating the tempo. 10-9 Lawler

Round 3: A steady flow of front and roundhouse kicks from Condit but they're of more of a prodding nature. Lawler steps in and throws heat with both hands and Condit counters with an up-knee to the body. Lawler pounces with a set of wild rights and lefts, then lands a clean step-in elbow to the face on the reset. Condit answers with a low kick. Condit with a one-two and a front kick as Lawler continues to evade or block the range attacks. Lawler glances with a clubbing left hand. Condit darts into range and lands a knee downstairs, then glances with another. They clinch and Lawler briefly changes levels for a takedown but bails on it. Condit lands a left roundhouse kick to the body. Lawler answers with a low kick. No dice on Condit's spinning kick. 10-10.

Round 4: A tentative start to the first championship round with both fighters forming judicious combos. Condit lands a right body kick. Condit counters a Lawler left with a chopping inside low kick, and it knocks Lawler off-balance. They both glance with punches during an exchange. Condit half-catches a Lawler kick and Lawler slips to the canvas momentarily. More high output from Condit: he has a one-two and high kick blocked but lands a body kick in the next exchange. Condit's not landing everything he throws but he's forcing Lawler to defend constantly, reducing the champ's offensive opportunities. Body kick for Condit. And another. Now a clubbing right to the ear lands for Condit. Lawler smiles and waves him on, and Condit obliges with a knee to the body and more relentless kickboxing combos. 10-9 Condit.

Round 5: Two quick, rear-leg front kicks to the body for Condit. Lawler turns up the heat with a low kick and a heat-seeking left hand over the top. Lawler steps in with a short, chopping right hand and it lands clean to the face. Condit responds with a stellar combo that starts with a step-in back elbow and flows into right/left hooks. Condit now holding his ground and bobbing in the pocket with sharp boxing combos. Lawler lands a kick and flurries, driving Condit to the fence. Condit shells up, circles off the cage and dings Lawler with a two-piece combo. Condit continues to string together aggressive and fluid boxing combinations until Lawler digs his heels in and unloads a scorching right/left medley that staggers Condit. Lawler stays on the trigger and hurls heater after heater at Condit, who's somehow staying on his feet despite being bludgeoned with massive punches. Condit, bloodied and reeling, stings Lawler back with a one-two. Incredible round. 10-9 Lawler. I have it a 48-48 draw. Robbie Lawler defeats Carlos Condit by split decision (47-48, 48-47 x2)
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