5 of the best welterweight fights in MMA history
By Samuel Nemec
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit – UFC 195
One could only anticipate that when you throw “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit in the octagon for a scrap that it’d be absolutely bananas – and it sure was.
Like a lot of title fights, round one started out the opening 90 seconds with a feeling out process but that would all end when a shovel hook from Condit splits the guard of Lawler to drop the champion. Lawler would bounce right back up – letting out a smirk as the two worked from the clinch. The two separate and Condit ups the pressure, most often with a mix of blitz attacks. The blitzes to close the distance from Condit seem to give Lawler difficulty in mounting any real offense of his own.
Round two starts with Lawler remaining patient while waiting to land a big one. He finally does two minutes into the round when he sticks Condit with a short right hand as the challenger blitzed in. Some serious striking exchanges would ensue that result in Lawler landing a left hook followed by a big right hand that dumps Condit to the canvas. Condit would recover and resume putting up a high volume of strikes, but Lawler would successfully check two leg kicks in a row then land a clean left-hand counter.
A back and forth third round starts with Condit going back to throwing leg kicks and mixing them up nicely. Lawler takes notice and times a counter that gets Condit’s acknowledgment as he backs up. Lawler moves forward and the two trade nothing but strikes with bad intentions. Condit lands a jumping knee that doesn’t faze Lawler. Shortly after, Lawler lands a stiff elbow as Condit again thrusts in. Condit sneaks a nice land from the clinch in the final minute.
About a minute into the fourth round the broadcast shows a stat for total strikes attempted reading 247-69 in heavy favor of Condit, but the fight is much closer than the numbers indicate. Regardless, Condit would add to that stat with a strong showing in the fourth-round by throwing often and throwing in bunches with a variety of creative strikes. An inside leg kick drops Lawler momentarily half-way into the round. Lawler responds with a big flurry of his own up against the cage but isn’t able to land anything cleanly. Condit tags Lawler with a right hand following with a flurry of strikes that compels Lawler to smile and motion for Condit to continue you bringing it. Condit obliges aggressively but is unable to put the mad man away.
The fifth round starts and “Fifth Round Robbie” enters. The sense of urgency from Lawler is apparent and now he’s the one pressing forward throwing bombs. Condit retaliates with a burst of his own. Lawler walks Condit back to the cage and tees off again, connecting with a piercing right hand. Condit returns fire with a ridiculous nine-punch combination while coming forward and ends it with a kick to the body. The absurd combinations and missile arms come and go. Condit in volume, Lawler in power. They’re connecting, but the will of both men doesn’t budge at all.
With just under two minutes left, Condit strings together a combination that Lawler welcomes and returns with a monster right hand. Condit is now creeping backward which leads Lawler to march forward with some forceful left hooks that land clean and put Condit into some serious trouble. Lawler proceeds to go berserk and Condit just stumbles around trying to make it to the final bell. He does, in fact, he throws a combination that halts the champion briefly. Lawler looks for the clock to see that there are 30 seconds left then the two decide to leave it all out there by brawling, with Lawler nearly getting the finish as the final horn sounds. Immediately, the two warriors lean on the fence to catch their breath.
After arguably the greatest round in welterweight history, they would go to the judge’s scorecards. An incredibly difficult fight to score would see the judges score it 47-48, 48-47, and 48-47 in favor of Lawler. Controversy would arise with the decision, but as Lawler told commentator Joe Rogan after, “there were two winners tonight.”