Robbie Lawler looked in top form tonight at UFC 173 as he consistently got the better of Jake Ellenberger on the feet and managed to foil his attempts to keep him down on the mat, before finally finding a TKO finish mid-way through the final round.
They circle around each other in the opening minute, both respectful of the others power. Lawler with a high kick, then another that pushes Ellenberger back.
Another hard kick goes to the body this time and lands with a crack. Ellenberger rushes forward and Lawler lands a left hand counter.
Ellenberger a little gun-shy so far with two minutes gone. Lawler tries to go up high with a kick again, but it’s blocked.
Ellenberger lands a punch. Lawler lands as Ellenberger tries to find the mark again, and Lawler follows up with another head kick attempt.
Ellenberger missing with a few punches – he’s not quite got his range yet. Lawler’s head movement gets him out of danger again as Ellenberger let’s fly.
Lawler connects as Ellenberger goes to the body. Ellenberger hits the mark with a right hand and lands a nice body shot.
Lawler looking to engage and tries one final head kick as the round ends.
Ellenberger with a right hand to start off the round. Lawler pushing forward now though and unleashes a flurry of punches.
Ellenberger tries to clinch up and gets met with a knee to the body. Lawler with a jab as they break apart and starts hunting down his opponent.
Now Ellenberger moves in quick and spins around to Lawler’s back with a body lock hoping for a takedown, but Lawler defends and gets away.
Ellenberger misses and Lawler lands with a left. He moves forward and a straight left scores too. Lawler really taking the fight to his opponent now and he’s abandoned the kicks in favor of punches this round.
He drills him with more punches and Ellenberger opts to charge forward and go for a takedown. He gets it, but Lawler laughs and manages to spin around and get out. As Ellenberger tries to stand Lawler lands a knee to the body and that keeps him down for now.
A few punches to Lawler and eventually Ellenberger gets up. Ellenberger gets another takedown. He keeps Lawler down longer this time, but stil Lawler manages to find a way out and get to his feet again.
Lawler not successful with a takedown of his own, but still looks the more dangerous opponent in the striking department as the round comes to a close.
Ellenberger pawing the air with his lead hand. He tries a hook and Lawler counters with a big knee to the body.
Suddenly Ellenberger is going all out, swinging huge shots and Lawler eats a couple and looks in a little bit of trouble on the feet for the first time in this fight.
Lawler back to landing himself though and that brief burst of energy and offense from Ellenberger fades away.
Nice body kick for Ellenberger. Big left hand from Lawler sends Ellenberger on his heels and follows up with another one.
Another punch lands and Ellenberger winces almost as if it’s an eye poke, but it was definitely a punch. Ellenberger backing up and Lawler launches a big knee that connects followed by a left hand.
Ellenberger wilts and goes down to the mat and this fight is finished with 3.06mins of the third round gone.
Big win for Lawler who’s really showing the best form of his career in his second spell in the UFC, while Ellenberger will need to do some soul searching after this loss as he looks a shadow of his former self in his last couple of fights.