Robbie Lawler managed to edge out Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision tonight at UFC 214 after three highly competitive rounds of back and forth striking action.
Lawler comes out swinging aggressively with big punches and even knees in there too. He’s swarming on ‘Cowboy’ and has him in real trouble.
That being said, Cerrone is staying on his feet, but after having ate a whole bunch of punches his face is already showing signs of damage.
Cerrone lands a knee to the body and then a side kick as well to try to get Lawler’s respect. Nevertheless, ‘Ruthless’ gets back to close range in the clinch and lands more offense. Not quite at the same clip as before, but still applying a huge amount of pressure.
They separate momentarily and then come back in with both landing big knees. Suddenly Cerrone changes things up by landing a takedown in the center of the cage.
This is a much better spot for Cerrone as he’s very dangerous with submissions. For now he’s working some ground and pound and then starts to pass, getting from half guard to side control, then north south.
Back to side control he lands a knee to the body. Nice get-up from Lawler though. In the clinch Cerrone lands a good elbow. Head kick attempt from Cerrone, but Lawler blocks it.
Push kick to the body for Cerrone as he starts to work his way in the stand-up battle after surviving that early onslaught, just as the round comes to a close.
Lawler less aggressive to start the second round. He lands a low leg kick. High body kick from Cerrone. He misses with a side kick.
Leg kick lands for ‘Cowboy’. Lawler comes up short with a punch and Cerrone comes back with a nice combination of punches.
Lawler with a head kick attempt that’s blocked. Another kick upstairs for Lawler. Solid elbow strike from Cerrone.
Cerrone goes low and then lands a head kick upstairs, but Lawler takes it. Missed knee, but then punches behind it from Cerrone.
Lawler isn’t going back to that close-range warfare from the first round at the moment, and Cerrone looks happier at this range and is landing the better shots.
Nice knee in close from Cerrone. Punch to the body from Lawler. Cerrone backs his opponent up with a flurry. Solid kick for Cerrone.
Knee from Cerrone and then a head kick upstairs that does land. Leg kick for ‘Cowboy’. Head kick is blocked. Side kick comes up short.
Cerrone walking down Lawler at the moment. Cerrone firing off left and right punches and elbows, forcing Lawler to cover up. Final right hand for Cerrone as a strong round for him comes to an end. Lawler seemed to lose his way in that round as ‘Cowboy’ got creative with his offensive combinations.
Nice punch to the body and then one upstairs from Cerrone. Good head kick out of nowhere from Lawler, but Cerrone takes it. In close Cerrone lands a knee.
Another head kick from Lawler. Jab for Cerrone. Body kick for Lawler and a counter punch lands for Cerrone. Push kick from Cerrone.
Lawler going to the body again. Left hand lands for Lawler. Now a left hook lands. Lawler swinging for the fences and Cerrone just getting out of range of a few of those.
Nice upwards elbow from Cerrone. He comes in on a takedown attempt, but it’s stuffed. Body kick from Lawler. Short hook inside from the former champ.
Much better pressure from Lawler in this round. Hard punches from Lawler and Cerrone lands on the counter too. Big punch to the body from Lawler and Cerrone didn’t seem to like that.
Left hand from Cerrone. Body kick from Cowboy. Punch lands for Cerrone. Now a knee. Fails on a knee tap. Two-punch combo lands for Lawler and more behind it.
Lawler continuing to march forward. Body kick lands. 30 seconds to go and another body kick from Lawler. Big punch hurts Cerrone, but he’s indicating it might have been an eye poke. He wants to keep fighting and Lawler is happy to oblige, continuing to push forward throwing punches in the final seconds of the round.
Great fight then – as well matched in reality as it looked on paper. The only disappointment was that this was a main event worthy match-up and should have gone 25 minutes instead of just 15. Perhaps a rematch will happen at some stage in the future?
Nonetheless, the verdict is in and it’s Lawler who emerges with a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3), having clearly won the first round, lost the second to a resurgent Cerrone, and then managed to turn up the heat enough to edge out the third.