The long awaited Robbie Lawler vs. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fight was always guaranteed to generate fireworks, and it lived up to the hype when they finally faced off at UFC 214. After a back and forth rock-em sock-em battle that had the arena chanting for both fighters, Robbie Lawler took the judge’s decision by 29-28 on all three scorecards.
For a guy who literally yawned his way through the weigh-ins leading up to this fight, Lawler certainly managed to wake up as soon as the opening bell sounded, crossing the cage quickly and taking the fight to Cerrone, hurting him early and nearly finishing him. It was like he wanted to prove that the two weren’t on the same level, but Cowboy survived the onslaught and after a brief exchange on the ground actually turned the round around and wobbled Robbie.
Round 2 saw Cerrone pushing the pace on a more tentative Lawler, staying on the outside and jumping in with combinations that found their mark. A noticeable speed advantage developed about halfway through the round as Cowboy was able to fire off his kicks and land without getting countered while Lawler’s attacks found air more often than not. But in the third it was Robbie’s turn to start piling on the damage, as if he was taking round 2 off to have a boost through the end of the fight.
That’s a dangerous strategy in a three round fight but it paid off for the former welterweight champ. After the decision was read, Robbie Lawler dedicated the fight to his good friend Matt Hughes, who has been recovering from a terrible accident where his car was hit by a train. It was another blood and guts performance from Lawler, and we can only hope he returns soon (even though I know he should probably take another long break after that slobberknocker).