LAS VEGAS (AP) — Robbie Lawler defended his UFC welterweight belt with a bruising split-decision victory over Carlos Condit at UFC 195 on Saturday night.
Lawler (27-10) was awarded the narrow decision after an outstanding five-round brawl. Condit (30-9) landed 120 more strikes and wobbled the champion multiple times, but Lawler’s power did enough damage to win three rounds on two judges’ scorecards.
Stipe Miocic also stopped Andrei Arlovski with punches 54 seconds into the first round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, likely earning a heavyweight title shot in the UFC’s traditional New Year’s week show in its hometown.
Lawler and Condit established a lofty benchmark for the best fight of 2016 with their thrilling, draining slugfest. Both fighters landed huge strikes and big knockdowns, yet both bounced up and kept fighting into a brutal fifth round.