FAIRFAX, Va. -  The second televised bout of UFC Fight Night 20 pitted middleweight Aaron "A-Train" Simpson against "Filthy" Tom Lawlor in a matchup of 6-foot, six-win fighters.

Simpson entered the arena to the tune of "Running With The Devil" while Lawlor came out the Hulk Hogan anthem "I Am a Real American," replete with oversized American flag and Hulkster feather boa. While the recently resurfaced Hogan surely appreciated the tribute, I bet he secretly wishes he would have gotten love from a fighter a little bigger than 185 pounds!

After a fist bump in the center of the Octagon, it was game on with both fighters swinging fast and furious, and Lawlor getting the edge with a little 'filthy' boxing against the fence. Simpson recovered and worked back out to the center of the Octagon but Lawlor was on him again in moments, and he nearly finished the fight against the cage with punches. Simpson gamely survived the first round, but the damage was done.

The second round started with more of the same as Lawlor continued to do damage with his hands, while Simpson struggled to establish any consistent offense. Simpson eventually worked a takedown two minutes into the round but he couldn't keep Lawlor down. Lawlor returned the favor with his first takedown of the fight but this one also did not stick. Lawlor again pressed Simpson against the cage and worked some dirty boxing before the fighters switched positions a couple of times. Simpson started to come on a little toward the end of the round. While the second round was closer, I still had it a Filthy one.

The third round opened with a re-energized Lawlor looking to assert his striking dominance once again. A firm takedown by Simpson was wasted when Lawlor quickly worked to his feet once more. But from Simpson's perspective, at least he was starting to score some points. Lawlor attempted a ground submission which led to a scramble that went Simpson's way and the fight started to look a little more even.

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Simpson took Lawlor's back twice in the last two minutes but nothing came of the position and the end of the fight was punctuated by a Lawlor left hook. The third round went to Simpson, but even so, Fightin' Words had the bout 29-28 in favor of Lawlor.
 

The judges did not agree.Simpson a very controversial split decision. Joe Rogan almost could not conduct the post-fight interview in the ring over the chorus of boos from the crowd. I generally try not to second guess the judges as I know what a tough job they have and how subjective it can be, but sitting here ringside, the scoring and decision really did not sit well with me. It was, in a lower-case word, filthy.