Carlos Condit, seemingly undeserving of a title shot after dropping three of his last five and fighting just once in that last 21 months, made the most of a golden opportunity at UFC 195 for four rounds. But then the champ demonstrated why we call the final frame the championship round.
Carlos Condit used body kicks to slow Robbie Lawler and right hands to stun him in the first round of their welterweight championship bout in Las Vegas. The champion rebounded in the second by using his heavy hands to drop Condit. The challenger appeared as the more active of the two fighters in the third by using kicks to both score on his opponent and keep himself out of punching range. An action-packed fourth saw the champion cut and the challenger successfully engage in the champ’s type of slugfest. But then the fifth witnessed Lawler come alive and fight for his belt, hoping to finish Condit but content to see his hand raised in a razor-thin, split-decision victory on three scores of 48-47.
“I thought I had three rounds in the bag but that happens,” Condit commented after the tough loss. Lawler, conceding the closeness of the bout, explained: “Carlos is a hell of a fighter who comes from one of the best camps in the world. He came with a game plan and we battled it out. ‘And still’—but let’s do it again.”
In the co-main event, Stipe Miocic dropped former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski with a right to the side of the head in the first minute. A few demonstrative punches convince Herb Dean to call a halt to the action at just 54 seconds of the first round.
“I just really want to have my shot and I know I deserve it,” Miocic reflected after a histrionic postfight call for a title shot. “I think that win was impressive enough and I’m very emotional and jacked about the way it ended up. This is what I signed up for. He’s a former champ and a super tough guy, a really nice guy. He can always get stung and come back so I knew I had to put him away and put a stamp on my title shot.”
In other action, Dustin Poirier captured a unanimous decision victory over Conor McGregor-conqueror Joe Duffy, Michael McDonald dramatically came from behind to submit Masanori Kanehara, and Albert Tumenov captured a split-decision victory over Lorenz Larkin.