Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit gave until they could give no more.
Lawler (27-10, 12-4 UFC) retained the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title with a split decision over Condit in the UFC 195 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In a bout sure to show up on year-end awards lists in December, scores were 48-47 for Condit, 48-47 and 48-47 for Lawler.
Condit (30-9, 7-5 UFC) utilized output and diversity to keep the champion at bay for extended chunks of time. According to preliminary FightMetric figures, the “Natural Born Killer” outdistanced Lawler in total strikes, 198-78, and significant strikes, 196-78. Condit was the far busier fighter, throwing 327 more strikes than the American Top Team veteran. Yet it was not enough to sway the judges completely.
Lawler knocked down the challenger with a stiff right hand in the second round, smashed him with a forearm shiver in the third and made his final pitch for a decision in the fifth, where he unleashed a violent burst of elbows, punches, knees and kicks. Condit stayed upright, withstood the onslaught and reached the final bell. Near exhaustion by the time they were done, the two welterweights propped themselves up against the cage, side by side, when the horn sounded.
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Miocic Blasts Arlovski in 54 Seconds
In the heavyweight co-main event, Strong Style Fight Team cornerstone Stipe Miocic bolstered his resume by disposing of former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski with punches in less than a minute. Arlovski (25-11, 14-5 UFC) wilted 54 seconds into round one, his six-fight winning streak at an end.
Miocic (14-2, 8-2 UFC) buckled “The Pit Bull” with a clubbing right hand on the ear, pushed him to the fence and drove him to all fours with a left and another right upstairs. The dazed Arlovski was defenseless. Miocic swarmed with a burst of unanswered lefts on the downed Belarusian, prompting referee Herb Dean to act.
The 33-year-old Miocic has won five of his past six bouts.
Tumenov Weathers Larkin for Split Decision
Albert Tumenov rode clean, technical boxing to a hard-earned split decision over Millennia MMA’s Lorenz Larkin in a featured three-round encounter at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Tumenov (17-2, 5-1 UFC).
While he emerged victorious, Tumenov did not leave the cage unscathed. Larkin (16-5, 3-5 UFC) chewed up his lead leg with repeated kicks. Over and over again, shin and heel met thigh with a sickening thud. Tumenov walked through them for the better part of two rounds, pounding away at the Californian with punches to the head and midsection. His left hook to the body was particularly effective. By the time the third round arrived, Tumenov struggled to support himself, his left leg grotesquely discolored above the knee. Still, he never stopped throwing his hands and did just enough to walk away with the decision.
Tumenov, 24, has won five straight fights.
Ortega Triangle Submits Brandao
Former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Brian Ortega tapped “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner Diego Brandao with a third-round triangle choke in a featherweight showcase. Ortega (10-0, 2-0 UFC) drew the curtain 1:37 into round three.
The notoriously hot-and-cold Brandao (20-11, 6-4 UFC) controlled much of the first two rounds with heavy punching combinations, tactical takedowns and low kicks. Ortega bided his time, waited for an opening and found one. He turned around Brandao early in the third round, dragged him to the mat with an anaconda choke and transitioned to a guillotine. Ortega then lured the Brazilian into the triangle choke, locked it up and forced an immediate tap.
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Trujillo Guillotine Taps Sims
Blackzilians export Abel Trujillo submitted Tony Sims with a first-round guillotine choke in a featured clash at 155 pounds. Trujillo (13-7, 4-3 UFC) brought it to a close 3:18 into round one, as he threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak.
Sims (12-4, 1-2 UFC) tagged the incoming Trujillo with counter right hands, gave him pause on the feet and shrugged off an attempted takedown. However, the Elevation Fight Team rep ducked in for a takedown of his own and wandered into the guillotine. Sims tried to roll out of the choke, but he was hopelessly ensnared. Trujillo bit down with a crushing squeeze, eliciting the tapout.