UFC free fight: Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald compete in all-time classic title fight at UFC 189
At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at UFC 189, Lawler met MacDonald for the second time with his welterweight title on the line in the co-main event of the evening. While many thought the bout would be great, what unfolded inside the cage exceeded the loftiest of expectations.
The first round of the bout was extremely close, as both fighters landed strikes in what would be the frame with the least amount of action. From there, business would begin to pick up quickly.
Both fighters landed hard strikes throughout the second round as their faces began showing damage from strikes. Towards the end of the frame, Lawler busted open MacDonald with his right-hand jab. The champion had momentum going into the third round.
MacDonald’s face was a bloody mess as he continued to search for an opportunity to shift the momentum in his favor. Late in the third round, MacDonald wobbled Lawler from a series of strikes, hurting the champion as he looked for the finish.
MacDonald continued to pour on the pressure early in the fourth, prompting the champion to tell referee John McCarthy that he was fine as he stepped in closer. Lawler survived the onslaught and saw the end of the round.
At the conclusion of the fourth, both men stared each other down in an incredible moment of intensity before returning to their corners.
Both bloodied and battered, the fighters knew a statement was necessary for the final round. After a series of wild exchanges, Lawler would find the punch to shatter MacDonald’s nose, putting him down, and prompting a stoppage to retain his title via TKO.
You can watch this all-time classic battle above, via the UFC’s official Youtube channel.