In what started off with a rather uneventful first round, it was Robbie Lawler’s leg kicks that gave him the early advantage. MacDonald, while looking unfazed by them, did not check them so he took some damage. Those were the most significant strikes landed all round as MacDonald stayed just out of the distance of Lawler’s power punches. Lawler almost closed the round with a big head kick, but MacDonald just blocked it and it hit his armpit.
The second round opened up with much of the same action we saw in the first. Lawler’s ability to stuff a takedown right at the start of the round caused MacDonald to return to his cautious ways. It wasn’t until there were two minutes left in the round where we saw MacDonald attempt another takedown, this time successfully executing it. He did much of nothing while on top, though, until the last ten seconds of the round where he threw short elbows.
Round three is where business picked up. Lawler dropped MacDonald with a big left hook and tried to finish the fight by jumping on him, but MacDonald showed great resiliency and hung on. After landing a number of big left hands while on top, Lawler almost found himself locked up in an armbar attempt! MacDonald couldn’t keep grip and he slid right off.
With both men standing in the middle of the octagon, MacDonald secured one last takedown near the end of the round. It was too little, too late as two of the three judges awarded Lawler the decision victory.
This was Robbie Lawler’s third victory in a row inside the octagon.
Robbie Lawler defeated Rory MacDonald by way of Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)