‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone didn’t disappoint fans at UFC 214 on Saturday night, as they traded heavy leather, took turns rocking each other and delivered the war that almost everyone predicted.
Cerrone said during the week that he felt he was the technically superior striker and the Colorado native may have proven himself correct inside the octagon. Lawler, however, won the fight by scores of 29-28 on all three judges scorecards, his aggression, intensity and indomitable will overcoming any technical disadvantage he may have had.
Lawler came out like a man possessed in the first round, blitzing Cerrone with punches and brutal knees in the clinch. Cerrone gained some respite with a takedown and he was able to close the round strong after Lawler scrambled to his feet. Still, it was a Lawler round.
Cerrone took the second, however, with a beautiful display of striking. The 34-year-old veteran landed with a stunning variety of shots, having particular success with his kicks and some vicious standing elbows.
In the third, Lawler came forward with a renewed intensity. The former UFC welterweight champion pounded Cerrone with body kicks and landing the heavier shots in a number of savage exchanges. Lawler finished the round with an intense onslaught as Cerrone tried to fend him off with punches and a couple of head kicks.
“Let’s just have two more rounds real quick,” said former bantamweight champion and colour commentator Dominick Cruz immediately after the buzzer sounded.
He was speaking for just about everyone.
I wish this was a 5 rounder! That was freaking awesome! #UFC214
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 30, 2017
All I know is I wish we were getting 2 more rounds of Lawler-Cerrone.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 30, 2017
— Nick Peet (@Peety_Editor) July 30, 2017
In a post-fight interview, Lawler dedicated his showing to friend and fellow former welterweight champion Matt Hughes, who recently awoke from the coma he slipped into after his car was hit by a train back in June.
Nice dedication from one legend to another. #UFC214
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) July 30, 2017
Lawler was fighting for the first time in almost exactly a year. The last time he was in the octagon, Robbie was coming to terms with the loss of his welterweight crown after being drilled by Tyron Woodley in just over two minutes. What a way this was to rebound from that setback.
Cerrone fell to his second straight defeat but few will focus on that fact after the fireworks and heroics that these men produced in Anaheim, California.
Huge smile on Cowboy's face as he walked by. Looked at me, shrugged, said, "That was fun."
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 30, 2017
This fight was everything I thought it would b #ufc214
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 30, 2017
— Brandon Girtz (@brandongirtzmma) July 30, 2017
It was a pleasure watching that violence 👏🏻
— Erik Jon Koch (@NEWBREED04) July 30, 2017
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) July 30, 2017
Cerrone vs. Lawler best of 7 series, please.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) July 30, 2017