When Robbie Lawler (26-10, 1 NC) first met Rory MacDonald (18-3) back at UFC 167, Lawler earned a split decision victory. This time, “Ruthless” put his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title on the line against “Red King” in a bout scheduled for five rounds.
The rematch reached the final round, but the judges weren’t needed.
MacDonald threw some kicks in the early going. Lawler connected with a left hand to the chin. A jab from MacDonald was countered by a leg kick from the defending champion. “Red King” landed a kick below the belt, but “Ruthless” didn’t need time to recover.
MacDonald landed a straight right. Both fighters were pacing themselves in the first round. MacDonald attempted a takedown, but was kneed for his efforts. An uppercut to the body landed for Lawler. “Ruthless” connected with a right hand. “Red King” kept throwing upkicks to the body.
Lawler popped the challenger with a few jabs to start the second round. MacDonald got in some jabs of his own. Lawler checked a leg kick. MacDonald hit Lawler with a short combination to the face. “Red King” popped “Ruthless” with some jabs and a straight right to the body. Lawler blocked a head kick. MacDonald began opening up more than the opening frame.
Lawler blasted MacDonald with a one-two combination. Lawler began pushing forward and MacDonald countered the challenger with his own one-two combination. MacDonald began bleeding from his nose and Lawler started blocking most of his shots. The champion got a surge of energy, but MacDonald landed a left hand.
Round three started off with both men not committing too much. Lawler then nailed MacDonald with a right hand. A straight jab snapped MacDonald’s head back. “Red King” went for a takedown, but the champion stuffed him and landed a punch on his way back up. MacDonald’s face was covered in blood. A high kick from MacDonald was blocked. MacDonald wobbled Lawler with a head kick. “Red King” threw a flying knee and some vicious elbows with Lawler staggered against the fence. The horn sounded as MacDonald landed some punches.
MacDonald again threw the head kick and had Lawler stunned in the fourth round. “Red King” landed a series of elbows to the head of “Ruthless.” He threw a head kick again that was partially blocked. A superman punch connected for MacDonald. Lawler countered an elbow with a combination. MacDonald kept fishing for a standing elbow, but Lawler began getting back to his senses. “Ruthless” stuffed a takedown from “Red King.” Lawler blocked another elbow attempt. They engaged in a staredown at the end of the fourth round.
The final round was underway and MacDonald landed a superman punch. Lawler connected with a jab. They traded wild punches and kicks with Lawler getting the better of it. Lawler dropped MacDonald with a straight hand to the nose and the title fight came to an end.
Final Result: Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald via TKO (Punches) – Round 5, 1:00