5 Takeaways from UFC 195: Robbie Lawler vs. Georges St-Pierre at UFC 200 Anyone?

January 4, 2016
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Georges St-Pierre, where are you?

Robbie Lawler needs a fight, against a guy who is going to, I don’t know, TAKE HIM DOWN AND EXPOSE HIS LACK OF GROUND GAME?

Lawler reminded us of three truths Saturday night at UFC 195. Lawler has a hard head. Lawler hits really heard. Close, controversial decisions usually fall Lawler’s way.

UFC 195 is in the books, but the band plays on. So what did we learn? Let’s take a look at some takeaways:

1. We need GSP vs. Lawler at UFC 200

I love Lawler as much as the next guy, but for all the talk about how MMA has evolved into a true sport of mixed martial arts, it feels somewhat odd to see Lawler as welterweight champion. We’ll talk about the judges’ decision later, but for now let’s talk Lawler. He hits really hard and is clearly a threat to knock anyone out. That’s why you can’t slug with him. You need to take him down and ground and pound him, wrestle him or Jiu-Jitsu him. Let’s think about something for a second: JAKE SHIELDS SUBMITTED LAWLER. While fantastic to watch, Lawler is not unbeatable. A guy like GSP could probably take him down and A) bore us with a 5-round unanimous decision victory or B) submit or TKO Lawler with a superior technique. It’s a fight we need to see happen.

MORE HOT SAUCE: Robbie Lawler Won a Split Decision, But Twitter Had its Own Scores

2. Las Vegas Loves Lawler

Yes, I know, never leave it in the judges’ hands. That being said, that’s why we have judges. When lame-brain newbs can watch a fight and know that Carlos Condit won, but two Las Vegas judges can’t there’s a problem. Sure, give Lawler the edge in close rounds because he’s the champion. Give Lawler the edge because of his aggressive hard-hitting style. Give Lawler the edge because he’s an extremely exciting fighter to watch. I get all that. But at the end of the day, titles must be able to change hands on decisions, particularly when the challenger obviously wins three out of five rounds. There will always be bad decisions in MMA. It’s just the nature of the sport. Last night’s decision was more than a bad decision because it may have sent Condit into retirement. When you take a beating like Condit did, feel that you’ve won the fight, then lose it on the judges’s scorecard, it takes a tremendous emotional toll. I expect Condit will be back, but today he should be wearing UFC gold.

3. Robbie the Role Model

I am not convinced that Lawler is anywhere near the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but what he is, is an amazing comeback story. Many observers wrote him off in Strikeforce. He seemed to write himself off. Here he is now, however, as one of the UFC’s biggest draws. Whatever changes he made in his life and training are proof that anything is possible in MMA, sports or life. The guy fights with heart and he’s also blessed with heavy hands — a dangerous combination. Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit were supposed to be the future of the welterweight division. Lawler saw it differently.

4. Stipe Miocic Did Us All a Favor

Give Andrei Arlovski credit for, like Lawler, relaunching his career. He’s not done yet, but unless Lawler is bottling and selling his magic potion, Arlovski doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near UFC heavyweight championship picture. But there’s hope in Stipe Miocic. The UFC heavyweight championship has been stuck in neutral ever since Cain Velasquez knocked out Brock Lesnar for the title way back at UFC 121. Velasquez was supposed to be the future of the MMA heavyweight division, but outside of nearly killing Junior dos Santos twice, Velasquez’s name seems to pop up most these days only as proof that Daniel Cormier can hang with Jon Jones because “I train with Cain every day.” Velasquez just doesn’t fight often enough to be dominate and UFC champion Fabricio Werdum feels like a transitional champion. The timing may be right for Miocic, who is hungry, angry and talented. He may be the future of the heavyweight division, at least until Jon Jones decides to move up in weight.

ROTH: UFC 195: Soooo … About Last Night

5. Carlos Condit is a ittle (c) champion

Condit should not retire. He’s the unofficial champion. This guy has lost to GSP, Hendricks and now Lawler, in a controversial decision. Condit fought a strategically smart fight Saturday night. He probably traded too many punches with Lawler in the final round, but it’s better to go out fighting, than coasting, just ask Oscar de la Hoya. Condit should be proud of what he did and use that fuel himself going forward. If he gets an immediate rematch, he should take the fight to the ground. He is a more well-rounded fighter than Lawler and MMA needs guys like him in the sport to show that it’s not just about who can hit the hardest. The wrong guy got the decision Saturday, but the right guy is the winner in the public’s eyes.

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  • TheWeasle17

    1. If GSP comes back, this fight should happen in the main event at UFC 200.
    2. Carlos did not clearly win 3 rounds, he clearly won 2 rounds. Robbie rightfully got the right decision, power and effective striking beats volume striking all day. The third round was Carlos landing many pestering and weaker shots which did almost no damage while Robbie landed a few shots that were all heavy and effective.
    3. Robbie is certainly one of the P4P best today. His devastating punching power, accurate timing, relentless pressure, unbreakable heart, unstoppable determination, and iron chin are second to none when combined together. He has beaten the best wrestler of the division, he has beaten the young prodigy, and the 2 most dangerous fighters in the division other than himself. He has essentially beaten the biggest threats to him back-to-back-to-back-to-back and now most likely Tyron Woodley awaits the title shot when Robbie returns, who is another dangerous power puncher with great wrestling. He is the role model of the men’s side of MMA, he is the embodiment of hard work paying off fueled with the determination to be something great.
    4. Stipe Miocic is impressive. He finished the rising former champion in less than a minute. I disagree that Arlovski shouldn’t be near the title picture. Arlovski has won 6 fights in a row against dangerous MMA legends and dangerous fighters. One loss should not set him back much.
    5. Carlos Condit is essentially the Alexander Gustafsson of the Welterweight division. He is the next best fighter after the champions and is almost equal to them making him a champion without a belt. If he, hopefully, doesn’t retire and gets a rematch, takedowns are not the answer to Lawler unless he has GSP or Hendricks-level takedowns. Robbie was rightfully the winner and got the right decision.

    • TRT-rex

      You are right. The only thing I disagree with is Gsp fighting at 200. Other than that you are spot on. There was no possible way condit won, although he fought very impressive.

      • TheWeasle17

        People only look at the numbers he landed. Condit landed a lot but how many really effected Robbie. Most of Robbie’s shots effected Carlos and were powerful.

        • TheCerealKiller

          Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.
          Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear in (c) above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.
          Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal strikes landed by a contestant

          This is taken directly from the “UNIFIED RULES AND OTHERMMA REGULATIONS”.
          You are completely wrong with your opinion. The number of strikes is all that matters.

          • TRT-rex

            So why didn’t Condit win then? Because judges judge what they see, and that was more effective striking from Lawler! Significant strikes get more points than jabs. Obviously your wrong! Lol your so ignorant. The judges don’t look at stats during fight, that would sway judgment and deem them useless. If that was case the winner would be determined by stats not judgment! Clown

          • TheCerealKiller

            “Significant strikes get more points than jabs” – that statement doesn’t exist anywhere in the rule book. Nice making up your own reality.

            The sad reality is that the judges are human and they don’t keep score of points anywhere during the round. The judging is still very bad and they don’t seem to follow the written rules.

          • TRT-rex

            What makes you think the judges read the rule book?? When a fight is in real time, and you got like 30 seconds to right down a score you can’t go check the rule book! They don’t keep score during round because they have to watch the fight! They score it as a whole round, if they were jotting down scores they wouldn’t be watching! The sad thing is your human, and you don’t understand the reality of judgement!

          • TheCerealKiller

            So you agree that the judges are not doing their jobs properly and following the rules. Have a nice day, douche!

          • TRT-rex

            No I don’t agree. They are doing their jobs properly! They watch the fight, judge the rounds, and give a score! Just because you or I, agree or disagree with their judgment doesn’t mean thier not doing their jobs.

          • Emmanuel Abreu

            I like you as a poster, but you’re wrong here. The complete sentence in the actual Committee Report on Unified Rules for MMA as put forth by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) – not to be confused with the page on the UFC site that you are quoting – is “Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal strikes landed by a contestant AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUCH LEGAL STRIKES.”

            Source – /committee-report-on-unified-rules-for-mma/
            – disqus isn’t letting me post the full link, but it starts with abcboxingdotcom, where “dot” is a period. Suck it Disqus!

            Further, under the Definitions section of the Unified Rules of MMA Juding Criteria, it states: “Effective Striking” is judged by determining the impact of legal strikes landed by a contestant and the number of such legal strikes. Heavier strikes that have a visible impact on the opponent will be given more weight than the number of strikes landed. These assessments include causing an opponent to appear stunned from a legal blow, causing the opponent to stagger, appearance of a cut or bruise from a legal strike and causing the opponent to show pain. Cumulative impact on a fighter will also be weighed. If neither fighter shows an advantage in impact of strikes, the number of strikes will determine the most effective striker.

            Source – /Unified_Rules_of_MMA_Judging_Criteria.pdf

            -again, Disqus isn’t letting me post the link. This one also starts with abcboxingdotcom, where “dot” is a period.

            Bottom line – you couldn’t be more wrong here.

            I still had it 3-2 Condit, but there’s no question that Robbie won the 2nd and 5th and that the 3rd was close. Cheers.

        • MaritalArtist

          Nobody is disagreeing on any round but round 3. Carlos clearly won rounds 1 and 4, so those aren’t in dispute. We’re talking about round 3. Condit out struck Lawler 22-11 in significant strikes. And I’m sorry, but the great kick boxer and finisher Condit does not pitter patter. He knocks people out with those strikes, but Lawler has a chin. Watch round 3 again and count strong un defended strikes 3 times as much as pitter patter strikes, and you’ll see that Carlos still won that round by a lot. The only question of the fight should be whether round 4 was a 10-8 round for Carlos or not, no whether Carlos won round 3.

  • KingLettuce

    GSP cannot come out of retirement and fight for the title. He needs a warm up fight for sure. That said, and Robbie is probably my 2nd favorite fighter ever (behind Fedor), I think GSP is his kryptonite. If anyone can smother Robbie, it’s GSP.

  • thirdeyemind

    1.)Lawler has faced people with great ground game and beaten them. Who is Johnny Hendricks and Rory Mcdonald. Hendricks has better wrestling than GSP.
    2.) Conduit also lost to Woodley as well.

    • General-Zod

      There isn’t a fighter in that division that has better take down and wrestling offense then GSP.

      • TheMod

        Seriously. Hendricks may have better credentials, but to say his wrestling is better than GSP’s is ridiculous.

        • MaritalArtist

          GSP has slightly better MMA wrestling than Hendricks. Of course Hendricks has better pure wrestling.

      • deepgrim

        i think hendricks shaded the wrestling in the fight with gsp, but the timing and power of gsp takedowns is quality

      • thirdeyemind

        I disagree I believe Hendricks outwrestle do GSP and should of won. I’m a huge GSP fan and disLike Hendricks but he should have gotten the nod. Also GSP is coming off a layoff into a rapidly evolving sport.

        • General-Zod

          True, but the sport hasn’t moved away from GSP’s ability to stay competitive. If GSP can channel his original self a bit more, he’d be fine against Lawler. I saw the fight between Lawler and Hendricks, I was actually quite surprised that Lawler lit up Hendricks so much. GSP is crafty though and I am sure he has been watching. It would be a great thing for GSP to come back.

    • MaritalArtist

      Lawler will have to be really wary of GSP’s takedowns. He will be taken down regardless, I think. Condit didn’t “lose” to Woodley. He would have destroyed Woodley but had a freak knee injury mid-fight.

      • thirdeyemind

        Carlos was losing the fight to woodley and it was a leg kick that forced the injury.

      • thirdeyemind

        Lawler would have to be weary but again he faced Hendricks who is a superior wrestler. Hendricks is the only guy to outwrestle GSP.

  • Dr. Hungman

    If GSP comes back off this long layoff to fight Lawler he Will be promptly sent to the hospital within 2 1/2 rounds.

    • Knasty Knight

      he came back from being inactive and having knee surgeries and dominates condit for four full rounds. his takedowns and grinding will wear our Lawler easily.

      • MaritalArtist

        Lawler will have to get lucky and KO GSP. That’s the only way he’s beating the champ.

    • General-Zod

      He beat Condit. He can beat Lawler. That’s what they said about Hendricks, that he would crush GSP. He lost.

      • MaritalArtist

        I thought Hendricks won. He was even celebrating before the decision announcement. And GSP was all sad and down before Bruce buffer surprised everyone with GSP winning.

        • General-Zod

          It was very close on the cards. Some fighters cut, bleed and bruise easier then others. Which is why they don’t judge a fight based on physical damage. GSP bruises like a peach. Hendricks slacked off in the 5th round.

          When I watched the fight the first time, I could have seen how the judges would have given it to Hendricks. But that’s because most people aren’t used to seeing GSP get taken off the cage or beat up. But watching the fight a second and third time, it is clear that GSP won the fight. Hendricks simply didn’t do enough in the last round to seal the deal. He wasn’t going to sneak the belt away.

          GSP was not 100% going into the fight. He was mentally exhausted. He had a tonne of personal issues. He was being sued by a former agent and there was some paternity thing that came up. He was complaining to his training camp and Dana White that he was getting headaches, was having a hard time sleeping and was hallucinating.

          The man held the belt for over half a decade. That’s just constant pressure. He worse himself out. That’s why I believe that GSP can beat Lawler. Coming back fresh after 2 years of layoff does not make one rusty. He already lost over year once because of a knee surgery.

          I read his autobiography. The man is all about the mind, its a really interesting book if you haven’t read it. If I hadn’t of read it, I might have doubted his ability to make a comeback, but I know he can now.

          • deepgrim

            i read his book, it annoyed me all the pretensive stuff, six pages talking about the feet at one stage. Anyway when i watched hendricks GSP live i thought hendricks battered him, but rewatching it, it was a lot closer than i thought. i still gave the first round to hendricks and so ultimately the fight but i could see how the judge saw gsp for it and hendricks did slask off in that fight

  • Knasty Knight

    I don’t get how condit lost to Hendricks and GSP with controversial decisions. GSP clearly won four of those rounds. Hendricks on the other hand won all 3 rounds with his aggression, takedowns and hard punches. He was constantly one step ahead of Condit.

  • General-Zod

    GSP can beat Lawler. He can take a punch and has gone toe to toe with the best strikers in his division. Since he did not retire, his rights in terms of asking for a championship match are enshrined.

    • Jesse

      Lawler would leave GSP believing he was abducted by aliens. GSP lost his hunger; he’s done.

      • General-Zod

        That’s very classy of you. Making fun of someone who was suffering from mental exhaustion. Are you aware that countless Boxers and MMA fighters have taken extended breaks? Whether intentional or from injury. There are plenty of fighters that come back better then before. I don’t have any doubt that GSP can beat Lawler.

        Good job with the cut and paste btw

  • Darin

    The “JAKE SHIELDS SUBMITTED LAWLER” point is about as relevant as “MATT SERRA BEAT THE HELL OUT OF GSP”. If you want to test Lawler on the ground, the welter weight division already has a very good ground fighter that is overdue for a title shot in Tyron Woodley.

    I really think this whole “GSP is coming back” hysteria is overblown. How many times have we read some statement from one of GSP’s trainers hinting that he is coming back? Too many for me to remember. Those guys NEED him to come back so they can make paychecks like they used to. I personally hope he never fights again. He’s a totally respectable guy, but his fights are as predictable and boring as it gets. Ever since he tapped to Matt Serra’s punches he has fought to NOT lose, finishing an opponent isn’t even on the radar for him. Near the end, before he quit, it was getting hilarious to watch him pretend to be frustrated after a fight because he didn’t finish his opponent when he had chances and played it safe every single time.

  • The Judge

    1 knock down us valued hire than 50 bitch slaps , 1 solid punch is more impressive than 30 grazing bitch slaps, Lawler won hands down , he goes home looking like he got in a fight with a prickery bush while Condit is nursing a concussion probably still on queer street..any one who thinks high volume light glancing jabs should count for more than medium volume Highly aggressive staggering sludge hammers has bad taste ,you serious wanna encourage snooze fest point fighters wait aren’t you the same people who bitch about people not trying to finish fights ,think about it what’s better in a baseball game for instance , 12 foul balls or a basehit, basket ball a foul free shot or a 3 pointer, football a field goal or a touch down, think of it as this a jab scores the fighter 1 point a leg kick 2 points,a solid punch 5 points and a knock down 10 points, add that up ..Lawler routs condit

    • MaritalArtist

      Condit doesn’t hit hard?? Lawler even admitted that Condit hits hard at the post fight conference. Also, watch Condit KO numerous opponents. No, he doesn’t hit as hard as Lawler or Hendricks, but who does. He definitely hits hard, and he’s accurate. Just because he couldn’t knock out Lawler in round 5 doesn’t mean he doesn’t hit hard. Condit has a 95% finishing rate that is also TKO-heavy , which makes it ridiculous that we even have to have this conversation. Condit CLEARLY won round 3.

  • Green Texan

    I don’t want GSP to return if he doesn’t feel 100% confident and ready. If he does return, it will be the biggest return of any MMA fighter. The fighter I would like to watch GSP fight is Robbie. Robbie would also be the toughest fight for GSP. Every MMA fan is waiting for news to come out that GSP has announced his return, it might actually happen.

  • GRoinstrike

    Robbie would own GSP. He’d stuff GSP’s take downs and utterly destroy him striking.

    • General-Zod

      That’s what they said about Nick Diaz and Hendricks. GSP still won. Nobody stuffs GSP’s take downs. If he wants to get you on the ground, you’ll end up on the ground. Fight stat wise proves that fact.

    • MaritalArtist

      GSP has the best double-leg in all of MMA. There’s not one person alive at 170 who could stop all his takedowns.

  • Jesse

    GSP lost his hunger. I don’t want to see him back… he’d likely get hurt and believe he was abducted by aliens. He’s done.

    • General-Zod

      That’s very classy of you. Making fun of someone who was suffering from mental exhaustion. Are you aware that countless Boxers and MMA fighters have taken extended breaks? Whether intentional or from injury. There are plenty of fighters that come back better then before. I don’t have any doubt that GSP can beat Lawler.