Despite landing significantly less strikes through five rounds, two of the three judges scored the fight for Lawler with scores of 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47.
Condit landed a number of low and mid kicks in the opening round. Lawler maintained pressure, but ate a left hand that sent him falling to the floor midway through the frame. After getting back to his feet, Lawler continued to pursue Condit and the two traded blows through the end of the round.
Lawler found his payback with a thunderous right hand in the second round, dropping Condit in the process. Although he pursued to the ground, Lawler soon stood up and Condit followed suit to return the fight to a standing battle. Despite the knockdown, Condit remained the more actively striking fighter through 10 minutes.
Condit’s activity helped him in Round 3 as he continued to pepper Lawler with strikes, but it caused little damage. Lawler at times would duck his head and step into the pocket to throw flurries, but none mirrored the blow he landed in the previous round.
The volume continued for Condit in the fourth. Towards the end of the round, he landed a combination that dazed Lawler. The challenger poured it on and backed the champ against the cage with various strikes through the end of the round.
The urgency picked up for Lawler in the fifth, throwing looping punches in an attempt to finish his opponent. Condit stuck his gameplan of throwing and landing various strikes from all angles, but Lawler poured all of his power into every punch he had left as the fight’s time expired.
With the win, Lawler defends his belt for the second consecutive time and collects his fifth win in a row.