Robbie Lawler beats Rory MacDonald, steps into UFC welterweight title contender role

Elias Cepeda

Robbie Lawler was as good as advertised Saturday night, making his welterweight match up against Rory MacDonald knock down, drag out scrap and winning a split decision at UFC 167. From the onset, Lawler was the aggressor, throwing and landing more strikes in a close first round.

In the second, MacDonald continued to bide his time, apparently looking for opportunities to counter or get a take down. With less than two minutes left, MacDonald turned the second round in his favor with a take down.

Lawler made a statement in the third and final round, however, knocking "Aries" down twice with punches. MacDonald refused to give up and ended the round with another take down and elbows landed to Lawler's head from on top inside the half-guard of "Ruthless".

The late surge was not enough for MacDonald in the eyes of two of the ringside judges, however, and they scored the fight for Lawler. Lawler has now won three straight fights since returning to the UFC - second straight over a top-ten opponent - and very well could find himself fighting for the welterweight title soon.

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