Heading this fight both UFC middleweights had much to gain, even more to lose. Cote, after coming back from a long injury layoff, looked rusty against once-rising middleweight prospect Alan Belcher. Lawlor, who has looked slick against C.B. Dolloway and underwhelming against journeyman Joe Doerksen, has had his shares of ups and downs in the Octagon. The UFC never announced this as a loser-goes-home bout, but the loser is sure to put themselves in a precarious position with UFC brass.
The story of this fight? The wrestling of Tom Lawlor.
Round after round, Lawlor used his superior wrestling and grappling ability. He not only was able to control the clinch space, but he was consistently able to take Cote down, pass guard and attempt submissions. In fact, Cote used in the fence illegally in round two to escape a deep head and arm triangle, but referee "Big" John McCarthy never caught.
In all three rounds, when Lawlor wanted the takedown, he got it. While he couldn't stop the French Canadian, he did everything but.
All three judges score the contest 30-27 for "Flithy" Tom Lawlor.