The most appealing and competitive fight on paper at UFC 173 saw recent title challenger Robbie Lawler take on Jake Ellenberger in a clash of hard-hitting welterweights who were obviously not enthused about potentially losing back-to-back fights.
Lawler started the stronger of the two in the 1st round, outclassing Ellenberger on the feet and once again forcing Ellenberger into a defensive shell. It wasn't too action-packed but it was definitely Lawler who was the more active of the two. Ellenberger couldn't get the takedown going in the first half of the 2nd, but when he finally did get Lawler down he was reversed and took a hard knee to the body that had him turtling up. Lawler was getting the better of him in the exchanges but Ellenberger did find a little bit of hope with a 2nd takedown towards the end of the round.
A desperate Ellenberger started swinging for the fences early in the 3rd and even tagged Lawler a bit, but his initial burst didn't conjure up memories of Boetsch vs. Okami. Ellenberger appeared to break his right hand, and towards the end he had his face broken by Lawler, who whacked him with a straight right and then finished the fight with a hard knee to the dome that forced Ellenberger to drop to his knees. Herb Dean stopped the fight soon after to cap off another great showing by Robbie Lawler.
Official Result: Robbie Lawler def. Jake Ellenberger via TKO (knee and punches) at 3:06 of round 3.
Lawler (23-10, 1 NC) gets his 3rd knockout/TKO win since returning to the welterweight division, and sets himself up for a potential rematch with the champion Johny Hendricks. Ellenberger (29-8) loses 2 in a row for the first time in his career.
Continue following our live play-by-play of the main card by clicking here.