In the opening main card bout of UFC 157, Robbie Lawler survived the wrestling onslaught of veteran Josh Koscheck and picked up a TKO victory late in the first round. Lawler, who was fighting in the UFC and at welterweight for the first time in over eight years, was quickly taken down by the TUF 1 vet but Koscheck couldn't get anything going on the ground. After jockeying for position against the cage for a while, Kos got Lawler down again. But not for long.
Lawler fought off another takedown attempt, pancaked Kos, and landed a big punch to the head. He backed up and started unloading punches against the cage, which forced the referee to step in at the 3:57 mark of the first. Koscheck protested the stoppage and looked like he was okay, but it was clear that he went limp after one of the shots before that and was probably woken back up by one of the final ones. Either way, Lawler made a triumphant return to the organization and Kos lost his second fight in a row.
What was the high point of the fight?
The knockout. Lawler certainly hasn't lost any of his power over the years, that's for sure.
Where do they go from here?
Lawler was a likely candidate to be cut if he lost this bout. Instead, he now finds himself on the edge of the top 10 in the UFC welterweight division. There are a ton of potential opponents for the former Strikeforce star, and I don't think they could go wrong with any of them due to Lawler's exciting style.
Koscheck's career could go in any direction right now. If the UFC keeps him around, he'll settle into a main gatekeeper position. If he gets cut due to his losses and high salary, he'll find a new home in WSOF or somewhere else. He could possibly choose to retire as well if he feels that his eye injury from a couple of years ago has affected his fighting. It will be interesting to see what happens with the UFC stalwart.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. Koscheck doesn't exactly make the first 95% of the fight all that exciting, but the knockout was pretty nice.