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UFC 195: Analyzing the 3rd round of Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit

A recap of how the decisive 3rd round played out in the main event of UFC 195.

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Within the past four years, the UFC has seen the owner of its welterweight championship be decided by two of three judges.  Carlos Condit narrowly beat Nick Diaz, Georges St-Pierre edged out Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler won a split decision in his rematch with Johny Hendricks.

Now in 2016, another Welterweight title fight was given the split treatment, with two judges scoring the fight in favor of Robbie Lawler, with the other siding with Carlos Condit. As with the other split decisions, there was a single pivotal round that had judges and fans divided. For those who did not see the fight, can't find a replay or want a different perspective, here is a quick play-by-play of the crucial round.

I will be rating each strike landed on a 1-10 scale based on its significance. As with all judging, the rating is subjective, and only the fighters themselves know how hard each strike was thrown and how much damage was inflicted. Anything rated 1-3 was either partially blocked or thrown lazily, 4-6 are clean strikes with force and 7-10 are strikes that did noticeable damage/landed with force.

Round 3 - Both fighters meet in the middle of the cage, circling for the first 15 seconds. The first strike of the round is thrown by Condit, an inside leg kick (3) that backed Lawler up, but may have been checked (awkward camera angle). At 4:35, Condit lands a quick outside leg kick (4) to Lawler's lead leg. Moments later he hits him with another outside leg kick (3).

Condit then throws a quick combination of three kicks, an outside leg kick (2), a front leg kick to the body (3) and a back leg kick to the body (4). Seconds later, Condit fakes a jab a hits a front leg body kick that is partially blocked (1). He switches stances and hits Lawler with a body kick that gets partially blocked (2).

At 4:00, Condit throws a front kick to the body that either barely lands or gets blocked (2). Condit then hits Lawler with back to back body kicks (2 & 4). Lawler then lands his first shots of the round while countering a Condit body kick. Lawler wings an overhand left over Condit's head that appears to miss, and then follows it up with a short right hook that lands (5). He continues the combination with another short right hook (6) and an overhand left (6). Condit backs away from Lawler.

Condit hits Lawler on the end of a flying knee (7). Both fighters swing wildly, but only Lawler lands with an overhand left (5). Lawler backs Condit to the cage and hits Condit with a powerful head-kick that is partially blocked (6). Lawler swings wildly with hooks but doesn't appear to land cleanly, hitting Condit with the forearm once (2), and then landing a left hook that Condit rolls with (4). This is the most significant exchange of the round and contains flurries of punches that are difficult to score.

Lawler backs Condit against the cage, but is moved to the center after Condit lands a kick to the body (3), followed by a missing spinning back fist. Lawler hits Condit with a solid lead elbow that noticeably stuns Condit for a split second (8). Condit then throws a mix of 5 or 6 different strikes that don't land. With 3:00 left, Condit lands an inside leg kick (3). He follows with a high kick that gets blocked (2). Condit then fakes a punch and lands a good inside leg kick (4). Condit hits Lawler with a small front kick to the body that barely lands (2).

Halfway into the round, and both men begin to circle, with Condit being the aggressor. Condit throws two head kicks that barely land and are partially blocked (1 & 2). Condit then throws a straight right that lands at the end of the punch (3). Condit throws an outside leg kick that slaps Lawler's lead leg (3). Condit lands a good body kick (4) but the kick is caught by Lawler, who responds with a straight left (4) and a hard leg kick (6). Condit responds with a good leg kick of his own (5).

With just over 1 minute left, Condit runs towards Lawler but gets caught with a left, although upon replay it seems like Lawler caught Condit with his forearm and not his fist (4). Condit ties Lawler up against the cage and lands two knees to the body (3 & 5). Lawler turns Condit towards the cage, shoots for a takedown, abandons it and then throws a short elbow and a head-kick that appear to miss. Condit throws a body kick that gets blocked by Lawler's arm (2).

With 40 seconds left in the round, Lawler lands a good right hook to Condit's head (6). At this point, the UFC flashes a graphic that shows Lawler has landed 8 strikes, with Condit having landed 19. Condit hits Lawler with a nice kick while Robbie was ducking over, but it's difficult to tell if the kick landed to the body or the head (6). Lawler responded with a leg kick (3). Condit finishes the round pressing the action with a mix of different kicks that don't land.

From the description of the round, it is easy to tell why it was so hard to score. Lawler landed fewer strikes, but each of his strikes had significant power behind them. Condit did land a solid flying knee and a nice headkick towards the end of the round. Condit was the aggressor for the majority of the round, although Lawler's flurries had more force behind them than Condit's combinations.

The judges that gave the round to Lawler put more significance on the few shots that Lawler landed since they were the more significant. Neither fighter took a lot of damage in the round and neither fighter looked vulnerable at any point in the round. Both fighters had their moments in the round, but neither sustained momentum for a good period of time.

Final Score: Carlos Condit 85 - 65 Robbie Lawler

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