The top of the UFC Newark billing was where former interim welterweight champ Colby Covington dominated Robbie Lawler in all areas of the sport for five rounds.
Covington spent the first-two rounds grinding on Lawler, forcing him to carry his weight. The following three rounds are the shocking parts. Covington actual broke away and started to throw volume on the feet. Lawler just kind of shelled up, not really returning fire. Covington ran away with the strike count taking a dominant decision win.
What was the highlight of the fight?
The highlight of the fight might just be the fact that Covington pushed such a pace without gassing out. His work rate was topnotch. When he was grappling, he was constantly making Lawler work to get up and improve his position. On the feet, he tirelessly threw strikes without ever reeling it in. Other than that, there weren’t any big slams, knockdowns, or close submission attempts to write home about.
Where do these two go from here?
In all likelihood, Covington will be getting the next shot at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. The win over Lawler is not anywhere near as impressive as what Jorge Masvidal did to Ben Askren, or Darren Till for that matter. However on paper, dominating a former champ and outstriking Robbie Lawler— on top of the fact that Covington is connected like cursive— will likely move him into the title spot.
This was a weird loss for Lawler. The getting grinded on part is understandable, but the whole getting outsruck by Covington’s low-volume kickboxing is downright strange. Lawler needs to go to the drawing board and figure out what in the world actually happened out there. There will always be exciting matchups for Lawler outside of a title run. Facing the winner or loser of Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz would be a fantastic dream matchup. A rematch with the probably still asleep Ben Askren seems quite appropriate as well.
Watch now, later, or never?
You will be just fine if you never watch this, especially if you’re a hardcore Robbie Lawler fan. Covington dominated this matchup but Lawler was never hurt or in any real danger. This win will always look better on paper for Covington. Skip it.