UFC 195 kicked off the year in MMA in spectacular fashion as Robbie Lawler– just- hung on to his welterweight title. We look at three things we a learned at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first event of 2016.
1. Robbie Lawler needs to stop leaving it to the final round:
Lawler took the split-decision win over Carlos Condit, but it was another ‘hail Mary’ all or nothing fifth round which just about swung it in his favour. The champ started the fight brightly, but slowly began to allow Condit to take the initiative, and by the forth round, the tide appeared to have swung decisively in the challenger’s favour. Aware he needed something special, ‘Ruthless’ threw everything but the kitchen sink at his opponent, much as he did to claim the title against Johnny Hendricks. Even so, the decision could easily have gone against him, and if he doesn’t start putting opponents to bed sooner, eventually his luck will run out.
2. Miocic has earned his title shot:
After demolishing Arlovski inside a round, Stipe Miocic left little doubt he is finally ready for a shot at the belt. He might not be the most marketable character in the world, but following up a dominant win over Mark Hunt with a KO over the former champ, Miocic signalled he is ready to take on the division’s very best. If Alistair Overeem leaves the promotion, he surely must be the next man in line to face the winner of Velasquez/Werdum.
3. Duffy won’t be fighting McGregor any time soon:
The hype that surrounded Joseph Duffy as “the last man to beat Conor McGregor” was truly extinguished as he received sound beating at the hands of Dustin Poirier. The Irishman’s prediction that he would face McGregor by the end of 2017 seemed, at best, rather optimistic, as he dropped all three rounds on the judges scorecards. Duffy is new to fighting elite competition and may well go on to great success, but he will need to improve dramatically if he wishes to emulate a fraction of the The Notorious One’s progress.