Fighter Robbie Lawler took out the frustrations of a recent welterweight title loss on Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173. “Ruthless” lived up to the nickname in dominating Ellenberger before stopping him with a punishing barrage in the third and final round in Las Vegas.
Lawler elected to make the quick turnaround as an injury replacement for Tarec Saffiedine and showed why he entered the contest as the No. 1 rated 170-pound competitor. He was able to utilize impressive combinations and kicks against “The Juggernaut” before finishing the contest in explosive fashion at the 3:06 mark of the final round. A brutal knee and follow-up punches would seal the deal.
It was a terrific bounce-back performance for Lawler, who dropped a close decision to Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 in their March clash for the vacant belt. Lawler improved to 23-10 with the victory and now has 19 victories via knockout. He clearly has his sights set on a future rematch against “Bigg Rigg,” and continued to show why he’s a dangerous assignment for anyone in the welterweight division.
Lawler is 4-1 in his second Octagon stint and will be in line for another major clash moving forward. He also holds victories over Josh Koscheck, Bobby Voelker and Rory MacDonald during his second go-round and has never looked better.
As for Ellenberger, he was hoping that this would be his stepping stone to a future title shot, but it simply wasn’t meant to be. While he had his moments early in the final round when he appeared to stun Lawler with a crisp right hand, he was dominated throughout. Ellenberger has now dropped back-to-back contests and is sure to tumble from his previous No. 5 ranking.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.