While Conor McGregor and Holly Holm made the biggest splash in 2015, UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler needed only one fight in 2015 to capture Fight of the Year honors, raising his title in his first defense against Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 in July.
Lawler’s career resurgence has produced one of the most exciting and vicious champions in the UFC.
When “Ruthless” steps into the Octagon, it’s usually a safe bet that he’s going to put on a show. And next up awaits another must-see master of destruction at UFC 195 on Saturday night: Carlos Condit.
Lawler said Condit is a throwback fighter who gives it his all and always goes for the finish, but the champion said it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat him because he’s the best fighter in the world.
“The Natural Born Killer” employs a “fight for survival” style inside the Octagon, and Condit said he expects a legendary title fight against Lawler when they meet in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
More on UFC 195: WATCH Countdown: Lawler vs. Condit | WATCH Countdown: Miocic vs. Arlovski | Inside the numbers for Lawler vs. Condit | UFC 195 fight card | Pre-order UFC 195 digitally | Buy tickets for UFC 195
Stipe Miocic has been on the cusp of a title shot for most of 2015, and a win over Andrei Arlovski in the co-main event will solidify his No. 1 contender status.
But Arlovski is in the midst of a career renaissance, winning his last six fights to help insert himself back into the UFC title conversation, almost 10 years removed from his title reign back in 2006.
When heavyweights collide, usually someone is going down. Arlovski holds the division record for nine career knockouts, and Miocic holds the record for total strikes landed (361) in a single UFC fight.
In a fight that’s surely flying under the radar, Lorenz Larkin puts his two-fight win streak on the line against Russian rising star Albert Tumenov in a huge welterweight fight. Larkin has been unstoppable since moving to 170, recording two straight knockout finishes, both of which earned him a performance bonus. And Tumenov has won four in a row and showcased his finishing ability against Alan Jouban at UFC 192.
FOX Sports 1 Prelims
Michael McDonald is back after two years away from the Octagon, and he seems ready to inject even more energy into the bantamweight division.
TJ Dillashaw defends his title against Dominick Cruz later this month in perhaps the biggest fight in the division’s history. McDonald, a former title challenger, will be eagerly awaiting that result, should he complete his task on Saturday against Masanori Kanehara.
Also, Kyle Noke looks to add to his impressive two-fight win streak against UFC newcomer Alex Morono. Noke knocked out Peter Sobotta at UFC 193, earning the Australian a Performance of the Night bonus.
UFC FIGHT PASS Prelims
The UFC lightweight division stacks up like a modern day murderer’s row if you take a look at the Top 15 rankings.
In the main event of the UFC FIGHT PASS prelims, Ireland’s Joe Duffy goes against No. 12-ranked Dustin Poirier. The winner likely hoists his name among the ranks of the elite in the division.
Poirier and Duffy are both well-rounded fighters, but they have made it clear they will look to finish at UFC 195. This one could be a Fight of the Night candidate.
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC
Aljamain Sterling & Henry Cejudo GET HEATED previewing…