Although every fight inside the Octagon produces a winner and a loser, sometimes a truly epic fight takes place that makes the outcome difficult for some to accept.
Carlos Condit may have lost in his bid for the welterweight title on Saturday at UFC 195, but the label of loser just doesn’t seem to fit here.
More from UFC 195: Miss the fights? Order the UFC 195 replay | Dana White’s UFC 195 verdict | Final results | Post-fight bonus recap | Lawler defends title | Miocic wins quickly, Tumenov and Ortega take longer in main card | ’Mayday’ triumphant in return | Poirier, Tanaka go distance for wins | Watch Backstage interviews: Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit: ‘I might be done’, Stipe Miocic, Albert Tumenov, Brian Ortega, Abel Trujillo, Michael McDonald | Watch Octagon interviews: Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit, Stipe Miocic, Dustin Poirier | Watch: Post-fight press conference highlights | Picture perfect: Best snaps from UFC 195
He clashed with champion Robbie Lawler and put on a memorable display of mixed martial arts, while making a strong case to be the man lifting the belt at the end of the bout.
But as Alexander Gustafsson – a two-time title fight runner up – can attest, sometimes a championship effort isn’t enough to steal the title in the end.
In a brilliant effort that lived up to its promise, Lawler prevailed and proved once again why he is one of the toughest and most resilient champions in the UFC.
Here are the UFC 195 Talking Points:
1. Lawler continues historic run
Dana White called Robbie Lawler the UFC’s Evander Holyfield after the champion put on another captivating performance to defend his belt.
“He’s never in a boring fight,” White said. “When he gets hurt he continues to go toe-to-toe. … I respect so much when you’re in a fight like this and you have to come out in that fifth round and do what Robbie did. And he did it – great fight.”
The split decision victory didn’t come without its share of controversy. Many people thought Condit won the fight. Even the UFC president said that he scored it for Condit – three rounds to two.
But White also said that he’s not a judge.
Lawler wasn’t thinking about where he stood heading into the final round because he’s always thinking about finishing the fight. That’s why he’s become one of the most respected fighters in the game.
The champion was quick to shine light on his outstanding opponent, who took him to the limit and gave him one of the best fights of his career.
“Carlos is tough – he can do it all,” Lawler said. “His movement was awesome, he’s clever, he’s sharp, and he can take a shot. He’s a champion and he’s everything they said he was. I had to dig deep and hat’s off to him.”
2. Miocic’s message is received, loud and clear
Needing a win and a finish to state his case for being No. 1 contender for the heavyweight title, Stipe Miocic delivered on the big stage, knocking out the legendary Andrei Arlovski in the first minute of their co-main event showdown.
Miocic turned to White immediately after the finish and screamed for his title shot.
“Are we on the same page now?” Miocic asked.
White said he heard Miocic -- who looked like “a psycho,” White added -- loud and clear, and he should be next in line for the title.
Arlovski had been on a nice winning streak, putting together six in a row, with four of those victories in the UFC. The former heavyweight champion had no answer for Miocic’s power and push-forward style.
3. Tumenov and Ortega continue rise
Lorenz Larkin destroyed Albert Tumenov’s lead left leg and probably did enough to win a split decision, but Tumenov’s volume and power earned him the win.
Before Tumenov won his fifth fight in a row, Brian Ortega continued his own streak, submitting Diego Brandao with his signature triangle choke after a tough stand up fight with the Brazilian.
Ortega was mesmerizing once the fight went to the ground, transitioning twice seamlessly in an effort to find his triangle.
Next up for both Ortega and Tumenov will likely be a Top 15 test in their respective divisions.
4. “The Diamond” shines bright in Las Vegas
Highlighting the UFC FIGHT PASS prelims, Dustin Poirier vs. Joe Duffy finally went down at UFC 195 after months of anticipation.
Poirier executed a perfect game plan, using his quickness and explosive striking to keep Duffy off balance before outwrestling the Irishman.
In 2016 Poirier is looking to crack the Top 10 of the lightweight division, where he’s made himself comfortable in a very short time. After his win against Duffy, top contenders will surely be next for Poirier.”
“Hopefully I’ll be up there now and I want Top 10 opponents,” Poirier said.