This fight is the perfect example of the old breed vs. the new breed in MMA. Not Rory vs. BJ Penn. That fight should’ve never happened. This fight perfectly exemplifies the transition from the old-school no holds barred days to the science of fighting displayed at Tristar. Robbie Lawler is the final relevant Miletich Camp fighter. He’s 31-years-old, he’s fought in the big shows since he’s been 19 and he’s just a rough and tumble kid who walked into a stinky gym in Iowa who wanted to fight. I will pick a 19-year-old kid who wants to fight in a stinky gym and become the best at a time where there is absolutely little to be gained in a sport where dudes would get finished on the regular with little regulation, over someone whom the UFC announcers consistently tout as the next-generation star who has been training MMA (or UFC) as a whole since he was a preteen. Call me nostalgic, call me old-fashioned, but on this 20th anniversary of the UFC, we all have to admit that the athletes far outnumber the fighters nowadays.
That isn’t taking away from anyone, I promise. When it comes down to it, I appreciate Rory’s methodic style, and will look forward to seeing GSP implementing his gameplan. I do love this sport, after all. I have no need for sports entertainment WWE-style. However, as I stated above, Robbie Lawler is a badass cut from a cloth dipped in melted-down calloused knuckles and the sneers of Viking fleets before they burn down the next score. He came in and proved that pure badassery can and will sometimes overcome all the cerebral game-planning and cutting edge training a Canadian can put themselves through in 2013.
This should not have been a split-decision.