The welterweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald ranks among the UFC’s all-time greatest fights.
While Lawler emerged with a technical knockout victory 60 seconds into round five, there was plenty of back-and-forth action leading up to the finish that shattered MacDonald’s nose. In fact, MacDonald had Lawler reeling at one point, when he rocked “Ruthless’ with a head kick in the third and followed up with punches, standing elbows and knees. However, the violent nature of the bout only seemed to fuel Lawler, who glared at MacDonald and spit blood on the ground in a memorable scene at the conclusion of a brutal fourth stanza.
Shortly after the fifth round began, a straight left from Lawler landed cleanly, forcing “The Red King” to essentially surrender due to the damage done to his nose. With that, Lawler vs. MacDonald instantly became an all-time classic.
However, earlier this year during a Reddit AMA, MacDonald speculated that Lawler relied on performance enhancing drugs during a to boost his performance at UFC 189. Without elaborating, MacDonald replied to a Reddit user that he was “convinced” that Lawler was on PEDs during their fight.
Lawler was recently asked about MacDonald’s accusation during an appearance on The TSN MMA Show show, and he responded in typical Lawler fashion.
“I think he’s just kinda trying to figure out why things happened the way they happened,” Lawler said calmly. “And he’s finding a different way to cope with it.”
While Lawler did continue to press the action in spite of a serious onslaught from his opponent, the former 170-pound champion disputes the notion that he wasn’t getting hurt in the fight, which MacDonald insinuated in an interview with MMAFighting.com.
“I was getting hurt,” Lawler said. “Obviously, I got stung by a head kick, and he cut my lip with an elbow. But all you have in the end is your will to fight.”
It doesn’t appear that MacDonald and Lawler will be able to settle things in a rematch anytime soon. MacDonald signed with Bellator MMA in 2016 and will face Douglas Lima for the welterweight title on Jan. 20, while Lawler will square off against Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC on Fox 26 main event on Dec. 16.