Tim Kennedy was open for the upset, but Robbie Lawler never put things together during any of the three rounds. Lawler, a good striker with one-punch knockout power, simply relied too much on throwing single shots and allowed Kennedy to dictate the pace. That won with the judges as Kennedy got a unanimous decision victory, 30-27 on all cards.
Kennedy (14-3) pushed forward the entire fight and took some abuse for doing so. A Lawler uppercut in the second opened a nasty gash.
"He bloodied me up for [charging forward], I'm glad the judges see that this is just blood. I get cut all the time so get over it. It just happens. I'm gonna fight until the end of the fight," Kennedy, an Army Ranger who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Robbie Lawler is an amazing athlete and I was humbled to be in the cage with him. The guy hits pretty hard."
Lawler (18-8, 1 NC) does hit like a truck, but attempting 39 strikes in 15 minutes just wasn't going to cut it. Kennedy sealed the win by landing 4-of-12 takedowns. He jumped out to 2-0 lead in the fight by maintaining top control for much of the second round. In all, he landed 40-of-68 shots on the ground.
Kennedy provided a nice moment for war hero Mike Schlitz. The 14-year Army veteran had all of his limbs blown off in combat. Schlitz watched the fight cage side and came into the cage following the fight where he got a standing ovation.
Schlitz helped establish a "GallentFew." It's "a nationwide mentor network that helps our veterans transition from military service to successful civilian careers, assisting veterans with professional, social, emotional and physical needs."
Kennedy's won 6-of-7 fights. The only loss during that run was a title fight against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.