Photo via ESPN
Well ... kind of.
Heading into tonight (July 30), it was widely accepted knowledge that Kennedy was and is the much more well-rounded fighter. His wrestling and superior top control was thought to be enough to do the trick.
Sure enough, he utilized a suffocating game of control that had the "Ruthless" one frustrated and unable to use his most effective weapons, save for a monster uppercut in the second round that opened a gaping wound on Kennedy's face.
In the end, grapplers once again prove that strikers will always be at a huge disadvantage, as Kennedy brought home the decision to put himself in position to once again challenge for the 185-pound title.
Lawler stayed loose throughout the contest but as he seems to do in each one of his losses, missed multiple times on punches that were so close his opponent could smell his fingers.
Had he landed, who knows what kind of damage could have been done?
It's all for naught now, however, as once again Lawler's deficiencies in the grappling department have bitten him in the behind in a big fight. Will that ever change? "Ruthless" is certainly young enough to make anything happen.
Kennedy moves forward and will likely await the winner of the Ronaldo Souza vs. Luke Rockhold fight on Sept. 10 in Cincinnati. Unless, of course, UFC comes calling.
Which would you prefer?