Fresh off a drubbing of an out-of-shape Nick Diaz, former Welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, appeared to be rejuvenated heading into a hard-hitting showdown with Bryan Barberena at UFC 276 tonight (Sat., July 2, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lawler, 40, needed to prove he still had something left in the tank, though, winning just that one fight since 2017. Barberena, meanwhile, recently rebounded from a skid of his own, bouncing back with two straight wins, including a “Fight of the Night” decision victory over the tough-as-nails Matt Brown earlier this year.
In what was billed an early “Fight of the Night” contender after it was a late addition to the pay-per-view (PPV) main card, Lawler and Barberena didn’t disappoint, playing Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em robots until “Ruthless” has simply had enough.
Both fighters come out in the Southpaw stance, with Lawler pressing the action early. Barberena with a calf kick to keep him at bay, with Lawler responding with a hard body shot moments later. Left hand from Lawler, then a body shot and right hand. The pair exchange in a flurry, with Barberena landing a hard overhand then a left, as Lawler tried to trap him in the corner. Huge uppercut from Lawler along the cage buckled Barberena, but he fired back off his back foot. Jabs from Barberena, then some body work, as Lawler appeared to slow down his volume. Lalwer bounced a fist off Barberena’s forehead, but he kept slinging. Body shots and an elbow upstairs as he began to pour it on, with Lawler scoring another hard uppercut in response. Lawler ripping the body, but Barberena just keeps plugging away, landing some nice inside elbows. They trade hards lefts with 10 seconds remaining, with Barberena missing with a high kick.
After an action-packed round, it was a super close slugfest, with Barberena launching more than 150 significant strikes (didn’t land them all, obviously). He continued with the insane volume early in the second, with Lawler tucked behind his jab. He trapped Barberena along the fence and stung him with a hard jab, but he fired back like a wounded animal. Rare body kick from Lawler landed, with Barberena countering with a left hand. Lawler caught Barberena with a hard jab as he came in, sending him backward to the fence once again. One-two combination from Lawler, who appeared to catch Barberena mid-Superman punch. Barberena charged forward with a hard elbow, wobbling Lawler, who was now on the defensive. Barberena kept touching him, with Lawler scoring with a hard left hook. More elbows from Barberena, as Lawler appeared to be in trouble. And he was, with Barberena continuing to just throw hands — and inside elbows — incessantly until Lawler was seemingly out on his feet. Just a few hard shots later and it was clear that the culmination of shots was just too much for Lawler, who let his hands go and gave it all he got, but it just wasn’t enough tonight in “Sin City.”
Final result: Barberena def. Lawler via second round technical knockout
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 276: “Adesanya vs. Cannonier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.