With his stunning come-from-behind win at Saturday night’s “Strikeforce Miami”, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-5, 1 NC) put himself in the running next to Scott Smith as MMA’s “Rocky”. Lawler fought Dutch striker, and new Strikeforce acquisition, Melvin Manhoef (24-7-1) in a 185lbs match.
For the majority of the fight it seemed as though it was only a matter of time before Manhoef, an almost perfect storm of aggression and brutal technique, chopped Lawler down and put him away. After nearly crippling “The Ruthless One” with leg kicks, Manhoef moved in for the kill. Instead of felling his opponent, Manhoef was met with a perfectly placed overhand right from Lawler that sent the Dutchman, stiff and sleeping, to the canvas.
Lawler’s good friend and training partner former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (43-7) spoke to FiveOuncesOfPain.com about the harrowing early moments. “What was hard for me was sitting there and watching my teammate partner/ brother get kicked like he did, Melvin threw some vicious kicks, so I mean it was a very hard fight to watch in the corner.”
Concerning the unexpected victory, Hughes defended Lawler. “Robby doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He is very smart. He knew what he was doing the whole time…Robby is good at playing possum he did it well and it paid off for him tonight.”
Hughes maintained that it was due to diligent research that The Hit Squad took home a win. “Melvin had a great game plan. He just made the mistake of dropping his hands and Robby watched enough tape to know that is what he does typically when he is trying to finish a fight.”
With the win Lawler can wipe away the bad taste in his mouth that was left after his most recent fight, a submission loss to Jake Shields. Lawler should be looking to develop a win streak so that he can make his way to the title or a rematch with Shields. That is, of course, after he applies several ice packs to his right leg.