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Matt Hughes: Robbie Lawler doesn’t get the credit he deserves

Fan favorite “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler put on another crowd pleasing show during “Strikeforce: Miami” in Sunrise, Florida.

At one point it looked like Lawler was in trouble as Melvin Manhoef, one of Strikeforce’s recent acquisitions unleashed a punishing series of brutal non stop leg kicks and body shots. The packed house watched in what was almost an eerie silence as it looked like Lawler might go down.

“What was hard for me was sitting there and watching my teammate partner/ brother get kicked like he did,” said Matt Hughes, Lawler’s training partner and former welterweight UFC champion. “Melvin threw some vicious kicks, so I mean it was a very hard fight to watch in the corner.”

Lawler managed to pull through despite his painful injuries while basically only having one good leg to use. In one fell swoop he landed a short overhand right knocking Manhoef down, and followed that with another powerful shot on the mat.

“Robby doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” said Hughes. “He is very smart. He knew what he was doing the whole time, he tried suckering him a couple of times beforehand acting like he was hurt and Melvin really wasn’t going for it so. Robby is good at playing possum he did it well and it paid off for him tonight.”

According to Hughes, it was all part of a well thought out game plan by Lawler, who despite his injuries remained calm.

“Melvin had a great game plan,” said the former UFC champion. “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.”

Next up for “Ruthless”, a well deserved time out.

19 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    Getting your leg cracked a dozen times isn’t playing possum… he may of had a game plan but I think he was getting his ass handed to him and as a veteran of the cage his experiance shined through when he saw that opening and threw that looping punch and it connected… He def. deserves the W but I think if we see a rematch Robby’s leg may detach from his hip…

  • Jak says:

    I think almost every MMA fan likes to watch Robbie Lawler fight, he always comes to fight.

    But most of us didn’t see some dominant performance that would give us any reason to give him any more credit than a great come from behind victory.

    Since both Cung Le and Melvin Manhoef lost, maybe they should fight… that would be fun.

  • Guthookd says:

    It was good enough for me. I thought he was going to be dominated….then out of the blue….Robbie’s hand are raised.

    Good show. Send them home Lawlor.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    He deserves credit for pulling out the fight, and being a vetran who used his experience to stay calm, and most importantly being a very tough sob.

  • jj says:

    Just when I thought they would be unzipping Lawlers body bag cage side he goes and pulls this amazing come from the brink of defeat win. Not the best gameplan from Robbie though, however it made for a great fight.

  • Nick Havok says:

    Frankly, as much as it looked like Manhoef was gonna go through Robbie like a knife through warm butter…you could see that counter strike coming.

    You could feel it was going to happen.

    At least I did anyway…Manhoef was hitting Robbie with everything he had, but hardly any of it was getting through and he was getting frustrated. Yes, some kicks landed, but the majority of punches were hitting Robbie’s arms. And the more Melvin fired off, the more anxious and sloppy he got.

    Melvin’s arms came way down in his offense. You could see it…meanwhile Robbie was just waiting, coiled like a snake.

    And I just knew that when Robbie finally decided to throw something it was more than likely going to land…and did it ever.

    POW!

    Fight over.

    I hope Melvin recovers quick though…but that was devastating. Definitely a career shortening KO.

  • Carvaggio says:

    Melvin just doesn’t know the American style of fighting yet, he’s still going all out for the KO instead of holding back and taking the most important thing of all, the “W”.

    he could of stayed at a distance and kicked Robbie’s leg until it fell off and gotten the win but he goes in there to be exciting; get the KO or be KO’d.

    & the only thing i don’t like about Lawlor is the fact that Hughes is in his corner, it’s kinda like having Don King in your cornerc – you might make more money in the long run but your soul suffers for it…

  • Guthookd says:

    @ Carvaggio – I’d take Hughes in my corner any day. He knows fighting. Period.

  • Rich S. says:

    I’m certain that taking all that punishment wasn’t “all part of the plan”.. But waiting, and weathering the storm obviously was.. After all, most of Manhoef’s wins are in the first round, seems like letting him blow his load is the logical thing.. it just hurts like hell and you might not survive it..

    Lawler is a looooong time favorite of mine, and I was pulling for him from the get go, but it is kind of a shame Manhoef had to lose in his SF debut… Still, I think strictly American MMA fans have an idea of what he’s all about now…

    As for the credit Lawler gets, it’s not bad.. I think people recognize him as a contender, at least they should, he was a champion for a while.. He’s so perfect at Middleweight.. He used to be a powerhouse at WW, but his body, power, and athleticism are just perfect at 185 IMO.. I can’t really think of any other matchups I would like to see him in, as far as standup wars go, you can’t really get better than Lawler/Manhoef.. If by some miracle Jake Shields gets past Hendo, I would like to see Robbie finish what he started the first time out..

  • Angry Mike says:

    It was a legit ko so good for Lawler. But he was lucky to catch Manhoef with his hands down. If he hadn ‘t, Manhoef would have tko’d him by leg kick. Those were the hardest leg kicks I’ve ever seen in a MMA match.

  • mdm514 says:

    I am as big a Robbie Lawler fan as anybody, but that knockout punch was thrown completely off balance and without much authority. For me, that fight was more of a showing off how weak Manhouef’s chin is. You can put him on that list with many other good fighters who could have been great, if they only had a chin. Houston Alexander is a perfect example. It’s not Melvin’s fault, as it is not an acquired tool but a God-given one, but a stiff breeze to the chin may have put his lights out.

  • Curly Biddles says:

    Nick you know as well as I do that Melvin will be willing to sign to fight again next week. This dude can recover from a beat down faster than anyone. That was a brutal KO though so I do not disagree that there will be long term detramental effects.

    I love both fighters and to even have an opportunity to watch that matchup is amazing to me. Thanks SF!

    Nick Havok: Frankly, as much as it looked like Manhoef was gonna go through Robbie like a knife through warm butter…you could see that counter strike coming.You could feel it was going to happen.At least I did anyway…Manhoef was hitting Robbie with everything he had, but hardly any of it was getting through and he was getting frustrated. Yes, some kicks landed, but the majority of punches were hitting Robbie’s arms. And the more Melvin fired off, the more anxious and sloppy he got.Melvin’s arms came way down in his offense. You could see it…meanwhile Robbie was just waiting, coiled like a snake.And I just knew that when Robbie finally decided to throw something it was more than likely going to land…and did it ever.POW!Fight over.I hope Melvin recovers quick though…but that was devastating. Definitely a career shortening KO.  (Quote)

  • Dufresne says:

    It’s not the first time a KO artist tried to lure in another great KO artist by “playing possum.”
    While it wasn’t successful, Wandi tried something similar against Chuck, and almost pulled it off.

    I’m not saying that Lawler was planning on absorbing those vicious leg kicks, but I don’t doubt that he was trying to draw Manhoef in where he gets sloppy while going for the finish 95% of the time.

  • BillyWarhol says:

    Ohhhh Puhleeze – Manhoef controlled Lawler from the Get Go! U don’t “Play Possum” in the UFC or Strikeforce or any MMA unless ya wanna end up a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road!!

  • LiverPunch says:

    Yeah that was his plan…get hammered and when he is just about to finish you that is when you start to fight.
    Simply brilliant.

  • The plan wouldn’t have worked for much longer LMAO.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Other sites report that Matt Hughes Blog goes on to say that when they arrived at the Hotel SF execs didn’t even acknowledge or shake Robbys’ hand as he checked in and they were in the lobby lounge… He also said SF fighters were in the back waiting up to 3 hours for stitches… Hughs says he thinks these “little things” will drive fighters over to UFC where they will be treated better?! Interesting… Maybe Hughs is exagerating? or maybe he’s being honest?

    I don’t think Matt Hughes will get back stage credentials going forward at any SF events, shit he may be banned from cornering all together…

  • LiverPunch: Yeah that was his plan…get hammered and when he is just about to finish you that is when you start to fight.
    Simply brilliant. = negs ??????

    BillyWarhol: Ohhhh Puhleeze – Manhoef controlled Lawler from the Get Go! U don’t “Play Possum” in the UFC or Strikeforce or any MMA unless ya wanna end up a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road!!

    = negs ??????????

    FightFan313: The plan wouldn’t have worked for much longer LMAO.  

    OK I am pissed. There is a HUGE difference between baiting someone to use the forward momentum to knock them out or setting them up to have them make the mistake vs just letting someone beat the life out of you in the hopes they make the mistake. I kicked boxed for 2 years b4 economy and Job took my out and believe me, getting the life beat out of you is not the plan.

    I have NEVER seen a CHAMPION use that technique B4. Give me the proof. LMAO. Seriously. I seen some head scratching insight on this site B4 but WOW!.

    Chuck was the Best at getting guys to come in and use their forward momentum to knock em out but he NEVER let himself get beat up b4 hand. And I am sorry Dufrense but Wanderlei didn’t do the same either. Its on You Tube ..watch it again. oh and he lost.

    Neg me and your cheating yourself. Go ahead and get in the ring and try it out for yourselves and invite me, I would love to watch. 9 times out of 10 you are going down and that is not a winning record.

  • Komodo says:

    Sympathy pains watching those leg shots. Still, regardless of method I was stoked to see Robbie score the victory over a tough cat like Manhoef.

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