Robbie Lawler showed that he only needs a slight opening to hurt his opponent Saturday night at UFC 167.

Lawler, living up to his “Ruthless” moniker, tagged Rory MacDonald a number of times in the third round on his way to a split decision victory.

“I tried to finish, but it’s tough (to get),” Lawler said. “He got stopped late earlier in his career and I think he wanted to avenge that. I was expecting 15 minutes because he trains with the best.”

The win was his third straight, moving the former EliteXC middleweight champion to 22-9 in his career. After a 2004 loss to Evan Tanner, Lawler was released from the UFC. He went on to compete around the world before joining Strikeforce in 2009.

Losses to the likes of Jake Shields, Renato Sobral and Tim Kennedy have helped build Lawler into the fighter he is currently.

“I’ve had a tough road with a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “But I kept getting up and pushing forward. That’s what happened tonight.”

Lawler dominated the first and most of the third, while MacDonald stole the second with his striking. The Canadian did effectively take Lawler down, but he was unable to do a lot of damage while on top.