Tom Lawlor earned a unanimous decision win against Patrick Cote at UFC 121. Photo by Scott Petersen/MMAWeekly.com
Tom Lawlor felt his job was on the line should he fall to Patrick Cote on Saturday at UFC 121. He fought like it, out-wrestling Cote for three rounds to take a unanimous decision victory at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Both fights engage from the clinch in the early going. Lawlor lands knees to Cote's knee. Lawlor gets the takedown into Cote's full guard. Cote's corner yelling at him, "Elbows and get up!" Cote neutralizing Lawlor here. He can't get any separation for the first minute on top. Another minute with little happening from Lawlor on top, or Cote on bottom. Now he stands and passes to side control. Cote regains half-guard. Lawlor works the body. Some hammerfists from Lawlor. Now he's landing some better shots to the head. Punches and elbows. Lawlor locks in an arm-triangle for a brief second but Cote is able to roll out of it with a grimace on his face. He gives up his back in the process. Lawlor tries to lock in a rear-naked choke but Cote flips him and ends the round on top.
During the between-round replays, we see Cote used both hands to grab under the fence and some fence link for leverage to roll out of the arm-triangle.
Round two underway. They trade leg kicks. Joe Rogan brings up that Lawlor said he cut 16 pounds for this fight. Lawlor pushes Cote against the cage. Lawlor drags Cote to the ground. Full guard. Lawlor landing enough shots to stay on the ground. Cote scrambles and gets to his feet but Lawlor has him pressed against the cage. Lawlor takes him back down. Referee John McCarthy stands them up with about 40 seconds left in the round. Superman punch for Cote. Cote misses an uppercut and Lawlor is able to tag Cote coming in as the round ends.
First two rounds easily in the books for Lawlor.
Lawlor with a takedown seven seconds in and he tries for the arm-triangle again. He gives it up but is in side control. He lands some shots and passes to mount briefly before Cote regains half-guard. Cote tries to scramble when Lawlor tries for a Kimura, but Lawlor brings him back down, although he is now in full guard. McCarthy repeatedly warning Lawlor here and then he stands them up with 2:05 to go as Lawlor was getting going. Not a good standup. This doesn't seem to affect Lawlor as he pushes Cote right back against the cage and takes him back down. Half-guard with less than 90 seconds to go. Lawlor with some elbows to the body. Cote tries to scramble but Lawlor keeps him down. Cote gains full guard but Lawlor is all over him. Lawlor lands some nice shots as the horn sounds.
All three judges score the bout 30-27 for the winner, "Filthy" Tom Lawlor.