When ZUFFA bought Strikeforce, observers pointed at the likes of Luke Rockhold, “Jacare” Souza and Daniel Cormier as possible contenders in the UFC, and not Robbie Lawler. Well, here we are approximately three years later, and the latter is the UFC’s 170 champ….
Lawler was one of Strikeforce’s more popular fighters during his time with the promotion, but “Ruthless” competed at 185, and racked up wins and losses. In his final fight with Strikeforce, he was decisioned by Lorenz Larkin.
As you know, the dangerous fighter dropped to 170 after returning to the UFC, and has gone 8-1 since. The only man to defeat him during that stretch is Johny Hendricks, who Lawler decisioned in their rematch to claim UFC gold.
There’s been a lot of talk and debate about why Lawler has turned things around, but recently the champ told UFC.com the following:
“It’s just one of those things where I was always trying to figure it out – trying to get stronger, trying to get a little quicker, trying to get better with my techniques. It’s just slowly evolved and my coaches now are bringing in some of the old stuff I used to do back into the mix and adding some new tricks. It’s just always constantly evolving and trying to get better. Right now I’m just bringing it all together.”
Clearly that’s been working and then some. On Saturday, Lawler will battle Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC 201. It has the potential to be an outstanding fight. The American Top Team fighter also relayed this in the aforementioned interview:
“If it goes five I’m ready to go five hard and finish strong as usual,” Lawler said. “I’m always looking to finish and get it done early if possible…”
UFC 201 will go down at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.