Robbie Lawler has only taken the first steps in a welterweight title run, and still has some nasty fighters to face in the UFC just yet, but the veteran has certainly impressed so far after returning to the promotion. Taking out Josh Koscheck (in what also marked his return to 170 pounds) was huge, and with another stoppage win over Bobby Voelker at UFC on FOX 8, there’s a ton of buzz tied to”Ruthless” right now. Voelker may not be a top ten welterweight like “Kos”, and he took the fight on short notice, but the rugged vet is no joke.
Fans and pundits have always marvelled at Lawler’s stopping power, and as his headkick win over Voelker demonstrated once again, he’s far from just a heavy handed slugger . As Chael Sonnen accurately noted during the post UFC on FOX 8, FUEL TV program:
“Robbie Lawler is like Vitor Belfort. He has nasty hands, and everyone is worried about them. Then he double crosses you and gets you with a big kick. This is turning into his coming back party.”
It’s an interesting comparison to make, especially since Belfort has also turned to his kicks, rather than his fists, to win his last two bouts. Lawler certainly seems reinvigorated at 170, and Dana White was also to quick to credit the 31 year-old fighter after Saturday’s card (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“Lawler has been a fun fighter since the day he walked into this organization,” White said. “The difference between Robbie Lawler now and Robbie Lawler then is obviously he’s older, more grown-up, and more importantly, his head is in the right place. Robbie in the old days was a completely different person. He was just like, ‘Eh, I don’t care.’ He didn’t care about anything. Now he cares. He’s a completely different fighter. When I saw him on Thursday, he was already close to weight. He didn’t have to cut a lot of weight like in the old days when he would fight. He’s just mentally and physically a completely different person. So I’m happy for him. I’m happy to have him back, and he’s always fun.”
The UFC definitely loves to promote finishers, so considering Lawler already sits at #9 in the division, chances are he’ll face another top ranked fighter next. It’s going to be a fascinating ride to watch.
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