Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

It remains to be seen if Robbie Lawler can hand Ben Askren his first defeat this Saturday at UFC 235, but the former welterweight champ’s reporting he’s at his full powers once again.

2018 came and went without seeing Lawler compete, due to multiple injuries his knee incurred during his decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos, in December, 2017. It was the first campaign of Lawler’s 15 years plus career that “Ruthless” didn’t fight.

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Well, the UFC has tapped Lawler to welcome Askren to the Octagon, and while talking to MMA Junkie recently, the star had this to say about his condition, as his return nears:

“I feel damn frickin’ good right now,” Lawler said. “I don’t know when it clicked that, holy (expletive), I’m a beast again. But I am.”

“But that was always the goal – just get back to work and everything will fall into place. I just believed in myself that it was going to happen at the right time. I can’t wait to show everybody how hard I’ve been working.”

Now, provided Lawler’s being honest here, and he’s always seemed like someone who is pretty direct while talking to the media, this is interesting news. The former champ will need to be at his best if he’s going to have a decent shot of shutting down a wrestling game from Askren, which to date, no one has really been able to do.

If you’re wondering, Lawler has defended 69% of the takedown attempts he’s faced in the Octagon, and he has defeated accomplished wrestlers like Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks. But, most observers would likely agree Askren’s wrestling is on another level compared to Lawler’s opponents to date.

Here is the line-up for UFC 235, which will take place in Las Vegas.

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Anthony Smith

UFC Welterweight Championship
Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Kamaru Usman

Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren

Strawweight: Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang

Welterweight: Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall

Female Bantamweight: Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson

Female Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Aspen Ladd

Featherweight: Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov

Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov

Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz

Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida vs. Marlon Vera