This weekend Robbie Lawler will take to the Octagon after a three-year run in Strikeforce preceded by time bouncing around a number of other regional promotions. While Lawler hasn’t seen action in the infamous eight-sided cage in some time, the scrap remains a homecoming for the 30-year old after making a name for himself in MMA as a youngster competing under the UFC brand a decade ago.
It was a stop Lawler always felt he’d make before hanging up his gloves, albeit not as a middleweight despite the bulk of his previous pairings coming at 185 pounds. Rather, Lawler will compete as a welterweight at UFC 157, facing divisional staple Josh Koscheck on the evening’s main card.
“I knew when I was gonna go back to the UFC I was gonna go down to 170,” said Lawler in an interview with the UFC’s website, crediting a recent move to American Top Team with “bringing out the best” in him.
Though the 19-9 Lawler was a stand-out in the UFC years ago, Koscheck represents one of the organization’s current crop of stars with a connection to the original Ultimate Fighter cast and more than twenty consecutive tilts in the Octagon. Of course, Lawler isn’t intimidated by Koscheck’s reputation. In fact, he doesn’t keep up with the success of others, focusing primarily on his own path in the fight game.
“I’ve been watching everyone from afar and seeing how everything shakes out, and he is definitely a big name in the UFC,” Lawler admitted, adding, “I’m just coming out and trying to make a statement with every fight, no matter how big someone else thinks it is. It’s always big.”
If Lawler is able to fend off Koscheck’s likely attempts at taking him down, there’s a good chance he could produce the exclamation point he’s hoping to deliver on Saturday night. Sixteen of Lawler’s wins have involved a strike-based stoppage.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC