Robbie Lawler
Ruthless
Tabbed for Fight Night in June
WelterweightUFC
March 27, 2019
UFC President Dana White told Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com that Lawler and Tyrone Woodley will headline UFC Fight Night at Minneapolis on June 29.
ANALYSIS
Lawler lost via controversial submission to Ben Askren at UFC 235, but will have a chance to redeem himself in June. Woodley handily lost the UFC Welterweight Championship to Kamaru Usman at the same event, so both fighters will have plenty to prove. The bout in Minneapolis is a rematch of the 2016 title fight at UFC 201 in which Woodley knocked out Lawler in the first round.
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Suffers controversial loss to Ben Askren
WelterweightUFC
March 2, 2019
Lawler lost to Ben Askren via submission (bulldog choke) at 3:20 of Round 1 at UFC 235 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It appears to have been a rare poor stoppage by veteran referee Herb Dean, but Lawler is going to be kicking himself for not closing the show when he had the chance. Robbie was smashing a prone Askren after a takedown attempt moments after the opening bell rang and it for all the world seemed as if Lawler would earn a quick stoppage against his debuting opponent. Askren somehow survived and Lawler found himself fighting off the bulldog choke not long after. As has been the case throughout his entire career, Robbie handled the bad beat with class. As crazy as it sounds, Lawler's stock isn't going to drop much despite the setback. He looked exceedingly strong early despite nearly 15 months on the sidelines and the finish was mired in controversy. Lawler, who turns 37 years old later this month, should be back sooner rather than later.
Return pushed to March
WelterweightUFC
December 13, 2018
Lawler's scheduled welterweight matchup against Ben Askren has been moved to UFC 235 on March 2 following the cancellation of UFC 233.
ANALYSIS
Lawler will keep his originally-scheduled opponent, but the event will take place more than a month after the initial target date and be held in Las Vegas instead of Anaheim. Despite Lawler being the significantly more seasoned UFC fighter, he enters this matchup as roughly a (+250) betting underdog as of mid-December.
To welcome Ben Askren to the UFC
WelterweightUFC
November 7, 2018
Lawler (knee) will take on Ben Askren in a welterweight matchup at UFC 233 on Jan. 26, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Lawler tore his ACL during his last matchup -- a loss to Rafael dos Anjos in December of 2017. While he had been targeting a early-2019 return all along, the UFC will do him no favors with this matchup. Lawler has continuously fought the best welterweights in the world for the last decade-plus, but Askren represents one of his most unique challenges to date. He's a fighter that will have little desire to stand and trade, and will instead put his focus on exploiting Lawler's 69 percent takedown defense rate. Lawler's prospects in this fight depend entirely on whether he will be able to keep things upright, something few have been able to do against Askren. While Lawler isn't a slouch on the mat by any means and will be trained well at American Top Team, he has just one submission win and averages less than one takedown per 15 minutes of fight time. Askren has never faced a fighter of Lawler's caliber, but on the other side of the coin, Lawler has arguably never faced a wrestler of Askren's caliber.
Targeting January 2019 return
WelterweightUFC
May 31, 2018
Lawler continues to recover from knee surgery and is hopeful for a return in January, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Lawler's name has came up relatively frequently in an ever-changing welterweight title picture, as the veteran is a logical opponent for any 170-pounder that believes they're ready for title contention. Those rumblings appear to be premature, however, as Lawler continues to recover from surgery to repair both a torn ACL and torn meniscus. Assuming Lawler got the surgery immediately after the injury was sustained last December (which is uncertain), he would then be in line for roughly a year on the shelf. Athletes in other sports have taken less than a year to recover from similar procedures, but Lawler is 36 years old, and will need some time to resume training and get himself prepared to be kicked in that very knee. January may even be a bit optimistic, but the good sign is that his career doesn't yet appear to be over.
Fought through torn ACL
WelterweightUFC
January 4, 2018
Lawler sustained a torn ACL and meniscus during his fight against Rafael dos Anjos in mid-December, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
ANALYSIS
Lawler apparently suffered the knee injuries in the third round of his five-round bout against dos Anjos, according to UFC president Dana White. He finished the fight, losing via unanimous decision at the UFC on FOX 26 event in Winnipeg. Looking ahead, the timetable for this sort of injury is typically around one year, although it wouldn't be out of the question for Lawler to return sometime in late 2018. As for his career, the 35-year-old can certainly recover from such an injury, similar to Georges St. Pierre and Conor McGregor, but his next move with certainly be a hot topic in the upcoming future. At this point there has been no word on when he will undergo surgery to repair the injuries.