White praises Robbie Lawler and 'hungry' Strikeforce crew after UFC 157
White praises Robbie Lawler and 'hungry' Strikeforce crew after UFC 157 | News
"The people were booing at the beginning of that fight," White said. "None of us like the up-against-the-fence bulls---. But those dudes were working. If you know wrestling and you know this sport, that was a war. That was a wrestling war between those two. That was fun. I liked that fight, and I liked that fight going into this fight."
Of particular note to the UFC president was how much better Lawler looked as a welterweight. The longtime middleweight made his return to 170 pounds, and after the fight said he felt better than ever.
White seemed to agree.
"He looks good at 170 pounds – way better than he did at 185," White said. "He looked slow and lethargic and out of shape. He looked like he didn't give a s--- at 185. He looked like the old Robbie Lawler at 170 pounds."
The old Robbie Lawler is regarded as one of the most feared strikers in MMA, and the new one at welterweight will be, too.
What Lawler did was not easy. Koscheck's never had a losing streak, but he does now thanks to Lawler's big right hands with him up against the fence. Though arguments could be made that the fight was stopped just a little too soon – and they were made right away on social media – White said he believes Koscheck was out and the stoppage was a good one.
It was a key win for Lawler, not just as a statement in his return to the UFC, but to keep him from a really rough stretch that would've meant four losses in five fights, otherwise.
That may be part of an overall sense of Strikeforce urgency that White continues to see happening since the UFC absorbed most of the fighters after that promotion closed its doors this past month.
Joining Lawler as former Strikeforce fighters in the win column at UFC 157 was Nah-Shon Burrell (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who picked up a win over Yuri Villefort (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) – yes, another Strikeforce guy.
"Strikeforce had hungry fighters," White said. "These f---ing guys are hungry. Most of them haven't fought in a year. They didn't know what was going on with their career. Couldn't pay their bills. All this s---. Now they're in here and they know what it was like to be (over there). They're hungry, man. I love it.
"The Strikeforce kids, they're going to raise the bar on all these other guys."