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Thread: Dana White lauds 'more grown-up' Robbie Lawler after UFC on FOX 8 head-kick win

  1. Default Dana White lauds 'more grown-up' Robbie Lawler after UFC on FOX 8 head-kick win

    http://www.mmajunkie.com/news/2013/0...-head-kick-win

    SEATTLE – It's only been two fights, but it's hard to argue when Dana White talks about the old Robbie Lawler vs. the new Robbie Lawler.

    Lawler (21-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) on Saturday knocked out Bobby Voelker (24-10 MMA, 0-2 UFC) with a vicious head kick early in the second round at UFC on FOX 8 at KeyArena Seattle. It was just his second fight since returning to welterweight after a long run at middleweight.

    But those two fights – the latter of which came on live national TV on FOX – have been impressive enough to already have folks talking about where he fits in in the welterweight title picture. Sure, at 5-5 in his past 10 – 3-5 in Strikeforce, including a 185-pound title fight loss to Ronaldo Souza in 2011 – few are saying he should be next in line.

    But in taking out perennial contender Josh Koscheck in the first round in February in his return to the UFC after more than eight years away, and Saturday's highlight-reel KO of Voelker, Lawler now likely commands a fight against someone also clamoring to be next in line.

    "I'm going to fight whoever they put in front of me, and I'm ready to go," Lawler said at Saturday's post-event news conference in Seattle. "I'll talk to Dana, talk to (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and talk to my manager and figure out who I'm fighting next."
    Before the news conference, the crew on the UFC's post-fight show on FUEL TV brought Lawler on and asked if he'd be interested in a fight with Rory MacDonald, who employed the most cautious approach he's shown yet in the UFC to beat Jake Ellenberger right after Lawler's exciting finish.

    Lawler said he didn't watch MacDonald's win over Ellenberger, which was criticized by White after the card and was criticized by man of the more than 7,000 fans at KeyArena in the form of boos. But Lawler did say MacDonald's got skills.

    "He's a stud," Lawler said. "He moves around really well. He's strategic for sure."

    But when Chael Sonnen asked him if MacDonald could take a Lawler head kick, the Iowa resident, who trained at American Top Team for his latest win, was confident in his reply: "I don't think anyone can." When asked if he'd like to find out if MacDonald could take the kick, he said, "I wonder if he does."
    Whatever has clicked for Lawler the past two fights, be it the drop from 185 to 170, be it changes in training camps and training methods, be it a sense of urgency as a fighter in his early 30s recognizing a career opportunity in his return to the UFC, the changes have been noticeable.

    Lawler has 86 percent of his 21 career wins by knockout. And though going 3-5 in Strikeforce was not exactly setting the world on fire, his three wins all were memorable. In 2010, he was getting brutalized on the feet by Melvin Manhoef, then delivered a right hand that shut that punishment down and limped away with his hand raised. Later that year, he stopped Matt Lindland with a punch 50 seconds into the fight. In 2012, after back-to-back losses to Souza and Tim Kennedy, he stopped Adlan Amagov with a flying knee.

    Exciting finishes has never been an issue for Lawler. But putting everything all together and going on a run in the past five years has been.

    "Lawler has been a fun fighter since the day he walked into this organization," White said of Lawler, who debuted in the UFC at UFC 37 in 2002, going 4-3. "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."
    Just what that will translate to for the next challenge for Lawler, who spent years training with the Pat Miletich team in Iowa, remains to be seen. But it's pretty clear he has gotten people's attention.
    There are many paths to freedom....not all are peaceful.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakara=Excitement View Post
    I'd love to see a Lawler rematch with Nick Diaz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPeezy View Post
    I'd love to see a Lawler rematch with Nick Diaz.
    i still say nick diaz wins that rematch. maybe not by knockout again, but i think he could take the UD.

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    Always love watching Lawler fight, but I was left with the feeling after the fight like, "Welp, he damn well better have won like that, c'mon it was only Voelker".....

    I'm digging Robbie at WW and have been hearing maybe a Rory matchup since Robbie is hot off the KTFO win and since Dana is utterly kayfabing the possibility of Diaz coming back, but there are still several holes in Robbie's game he's always had, that we simply haven't had the opportunity to see in his Kos and Voelker fights. Thus, while I'm completely sold on him as an awesomely exciting fighter, I'm just not sold on him at a top WW, until I see him against a guy who'll really challenge some of his sticking points. A guy like Pierce, Stungun or Ellenberger would be a first step and I'd also dig seeing him take on his originally intended opponent in Siyar, just to see his overall game before he's crowned prom king.

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    I remember watching Robbie in his early UFC days. Been a fan for a long time. It's great to see him still fighting to this day and still knocking guys out with ruthless intention. My favorite thing to watch Lawler do is punch people in the head. I'm happy for him to have back to back highlight reel KO's in the UFC again, one being over Kos (fuck yeah).

    I'd like to see him show us that he's capable of overcoming guys with strong wrestling bases and gameplans, but either way, I am happy with watching Lawler fight whoever. I just want to see him knock guys out. Not Rory though.

    I really do wish we could see the rematch with Nick. Imagine the talking, weigh ins, and walk outs for that fight. And if Robbie got his revenge.

    Come on, Nick! Don't be scared, homie. Lawler will fight that fight.

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