“I don’t worry about who I’m fighting and what they’re ranked – I know everyone in the UFC is really tough, so I just have to be ready,” said UFC welterweight fighter Robbie Lawler, who takes on fellow top contender in Rory MacDonald this weekend at UFC 167.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Robbie Lawler’s return to welterweight was the start of big things for the fighter. First of all, the drop in weight coincided with his return to the UFC after years of fighting in Strikeforce’s middleweight division. Then, in his first fight back in the UFC in February, he knocked out Josh Koscheck in a ‘Knockout of the Night’ performance. In his next fight, he knocked out Bobby Voelker, a performance that earned him a fight with Rory MacDonald, who is ranked 3rd amongst welterweight contenders.
But all of this doesn’t matter to Robbie Lawler.
For him, the drop in weight classes was expected, and the stellar knockout performances are simply the embodiment of his style and his training.
“I just kind of do what I want when I want to do it,” Lawler told MMAjunkie. “I knew when I came back to the UFC I was going to drop down to 170 [lbs.] and fight guys I’ve been watching for a long time.”
And as far as any size advantage from coming from a bigger weight class? Lawler is quick to dismiss that as less important than his training.
“I’m not too worried about (being at welterweight), nor do I really think about that. I’m just training hard, training smart and with a really good team that’s pushing me getting me ready to go. I don’t really feel bigger – the guys I’m fighting are just smaller and not as heavy.”
More important than size is his training at American Top Team, where he has “just really good coaches, and the training partners are amazing.”
At UFC 167, that coaching and training will need to be at its best as Lawler faces his highest ranked UFC opponent in Rory MacDonald. It can be said that Lawler is the “Chael Sonnen” to MacDonald’s “Anderson Silva,” as MacDonald’s last performance was enough to upset countless fans and UFC President Dana White. Lawler’s aggressive style will undoubtedly force MacDonald into a crowd-pleasing fight.
But if you ask Lawler, he’ll say nothing of the kind. Of MacDonald’s last fight, Lawler said that Rory “was defensive and did what he needed to win.”
While you won’t get trash talk out of Lawler, you will certainly get a fight.
“I come to fight. I come to beat people up and have a good time out there and compete. I don’t really like to talk too much about anything, and I don’t really like to trash about my opponents because they’re all really tough guys. They train hard, and they’re top-level guys. I respect them all.
“I was just excited to be back fighting and whoever they put in front o f me, I’m going to be ready. I don’t worry about who I’m fighting and what they’re ranked – I know everyone in the UFC is really tough, so I just have to be ready.”
Be sure to catch UFC 167, which is headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Georges St-Pierre and hard-hitting challenger Johny Hendricks. It airs this Saturday live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card begins at 10pm/7pm ETPT and will air on Pay-Per-View. Preliminary cards will air online at 6:30pm/3:30pm ETPT and on FOX Sports 1 at 8pm/5pm ETPT.Tags: countdown to ufc 167 video, georges st. pierre, gsp, gsp vs hendricks, hendricks, johny hendricks, lawler vs macdonald, macdonald vs lawler, mma, MMA NEWS, robbie lawler, Rory MacDonald, ufc, UFC 167, ufc news, ufcu