UFC 167’s Robbie Lawler Wants Hendricks for Interim Title if GSP Takes Time off
“I think [what] we should probably do if Georges takes off for half a year or a year, [is] Hendricks and I fight for an interim title, and when Georges comes back, I’ll beat him up too,” said Robbie Lawler (pictured) at the UFC 167 post-fight press conference Saturday night.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Momentum is not a strong enough word to describe Robbie Lawler’s return to the UFC.
Following his departure from the organization in 2004, Lawler fought in a number of organizations before landing in Strikeforce, where he would have mixed success for over three years. When Strikeforce closed in 2012, Lawler was among the welterweight talent inducted to the UFC.
His first bout was against then-top-10 ranked fighter, Josh Koscheck. Lawler defeated Koscheck inside the first round with a ground-and-pound TKO. He then defeated Bobby Voelker in the second round of their UFC on FOX 8 bout with a highlight-reel headkick and punches.
Those two bouts brought him to this weekend, when he took on the highest-ranked opponent of his recent career in Rory MacDonald: a man he was able to defeat in a three-round war via split decision.
And while talks of Lawler getting a title shot may seem premature – especially considering the controversy surrounding George St-Pierre’s split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167 – Robbie Lawler thinks that St-Pierre’s talk of taking time off presents opportunity.
“I think [what] we should probably do if Georges takes off for a half a year or a year [is] Hendricks and I fight for an interim title, and when Georges comes back, I’ll beat him up, too,” Lawler said at the post-fight press conference. “Let’s do this.”
UFC President Dana White, while pushing for the rematch between St-Pierre and Hendricks, couldn’t help but commend Lawler’s newfound passion.
“I’m the one that brought Robbie Lawler into the UFC, and I was 100 percent behind this kid when he came in,” White said. “Robbie Lawler, when he was younger, all he gave a shit about was making money. ‘I want to fight whoever is going to pay me the most money. I need money.’
“And there were so many times that Robbie and I had talked throughout the years when he fought for other organizations, and he’d be like, ‘I want to come back and fight for you guys. I want to come back and fight in the UFC.’ I said, ‘Kid, it makes no sense. I’m not going to pay you what these guys are paying you. It doesn’t make sense here. They need you over there, and they’ve got to pay you to keep you.’”
But now? Now we are seeing a much more motivated Robbie Lawler.
“He’s a completely different animal,” White continued. “He’s not even about money. He doesn’t even talk about money anymore. Now it’s about winning that title.
“As he’s getting older now, he’s not this young, crazy kid anymore. He’s got a wife, he’s got kids, and now he’s about, ‘Before this opportunity goes away, I want to take a run at the title,’ and he’s doing it. Very impressive.”
With three consecutive, and impressive, wins over ever-improving opponents, it’s hard to say anything else about Robbie Lawler.