– MMAWeekly Radio
First it was Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller signing an exclusive deal with the ICON promotion in Hawaii. Now it’s Robbie Lawler, the man ‘Mayhem’ will face in the main event in February, that has signed with the Hawaii based promotion.
T. Jay Thompson broke the story on MMAWeekly Radio that Robbie Lawler has signed an exclusive contract to fight in Hawaii with ICON.
Lawler has built up his career again after losing three of four in the UFC. Lawler had lost to Pete Spratt, Nick Diaz and Evan Tanner. He had won his first eight fights and now has won two in a row including his big win over Faliniko Vitale in ICON.
The last few weeks have been signing season in Mixed Martial Arts with several promotions inking deals with some big named free agents. The UFC brought back BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz, Frank Mir, and Ken Shamrock. Rumble on the Rock secured a deal with Frank Trigg. The WFA signed Matt ‘The Law’ Lindland. The WEC is bringing back Mike Kyle and Chris Lytle.
Icon Sport president, T. Jay Thompson said, “Essentially we came to an agreement with Pat Miletich, Robbie Lawler and Monte Cox to a five fight deal in 2006 for Robbie Lawler.”
T. Jay added, “He had offers both from Pride and UFC. A three fight deal from UFC was put on the table for Robbie Lawler, and he chose to come over here and fight in Hawaii. It’s fun for us. I mean Robbie’s our champion. He’s got a real similar deal to Mayhem.”
Discussing last week’s signing of Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, Thompson said, “I’m so thrilled. We’ve had a great year, a great 2005. The crowds were big. We were drawing 6,000-7,000 people and Mayhem’s a big part of that. As long as we’re drawing the kind of crowds we need to draw, I’ve got no problem writing big checks to these guys. Mayhem, on the up side, in five fights could make a couple hundred thousand dollars. And I couldn’t be happier for Mayhem. He’s a super nice guy. He’s out of his mind. He’s a nut, all that kind of stuff. It’s a nice guy to give that kind of money to.”
The first fight on the contracts of ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler and Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller will be against each other. Discussion the bout, T. Jay commented, “February 15th, it’s a tremendous match up. We’ve just gone to the five, five minute round for a championship bout which I think maybe gives the edge to Mayhem…In Hawaii, Mayhem is a huge favorite right now. Everybody we talk to thinks that Mayhem is going to beat Robbie Lawler. I don’t necessarily see it as an easy fight by any means. I have a feeling that Lawler can keep it standing, and if not knock Jason out, if he’s prepared, and beat him up for five rounds.”
Having said that, Thompson added, “By no means would I be surprised if Mayhem wins. I mean he’s proved me wrong many, many times, but what a lot of people don’t know is Robbie Lawler is a different fighter than he was a year ago. He’s made some real leaps and bounds mentally as well as in his technical side. I think watching his war with Niko [Vitale] really gave me a lot of confidence in a guy that can take it a long way.”
Further commenting on the contracts with Lawler and Miller, Thompson stated, “We signed everybody to no cut deals, so win or lose we’ve got them fighting for us all year, and the fans here will be sick of seeing Mayhem and Robbie fighting by the end of the year. [laughs].