Having grown up in mixed martial arts under the tutelage of UFC Hall of Fame fighter Pat Miletich, Lawler joined ATT in 2013. He became the first fighter at the famed gym to earn a UFC championship.
He stumbled in his first attempt at the UFC welterweight title, losing to Johny Hendricks in early 2014. Lawler rebounded, winning back-to-back bouts against Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown, before taking the belt from Hendricks in a rematch in December of 2014.
Lawler defended the belt twice before losing it to fellow ATT fighter Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in July of 2016. He hasn’t fought since.
Lawler had initially agreed to return to the Octagon opposite Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 in New York in November, but decided that he wasn’t quite ready yet and backed out of the fight.
As of the time of publication, there had been no reason giving for Lawler’s decision to leave ATT. MMAWeekly.com was unsuccessful in reaching Lawler or his camp.