Robbie Lawler made a successful return to the UFC and the welterweight division, defeating Josh Koscheck at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche by technical knockout. He also earned a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for the victory.
Prior to Koscheck bout, Lawler last competed in the UFC on Oct. 22, 2004, at UFC 50 in his middleweight debut against former titleholder, the late Evan Tanner.
Lawler is happy to be back in the UFC and back in the welterweight division.
“It was awesome coming back. The whole week was amazing. It was awesome to work with the UFC. Josh is a game opponent, but I feel very strong at 170. When he took me down and he was on top of me, he did not feel heavy at all. I felt like as soon as I got back to my feet I was going to stop him. I felt great,” said Lawler during the post-fight press conference on Saturday.
Lawler has trained out of Pat Miletich’s gym for most of his career. He was also a member of Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad, and trained at Power MMA and Fitness with Ryan Bader and Aaron Simpson, but Lawler decided to seek out American Top Team for his return to the UFC.
“I was getting a lot of good work with my wrestling up in Iowa, but I needed a more all-around game, striking, jiu-jitsu at a high level. I had a lot of good coaches out at ATT to work with. They pushed me. Everything was smarter. Everything was precise. I had a great training camp,” said Lawler about training at ATT.
UFC president Dana White was glad to see Lawler back in the Octagon, and like Lawler, feels the welterweight division is where he should be competing.
“I don’t know if you guys noticed at the (pre-fight) press conference, but he said, ‘I grew up while I was gone, and I love being here now and I’m ready to do this now.’ He looks good at 170 pounds. Way better than he looks at 185. He looks slow and lethargic and out of shape and like he didn’t give a (expletive) at 185. He looks like the old Robbie Lawler at 170 pounds,” said White.
Lawler took out a To 10 ranked welterweight in his return to the division, sending a clear message that there’s another name, a familiar name in the UFC mix of dangerous 170 pounders.