by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com

Since his early days
fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, current EliteXC middleweight
champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler has been a man of few words when it came down
to talking before his fights. 
Instead, he let his hands do the talking for him in the ring or cage.


With 14 of his 17
professional wins coming by way of knockout or TKO, there is no doubt that
Lawler has become one of the most feared punchers in all of mixed martial arts.


Unfortunately for
Lawler, the chance to defend his middleweight championship for the first time
ended when doctors stopped his fight with Scott Smith due to an accidental eye
poke in the third round that caused the fight to be called a no-contest.


According to Lawler,
the last fight is the past, and his fight with Scott Smith this Saturday night
is just like a new opponent all over again.


“Really I don’t care,”
Lawler said about fighting the same opponent twice.  “I look at it as a new fight, and I kind of look at it as we’ve
never fought before and I’ll be ready to go.”


To his credit, Lawler
has been able to move on much better from past performances, where the former Miletich fighter was as emotional as they come in many of
his fights.


During a 2004 fight
with Nick Diaz in the UFC, Lawler bought into his opponent’s antics and allowed
the fight to become a pure slugfest for which he came out on the short end,
being knocked out in the second round. 


After moving up to 185
pounds, Lawler has seen his success grow along with his maturity in the
sport.  He now trains exclusively
with close friend Matt Hughes at his H.I.T. Squad gym and he avoids most
outside distractions by focusing on training and getting ready for his next


“More bouts under my
belt, just training a little harder, a little smarter and working on aspects
and working on the mental game,” Lawler commented on his growth and maturity in
the sport.


One thing is for
sure.  Lawler is not thinking about
the last fight with Smith.  He is
truly focused and ready for round two in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday night.


“I’m focusing on this
next fight and I don’t care how that last one went,” Lawler said. “I just need
to go out there and get the job done on Saturday.”


Video Interview: Robbie Lawler


Video Interview: Scott Smith