35-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 28-12-0, 1NC
January 4, 2018 Robbie Lawler News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Lawler sustained a torn ACL and meniscus during his fight against Rafael dos Anjos in mid-December, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
Lawler apparently suffered the knee injuries in the third round of his five-round bout against dos Anjos, according to UFC president Dana White. He finished the fight, losing via unanimous decision at the UFC on FOX 26 event in Winnipeg. Looking ahead, the timetable for this sort of injury is typically around one year, although it wouldn't be out of the question for Lawler to return sometime in late 2018. As for his career, the 35-year-old can certainly recover from such an injury, similar to Georges St. Pierre and Conor McGregor, but his next move with certainly be a hot topic in the upcoming future. At this point there has been no word on when he will undergo surgery to repair the injuries.
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Fantasy AnalysisEssentially fighting on one leg for the vast majority of the fight, Lawler struggled more than any fight in recent memory. He was dominated by dos Anjos in tight and he struggled to land with regularity throughout the course of the bout. The leg injury Lawler sustained certainly contributed to the struggles, but RDA was in total control of this one regardless. Lawler will turn 36 years old in March and it's fair to wonder if all the wars that he has been in over the years are starting to catch up with him. Lawler's next move is very much in question. It's a story to keep an eye on as we head into 2018.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler will hold a three-inch height and four-inch reach advantage against the former lightweight fighter, but that didn't make a difference for dos Anjos when he put away Neil Magny with a first-round submission last September. Lawler's biggest challenge in this one will be avoiding the takedown, as dos Anjos racks up more than two per fight, and Lawler's takedown defense is a good, but not great, 69 percent. As long as Lawler keeps the fight standing, he'll be able to use his length advantage to rack up strikes and wear down dos Anjos over the five-round affair. Lawler is a former welterweight champion with two successful title defenses, so he'll enter as a betting favorite against an opponent with only two fights in the division. The winner here could very well be fighting for a belt in their next matchup.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler got off to a blazing start and he finished strong. In between he looked dreadful in Round 2, but he did enough in the first and final frames to earn the victory. Knowing he was facing an opponent who is traditionally a slow starter, Robbie rushed across the cage the moment the opening bell rang and unleashed a flurry of power shots on the unsuspecting Cerrone. It set the stage for Lawler pushing the pace for the majority of the remainder of the fight. Even when he wasn't consistently landing, Robbie was the one initiating the action. Lawler has now won six of his last seven fights. He turned 35 years old in March, but Lawler still has a ton left in the tank.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler and Cowboy were supposed to face off in what was essentially a title eliminator during the International Fight Week card, but the bout was ultimately scrapped after Cerrone suffered an injury. Rumors of the bout getting moved to UFC 214 three weeks later were initially shut down by UFC President Dana White, but it appears he's had a change of heart. Now, this matchup of popular welterweights will officially go down on the July 29 card headlined by Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler and Cerrone were originally scheduled to face off at the July 8 event, but reports earlier this week indicated that UFC brass would attempt to reschedule the matchup for UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim. Now even that date is out of the question, as Cerrone will need more than the extra three weeks to recover. It sounds like Lawler will still eventually get a crack at Cerrone, but it won't be until later in 2017.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler and Cerrone were originally scheduled to square off during the International Fight Week event in Las Vegas, but it sounds like in all likelihood, their bout is headed to Anaheim three weeks later. The reason for the delay is an undisclosed injury suffered by Cerrone, but it doesn't sound like something too serious if it's only pushing back the fight a matter of weeks. Lawler had been listed as approximately a (-150) betting favorite prior to the announcement, and any injury question on Cerrone's end is only likely to move more money Lawler's way. Stay tuned for an official announcement from the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler and Cerrone were originally supposed to throw down at UFC 205 at the Madison Square Garden, but Lawler backed out, citing the need for more time to prepare. Now, the fans will finally get this fight, but Lawler will be nearly a year removed from competition when he enters the octagon. Ring rust could always play a role, especially against Cerrone, who is one of the promotion's most active fighters. Both Lawler and Cerrone are looking to bounce back from stoppage defeats.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's not clear at this time if there has been some sort of rift between the gym and the former welterweight champion, but as of right now, Lawler is looking for a new place to train. He doesn't yet have his next fight scheduled, as a bout with Donald Cerrone that was supposed to take place at UFC 205 was ultimately scrapped. When a fight does get booked for Lawler, however, he'll be setting up camp somewhere other than the southern Florida-based gym.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler's last fight was at UFC 201, where he lost by a one-punch knockout to Tyron Woodley. It was announced earlier this week that he would return for the UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden in New York, but he will no longer fight on the Nov. 12 event. The former champion reportedly would like more time to prepare for his next fight.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler's recently lost his UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 201 when he lost by a one-punch first-round knockout to Tyron Woodley. The former champion will look to bounce back against Cerrone, who is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. If Lawler, who has 20 total knockout wins, can stay away from vulnerable submission positions and land some big punches, he has a chance to win and jumpstart his momentum.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was the seventh time in the 2016 calendar year that a UFC title has changed hands -- a stunning number for less than eight months worth of action. Lawler ate one monumental right hand, and although he was complaining to referee Dan Miragliotta about the stoppage, it was more than justified. Any fighter can fall victim to a one-punch knockout in this sport, and it happened to Lawler on Saturday. Lawler will undoubtedly be upset with his effort, but his resurgence is one of the better stories in MMA history. He'll be back.
Fantasy AnalysisThe transformation of Lawler is one of the greatest stories in the history of the sport. A guy who was viewed as nothing but roster depth at one point is now one of the longest reigning champions in the company. Lawler has gotten his tail kicked in three-straight fights against the best in the world(Carlos Condit, Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks), but he always finds a way to come out on top. Woodley is a good fighter, a top-five welterweight for sure, but Lawler has defended his title against better fighters in the past. He deserves to be a considerable favor in this one.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler is coming off a narrow, split-decision victory over Carlos Condit, and with the No. 1 and No. 2 welterweight contenders set to square off on June 18, the UFC will give him the No. 3 option in the division. Woodley has thrown down with some of the top welterweights in the octagon, but rust could be a factor, as he hasn't fought since January of 2015. At 34 years old, Lawler has only gotten better with age, and a victory over Woodley would mark his third consecutive title defense.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was everything that you could have hoped and more. Thinking he was on his way to dropping a decision, Lawler turned up the heat during the final five minutes and it likely stole him the fight. The fifth round will go down as one of the great rounds in MMA history. It almost defies belief that both guys were still standing when it was all over. Lawler landed a couple huge shots in the first four rounds, but he was badly outworked by Condit and it nearly cost him his title. Condit landed more total strikes (198), than Lawler threw (177). Yet once again, Robbie's cardio and his ability to take a beating were remarkable. It's not right to call Lawler lucky here, but you will find plenty of people who scored this fight for Condit. Lawler has now won nine of his last ten fights, nearly all of them against top-ranked competition. Common sense would say that Tyron Woodley is next in line for a title shot since Lawler has already beaten Rory MacDonald (twice) and Johny Hendricks.
Fantasy AnalysisThe line for this one has been going back and forth since it was initially posted. Expect to see more of that leading up to the fight. This will be Lawler's second title defense since winning the UFC welterweight title from Johny Hendricks back in December 2014. Lawler's first defense, a fifth round TKO win over Rory MacDonald in July, was considered by many to be the 2015 Fight of the Year. Things won't get any easier against Condit, who is a true veteran of the sport and has a great trainer in Greg Jackson behind him.
Fantasy AnalysisWe reported just last night that Lawler's thumb injury wasn't as significant as originally feared and he would only miss a month of action. As a result the UFC quickly rebooked the main event that was scheduled to originally headline UFC 193 in Australia in November.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler will not need surgery. He was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title fight against Carlos Condit last week, but it appears that Lawler won't miss as much time as originally expected. Since Lawler won't be out for too long, it's entirely possible that a new date for a Lawler/Condit fight could be announced in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisWell, now the decision to move the Ronda Rousey v. Holly Holm fight to Australia makes even more sense. When UFC president Dana White announced on ESPN's SportsCenter Friday night that the Rousey/Holm fight was being moved, he made no mention of Lawler's injury. There's no word yet on what exactly happened to Lawler or how long he will be sidelined.
Fantasy AnalysisLawler is currently riding a four-fight winning streak that includes back-to-back victories in title fights. Many thought he'd see a rematch with Johny Hendricks in his next title defense, but it was also announced Wednesday night that Hendricks would face Tyron Woodley at UFC 192, which would no longer leave him available for that bout. If Lawler can retain his belt against the No. 4-ranked Condit, he would likely see the winner of the Hendricks/Woodley fight next.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was one of the greatest fights that UFC fans will ever witness. Both fighters were covered in blood by the time the bout was over. Lawler started off the fight well. He was patient and was the more effective striker through the first two rounds. MacDonald rebounded and opened up big time in Round 3 and had Lawler in serious trouble along the fence. Referee John McCarthy looked like he was going to step in and stop the bout on multiple occasions, but Lawler repeatedly told him that he was fine and the fight continued. Much like his bout against Johny Hendricks when he won the title, Lawler turned up the heat in the final round. He was patient up until that point, but he knew the fight was likely tied on the scorecards and he needed a big round to pick up the win. MacDonald definitely proved to be a worthy challenger, but Lawler was able to take a ton of punishment and dish out even more. The resurgence of Lawler's career is one of the greatest stories in MMA history.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite the fact Lawler is coming into the bout as the champion, he's still a pretty healthy (+165) underdog. MacDonald is younger and more athletic, but Lawler will have a distinct power advantage in this bout. MacDonald should have a slight advantage due to the fact this is a five-round bout, but not much of one. Considering how Lawler has turned his career around the last couple of years, it would be a mistake to bet against him on Saturday.