Lawler: If I fight to the best of my abilities, I can’t be stopped
Robbie Lawler won the UFC welterweight championship in 2014 and defended it twice before losing to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 on July 30, 2016. He bounced back with a win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in July, and fight Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC on FOX 28 on Saturday night. UFC president Dana White says the winner get a title shot, but Lawler is thinking differently on belt.
“It’s definitely a huge thing to get in your career and to retain that,” he said to Damon Martin for MMAWeekly. “I want to fight to the best of my abilities and if I fight to the best of my abilities, there’s no stopping me and that belt is just the cherry on top.
“It’s just focusing on my skills, focusing on my training, and focusing on my growth, and the belts and the money kind of come with that. That’s kind of secondary to everything else.”
Lawler has fought professionally since 2001. He’s taken 781 significant strikes, the UFC record for all divisions. His win over Rory MacDonald in the 2015 fight of the year may have shortened his life. And he’s suffered some brutal losses too. But at 35, he has an evolved way of looking at the fight game.
“Have I really lost or have I just learned a whole bunch?” said Lawler. “You only really lose if you don’t learn anything and you don’t develop and you don’t create some sort of growth out of a s****y situation. That’s what I’ve always focused on with all these losses.
“Just finding a way to turn them into motivation or to get better and turning these losses into wins somehow.”
At 35 Lawler may be a diminished fighter. But he might not be, too. Saturday night should be telling.