He is known for his devastating knockout power and extensive wrestling skill. He is the former EliteXC middleweight champion and the former ICON Sport middleweight champion. He competed extensively for Strikeforce in their middleweight division and he currently competes as a welterweight in the UFC.
He lost his most recent fight , facing off against former promotion light-heavyweight champion Renato Sobral at a 195-pound catchweight. Lawler lost a razor-thin unanimous decision.
He was next expected to fight in the Strikeforce middleweight tournament to decide the number-one contender for the title. He instead faced veteran Matt Lindland to close out a busy 2010 year. Lawler defeated Lindland via spectacular knockout to likely earn a title shot against Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza. A few weeks later, it was confirmed that Lawler would fight Souza for the title on January 29th. Souza defeated Lawler via third-round rear-naked choke submission.
Lawler next faced Army Ranger and fellow contender Tim Kennedy. Kennedy defeated Lawler via unanimous decision.
Lawler took a brief hiatus after being diagnosed with asthma before signing to face dangerous up-and-comer Adlan Amagov. He defeated Amagov via first round flying knee knockout.
Lawler next signed to face middleweight newcomer Lorenz Larkin. Larkin dominated a gutsy Lawler on the feet en route to a bloody unanimous decision victory.
Back To The UFC: ResurgenceEdit
After Strikeforce's demise and its roster's integration into the UFC, Lawler dropped to welterweight for his UFC return against former title challenger Josh Koscheck. Lawler knocked Koscheck unconscious in the very first round for a triumphant return.
Lawler was next set to face fellow Strikeforce veteran and former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine. Saffiedine was unfortunately injured and replaced by slugger Siyar Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada himself was injured shortly before the fight was set to take place and replaced by Strikeforce veteran Bobby Voelker. Lawler defeated Voelker twenty-four seconds into the second round with a high kick and punches.
Lawler next signed to fight prospect Rory MacDonald for a probable title shot. Lawler put on one of the best performances of his career, taking the fight to MacDonald and doing more than enough to win a bloody split decision. After the victory Lawler called out contender Johny Hendricks for a UFC interim welterweight title matchup.
Instead Lawler signed to fight Hendricks for the vacant UFC welterweight championship. Hendricks and Lawler went to war in Dallas with both men giving it their all in a close battle. In the end Hendricks came out on top with all three judges giving him three rounds to two for a unanimous decision victory. Lawler was classy in defeat saying that he would be back better than ever.
Second Title RunEdit
Lawler wasted little time in next stepping in to replace oft-injured Tarec Saffiedine against contender Jake Ellenberger on a little under two months' notice. Lawler dominated Ellenberger en route to a third round TKO victory.
Lawler then fought striker Matt Brown for the next title shot, defeating Brown via a relatively close decision after a great fight.
UFC Welterweight ChampionEdit
Lawler was then set to rematch Hendricks in his fourth fight in 2014, in December, for the UFC welterweight title. Lawler put on an even more gutsy performance, pulling off a narrow split decision victory to earn the UFC welterweight title. It was one of the greatest MMA career comeback stories of all time.
Lawler was all but sure to next defend his title in a rematch against surging contender Rory MacDonald. The fight was indeed signed for Fourth of July weekend 2015, co-main eventing underneath the highly hyped Jose Aldo-Conor McGregor featherweight title fight. (Aldo was soon injured and replaced by Chad Mendes.)
Lawler and MacDonald went to war in an instant classic, one of the greatest fights of all time. The fight was back-and-forth with one man looking to gain momentum and then the other. The first round was tepid but MacDonald's clearly. Lawler broke MacDonald's nose in the second round. MacDonald looked to be close to finishing Lawler in the third round. Lawler came back and won the fourth round and the two had a bloody staredown between rounds that Lawler undoubtedly won as well.
Lawler came out for the fifth round and knocked MacDonald out a minute into the round to retain his UFC welterweight title for the first time. MacDonald suffered a broken nose and a broken foot in the ordeal but both men gained legions of fans and all the respect in the world. UFC president Dana White said the fight was not only the Fight of the Night, but the Fight of the Ever.
Lawler next signed to defend his belt against former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit in Australia. The fight did not materialize there and was rescheduled for January 2016. Lawler defeated Condit via an extremely narrow split decision win that many found very controversial.
Losing the Title Edit
Despite rumors about a possible 'superfight' with featherweight champ Conor McGregor in the spring of 2016, Lawler next signed to defend his belt for the third time against Strikeforce veteran Tyron Woodley. Woodley unfortunately took the title from Lawler via a blistering first round knockout. Lawler was classy after the fight, saying that he had no excuses and he'd have to come back better.
Lawler continually asked UFC president Dana White for a quick turnaround, wanting to get right back in the cage. Lawler got what he asked for, signing about a month or so after the Woodley fight to compete at the UFC's first event in New York City at Madison Square Garden against surging former lightweight and current welterweight Donald Cerrone.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Marco Macera
- Chris Lytle vs. Robbie Lawler - The fight was known for its many bizarre moments and showboating from both fighters.
- Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler
- Evan Tanner vs. Robbie Lawler
- Robbie Lawler vs. Falaniko Vitale 1 - The fight was for the ICON Sport middleweight title with Falaniko Vitale defending.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Joey Villasenor - The fight was the Pride debut of Lawler.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Eduardo Pamplona - The fight was the IFL debut of Lawler.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Murilo Rua - The fight was for the EliteXC middleweight title with Murilo Rua defending the belt, his first defense.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef - The fight was the Strikeforce debut of Melvin Manhoef.
- Renato Sobral vs. Robbie Lawler - The fight was at a one-hundred and ninety-five pound catchweight.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Lindland - The fight was to decide the Strikeforce middleweight number-one contender. I consider it the Knockout of the Year for 2010.
- Ronaldo Souza vs. Robbie Lawler - The fight was for the Strikeforce middleweight championship with Ronaldo Souza defending.
- Tim Kennedy vs. Robbie Lawler
- Robbie Lawler vs. Adlan Amagov
- Lorenz Larkin vs. Robbie Lawler - The fight was the middleweight debut of Larkin.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Josh Koscheck - The fight was Lawler's return to the UFC and his return to the welterweight division.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown - The fight was for the next UFC welterweight title shot.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks 2 - The fight was for the UFC welterweight title with Johny Hendricks defending.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 - The fight was for the UFC welterweight title with Lawler defending.
- Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit - The fight was for the UFC welterweight title with Robbie Lawler defending.
- Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler - The fight was for the UFC welterweight championship with Lawler defending.
"Dana White called me one day and told me I needed a nickname and suggested “Ruthless.” So I said, “Yeah, whatever. Pick what you want.” So it wasn’t a big deal to me. It was more of a UFC marketing thing. It could have been anything.”