Robbie Lawler has made a big splash since re-signing with the UFC earlier this year. ‘Ruthless’ knocked the afro off Josh Koscheck at UFC 157, then proceeded to head kick Bobby Voelker in to a living death (to quote Ken Shamrock) this past July.
Since losing three from four between January 2011 and July 2012, Lawler is looking like a new fighter. His approach to fighting has changed drastically, to the point that he has a great attitude and is more controlled during his fights. Being part of ATT has obviously rubbed off in a big way on Lawler, who now finds himself in a great position.
Currently scheduled to face off against Rory MacDonald at UFC 167, Lawler could potentially be a title contender by early 2014. I think the timing couldn’t be any better for Lawler, but how would this potential title shot look as far as the rankings are concerned?
Well, Mac D is ranked at #3 in the Welterweight division at present; his last win was an unimpressive win over Jake Ellenberger. Unimpressive as it was, a win is a win, and over the number five in the division for that matter.
The top end of the 170lb. division is so stacked right now; Ellenberger, Rory Mac, Carlos Condit, Bigg Rigg, Demian Maia and GSP at the pinnacle. Lawler currently sits at the number eight spot in the division and he is leapfrogging a lot of guys to get the fight with MacDonald. Mainly due to the fact that the rest of the division is either tied up or coming off a loss.
When you consider how many fights Johny Hendricks needed before receiving his title shot, you may feel that Lawler getting one so soon is a bit short sighted. The truth is that one fighters chance of a title shot depends on the shape of the division overall, and Lawler could genuinely be in with a good chance here.
Carlos Condit is 1-2 in his last three, Kampmann and Ellenberger are both riding losses, Matt Brown is surging but yet to beat a top 10, Nick Diaz is nowhere to be found and Hendricks and GSP are locked in to their fight. Lawler could find himself in prime position if he can beat Mac D.
Easier said than done against a guy like Mac D; he is young, hungry and always comes in fantastic shape. MacDonald was clearly cautious of Ellenberger’s power when they fought, as a result he faces an opponent at the bottom end of the division when he could have potentially received a title shot. This fact alone may push him to take more chances against Lawler, something that has proved perilous for 18 of Lawler’s 21 opponents that he has defeated.
Lawler is a knockout machine and has only been to the judges scorecard twice in victory. If there’s anyone that I want to do well in the UFC, it’s Lawler. The dude is a badass, and has some of the most savage KO wins on his resume. So should Robbie Lawler get a title shot with a win over Mac D? Probably not, but you won’t hear any complaints from me if he does.