Robbie Lawler

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Robbie Lawler
Born (1982-03-20) March 20, 1982 (age 33)
San Diego, California, United States
Other names Ruthless
Residence Coconut Creek, Florida, United States
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Weight 171 lb (78 kg; 12.2 st)
Division Welterweight (2001-2004, 2013-present)
Middleweight (2004-2012)
Reach 74.0 in (188 cm)[1]
Fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida, United States
Team American Top Team (2013-present)
Miletich Fighting Systems (2000-2013)
Rank      Black Belt in Karate
Years active 2001-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 36
Wins 25
By knockout 19
By submission 1
By decision 5
Losses 10
By knockout 1
By submission 5
By decision 4
No contests 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Robert Glenn "Robbie" Lawler (born March 20, 1982) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he is the current UFC Welterweight Champion. He is also a former EliteXC Middleweight Champion, and has also competed in Strikeforce, PRIDE, the IFL, and King of the Cage. As of December 10, 2014, Lawler is the UFC welterweight champion[2] and #8 pound-for-pound in official UFC rankings.[3]


Lawler was born in San Diego, California and moved to Bettendorf, Iowa at the age of ten to live with his father. Lawler began training in karate at the age of nine and later attended Bettendorf High School where he received All-State honors in wrestling and football. Lawler was taken under the wing of Pat Miletich when he was 16 years old and began training with Miletich Fighting Systems as soon as he graduated in 2000.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Lawler made his professional debut in 2001 and won his first four career fights all by TKO/KO, his second fight being in the IFC.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Lawler made his UFC debut at UFC 37 against veteran Aaron Riley. Lawler won the bout via unanimous decision. Lawler fought again in the next month against Steve Berger at UFC 37.5 and won via TKO. In his next fight, Lawler faced another veteran, Tiki Ghosn at UFC 40 and won in a highlight-reel knockout. Lawler then fought against Pete Spratt at UFC 42 and lost after he submitted due to a hip injury. Lawler came back to get a win over fellow boxing and wrestling specialist Chris Lytle via unanimous decision at UFC 45.

In his next UFC bout, Lawler faced former WEC Welterweight Champion and future longtime Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz at UFC 47. Lawler was handed the only knockout loss of his career to date in the second round. Lawler then lost again at UFC 50 against the late Evan Tanner, who would win the UFC Middleweight Championship in his next fight.


Lawler then fought at SuperBrawl in Hawaii, defeating Falaniko Vitale via knockout to become the SuperBrawl Middleweight Champion. Lawler then made his debut for King of the Cage and won via armbar submission.

Lawler then faced Falaniko Vitale again, this time for the ICON Sport Middleweight Championship and won again in the rematch by knockout, becoming the ICON Sport Middleweight Champion.

In his next bout and first title defense, Lawler lost to Jason "Mayhem" Miller via arm-triangle choke submission.

Lawler then made his PRIDE debut in Las Vegas, Nevada against Joey Villasenor at PRIDE 32 and won via knockout.

In his next fight, Lawler made his IFL debut in Atlanta, Georgia against Eduardo Pamplona and won via TKO.

On March 31, 2007, he fought Frank Trigg for the ICON Sport Middleweight Championship and won by KO in the fourth round, becoming the ICON Sport Middleweight Champion a second time. On September 15, 2007, he fought PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Murilo Rua for the EliteXC Middleweight Championship and won by TKO in the third round due to punches.

Lawler was scheduled to fight Kala Hose for the ICON Sport Middleweight Championship on December 15, 2007 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lawler however pulled out of the fight due to an injury. ICON Sport stripped Lawler of the middleweight title on February 9, 2008 for failing to defend the title.[5]

Lawler defended his EliteXC Middleweight Championship against Scott Smith at EliteXC: Primetime on May 31, 2008, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, which ended in a no contest after Smith caught an accidental finger in the eye from Lawler.[6]

On July 26, 2008, Lawler and Scott Smith had their rematch at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Lawler defeated Smith by TKO in the second round.


After defeating Scott Smith, Lawler's employers, EliteXC, announced that they would be shutting down and filing for bankruptcy. Lawler's contract was picked up by Strikeforce with his first bout under the Strikeforce banner on June 6, 2009 against Jake Shields. The bout was fought at a catchweight of 182 lb. Lawler lost via submission due to a guillotine choke at 2:02 of the first round.

Lawler faced K-1 veteran Melvin Manhoef on January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami.[7] During the bout, Lawler suffered significant damage to his leg which Manhoef inflicted using leg kicks. In dramatic fashion, Lawler came back to win by knockout late in the first round with a right hook punch.

Lawler was expected to face Jason Miller on June 16, 2010 at Strikeforce: Los Angeles but Lawler instead faced former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Renato Sobral in a 195 lbs. Catchweight bout.[8] Lawler had two unsuccessful attempts to meet the 195 lbs mark at the Strikeforce: Los Angeles Weigh Ins, but was finally booked for the fight weighting 195.5 pounds, after stepping on the scale for the third time. Sobral defeated Lawler via unanimous decision. Sobral utilized his reach advantage and grappling expertise to defeat the much smaller Lawler.[9]

Lawler fought Olympic Games silver medalist Matt Lindland at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II on December 4, 2010.[10] He defeated Lindland fifty seconds into the first round via KO.[11]

Lawler faced Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza on January 29, 2011 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg.[12] Lawler rocked Souza in the first round but ended up losing the fight via submission in the third round.

Lawler returned and faced Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. He lost the fight via unanimous decision, being dominantly controlled throughout the fight on the floor by Kennedy.

Lawler got back on track with a highlight reel first round TKO victory due to a flying knee over rising prospect Adlan Amagov at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine.

Lawler next faced Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on July 14, 2012.[13] He lost the fight via unanimous decision, despite rocking Larkin early in the first round with a short right hook.

Return to UFC[edit]

Lawler returned to the Welterweight division and faced Josh Koscheck on February 23, 2013 at UFC 157.[14] He won via first round TKO. Koscheck visibly protested the stoppage, but replay footage showed he was not defending himself in a dangerous position, as Lawler landed repeated blows. The finish earned him the Knockout of the Night bonus.

Lawler was expected to face former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffiedine on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8.[15] However, Saffiedine was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Siyar Bahadurzada.[16] Then on July 11, it was announced that Bahadurzada also pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Bobby Voelker.[17] Lawler won the fight via knockout in the second round.

Lawler next faced Rory MacDonald at UFC 167.[18] He won the fight via split decision.

On December 13, 2013 news came that Georges St-Pierre would be taking an indefinite break from MMA and vacate the UFC Welterweight Championship.[19] Following the announcement, Dana White announced that Lawler would face Johny Hendricks on March 15, 2014 at UFC 171 for the vacated title.[20] Lawler lost the close back-and-forth bout via unanimous decision. Despite the loss, the fight earned Lawler his first Fight of the Night bonus award.[21]

Returning quickly to the cage, Lawler replaced an injured Tarec Saffiedine and fought Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014.[22] He won the fight via TKO in the third round due to a combination of a knee and punches.

Lawler faced Matt Brown in a 5 round Welterweight title eliminator bout on July 26, 2014 at UFC on Fox 12.[23] He won the fight via unanimous decision. The win also earned him a Fight of the Night bonus award.[24]

Lawler fought a rematch with Johnny Hendricks for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014.[25] He won the fight, and the title, via split decision.[26]

A rematch with Rory MacDonald is expected to take place on July 11, 2015 at UFC 189.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Lawler is of Filipino and English American descent.[28] Lawler is married and has a son.[29]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 25–10 (1) Johny Hendricks Decision (split) UFC 181 December 6, 2014 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 24–10 (1) Matt Brown Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown July 26, 2014 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Fight of the Night; UFC Welterweight Title Eliminator; Brown missed weight (172.5 lbs).
Win 23–10 (1) Jake Ellenberger TKO (knee and punches) UFC 173 May 24, 2014 3 3:06 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 22–10 (1) Johny Hendricks Decision (unanimous) UFC 171 March 15, 2014 5 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States For the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship; Fight of the Night; Fight of the Year (2014).
Win 22–9 (1) Rory MacDonald Decision (split) UFC 167 November 16, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 21–9 (1) Bobby Voelker KO (head kick and punches) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga July 27, 2013 2 0:24 Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 20–9 (1) Josh Koscheck TKO (punches) UFC 157 February 23, 2013 1 3:57 Anaheim, California, United States Return to Welterweight; Knockout of the Night
Loss 19–9 (1) Lorenz Larkin Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy July 14, 2012 3 5:00 Portland, Oregon, United States
Win 19–8 (1) Adlan Amagov TKO (flying knee and punches) Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine January 7, 2012 1 1:48 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 18–8 (1) Tim Kennedy Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson July 30, 2011 3 5:00 Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States
Loss 18–7 (1) Ronaldo Souza Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg January 29, 2011 3 2:00 San Jose, California, United States For the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
Win 18–6 (1) Matt Lindland KO (punch) Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II December 4, 2010 1 0:50 St Louis, Missouri, United States
Loss 17–6 (1) Renato Sobral Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Los Angeles June 16, 2010 3 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Catchweight (195 lbs) bout.
Win 17–5 (1) Melvin Manhoef KO (punch) Strikeforce: Miami January 30, 2010 1 3:33 Sunrise, Florida, United States Knockout of the Year (2010).
Loss 16–5 (1) Jake Shields Submission (guillotine choke) Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields June 6, 2009 1 2:02 St. Louis, Missouri, United States Catchweight (182 lbs) bout.
Win 16–4 (1) Scott Smith TKO (soccer kicks and punches) EliteXC: Unfinished Business July 26, 2008 2 2:35 Stockton, California, United States Defended EliteXC Middleweight Championship
NC 15–4 (1) Scott Smith NC (thumb in the eye) EliteXC: Primetime May 31, 2008 3 3:26 Newark, New Jersey, United States Retained EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Win 15–4 Murilo Rua KO (punches) EliteXC: Uprising September 15, 2007 3 2:04 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Win 14–4 Frank Trigg KO (punches) ICON Sport: Epic March 31, 2007 4 1:40 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won ICON Sport Middleweight Championship.
Win 13–4 Eduardo Pamplona KO (punches) IFL: Atlanta February 23, 2007 3 1:36 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Win 12–4 Joey Villaseñor KO (flying knee) PRIDE 32 October 21, 2006 1 0:22 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 11–4 Jason Miller Submission (arm-triangle choke) ICON Sport: Mayhem vs. Lawler September 2, 2006 3 2:50 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Lost ICON Sport Middleweight Championship
Win 11–3 Falaniko Vitale KO (punches) ICON Sport: Lawler vs. Niko II February 25, 2006 1 3:38 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won ICON Sport Middleweight Championship
Win 10–3 Jeremy Brown Submission (armbar) KOTC: Xtreme Edge September 17, 2005 1 2:48 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 9–3 Falaniko Vitale KO (punches) SuperBrawl: Icon July 23, 2005 2 4:36 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won SuperBrawl Middleweight Championship.
Loss 8–3 Evan Tanner Submission (triangle choke) UFC 50 October 22, 2004 1 2:22 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Middleweight debut.
Loss 8–2 Nick Diaz KO (punch) UFC 47 April 2, 2004 2 1:31 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–1 Chris Lytle Decision (unanimous) UFC 45 November 21, 2003 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Loss 7–1 Pete Spratt Submission (hip injury) UFC 42 April 25, 2003 2 2:28 Miami, Florida, United States
Win 7–0 Tiki Ghosn KO (punches) UFC 40 November 22, 2002 1 1:29 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–0 Steve Berger TKO (punches) UFC 37.5 June 22, 2002 2 0:27 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 5–0 Aaron Riley Decision (unanimous) UFC 37 May 10, 2002 3 5:00 Bossier City, Louisiana, United States
Win 4–0 Saburo Kawakatsu TKO (punches) Shogun 1 December 15, 2001 1 4:49 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 3–0 Marco Macera TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 41 July 13, 2001 1 1:19 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 2–0 Landon Showalter KO (punches) IFC: Warriors Challenge 13 June 15, 2001 1 0:14 Fresno, California, United States
Win 1–0 John Reed TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 39 April 7, 2001 1 2:14 Springfield, Illinois, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Lawler vs. Brown". Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  3. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  4. ^
  6. ^ EliteXC and CBS Present: Saturday Night Fights (SNF)
  7. ^ "Melvin Manhoef vs. Robbie Lawler on tap for "Strikeforce: Miami"". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  8. ^ Loretta Hunt. "Lawler-Sobral Set for June 16; Strikeforce Expects ‘Mayhem’ To Be Suspended". Sherdog. 
  9. ^ "Lawler vs Sobral Weigh-Ins: Fighters hit the scale in Los Angeles". Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  10. ^ "Lawler vs. Lindland in the Works for Dec. 4". Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Henderson stops Sobral in one round". SPORTS.ESPN.go. com. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  12. ^ "Robbie Lawler vs 'Jacare' Souza booked for Jan 29 Strikeforce event". December 18, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Healy-Hirota, Mein-Stinson, High-Moore Added to Strikeforce ‘Rockhold vs. Kennedy’ Card". May 30, 2012. 
  14. ^ Arias, Carlos (2012-12-19). "Koscheck vs. Lawler confirmed for UFC 157". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  15. ^ Staff (April 11, 2013). "Robbie Lawler vs. Tarec Saffiedine targeted for UFC on FOX 8 in Seattle". Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ Staff (2013-06-04). "Bahadurzada replaces injured Saffiedine, meets Lawler at UFC on FOX 8". Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  17. ^ Staff (2013-07-11). "Siyar Bahardurzada out at UFC on FOX 8, Bobby Voelker faces Robbie Lawler". Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  18. ^ Steve Marrocco (2013-08-20). "Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald targeted for UFC 167". Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  19. ^ "It's official: georges St-Pierre vacating UFC welterweight title". 2013-12-13. 
  20. ^ "Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler meet at UFC 171 for GSP's vacant title". 2013-12-13. 
  21. ^ Staff (2014-03-16). "UFC 171 bonuses: Hendricks, Lawler, St. Preux, Bermudez win $50,000". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  22. ^ Dave Walsh (March 28, 2014). "Jake Ellenberger vs. Robbie Lawler Slated for UFC 173". Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ Staff (2014-05-27). "Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler headlines UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose". Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  24. ^ Staff (2014-07-26). "UFC on FOX 12 bonuses: Lawler, Brown, Johnson, Bermudez win $50,000". Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  25. ^ Staff (2014-09-22). "Weidman Hurt; Hendricks-Lawler II Now Headlines UFC 181". Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  26. ^ Craig Amos (2014-12-07). "UFC 181 Live Results, Play-by-Play and Fight Card Highlights". Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  27. ^ Staff (2015-02-18). "Champ Robbie Lawler meets Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 as event's second title fight". Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  28. ^[unreliable source]]]
  29. ^ Meanwhile, Lawler and his wife will be relocating.
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  48. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2015). "Jan. 26, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2014 awards issue w/ results & Dave’s commentary, Conor McGregor, and much more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, California): 21. ISSN 1083-9593. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Murilo Rua
2nd Elite XC Middleweight Champion
September 15, 2007 – October 20, 2008
Succeeded by
Elite XC ceased operations
Preceded by
Johny Hendricks
10th UFC Welterweight Champion
December 6, 2014 – Present
Succeeded by
Current Holder