After a competitive affair with Johny Hendricks at UFC 171, Robbie Lawler saw himself on the wrong end of a close split decision loss. Although only one fight removed from the title, fans and fighters alike were already clamoring to decide who Lawler should fight next in order to remain a relevant force in the top ten of the UFC’s Welterweight division. Many believed, after a hard fight, Lawler would choose to take some time off and see how the 170 pound division panned out over the next few months.
Only 2 events later, Lawler is expected to be on the main card of yet another PPV event. Originally slated to fight Tarec Saffiedine, the last ever reigning Strikeforce welterweight champion, Jake Ellenberger, a top ten welterweight himself, will now stand across the cage against Robbie Lawler. Saffiedine pulled out from the fight with Ellenberger last week, sighting an injury as the cause. Though the loss of a quality matchup is never a good thing, a fight between Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger is the kind of scrap that has fans bouncing up and down with glee.
Both outrageously heavy hitters, Ellenberger and Lawler are sure to put on a show that will be talked about for months. Lawler’s in-the-pocket style against Ellenberger’s explosive hooks makes for a fight that could end at any second, a promoter’s dream.
What is most compelling about this fight is that Robbie Lawler will only have been six weeks removed from his 5 round war with Hendricks. Lawler is showing some true determination and perseverance in his career by accepting this fight with Ellenberger, not only on short notice, but coming off a loss that could break the spirit of nearly any competitor. It’s obvious Lawler only wants one thing, another shot at that title, and, beating number 5 ranked Ellenberger will put Lawler only a fight away from another title shot.
Ellenberger, on the other hand, will be competing for the first time since his less-than-thrilling unanimous decision lost to Rory MacDonald in July of 2013. A fight that many don’t want to remember, Ellenberger seemed to be finally knocking at the door of a title shot after a long career in the UFC, but, when it came down to getting business done in the cage, he, quite literally, froze. Not only is Lawler a step up in the rankings from Saffiedine, he is the perfect opponent for Ellenberger to redeem himself against. Lawler won’t be content with jabbing Ellenberger for 3 rounds, he’s going to stay in the pocket and throw bombs at Ellenberger. The fans can only hope that the Ellenberger we saw nearly a year ago has decided to prove to himself and the UFC bosses alike, that he is a serious threat to the belt; knocking out Robbie Lawler would be the perfect way to solidify that notion.
Tags: 173, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks, MMA, Robbie Lawler, Tarec Saffiedine, UFC, weltwerweight