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Strikeforce Fighters Raising the Stakes in UFC

Written by Tom Ngo
February 25th, 2013
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Strikeforce Middleweight Robbie Lawler

Imagine if you were starving and standing outside of a restaurant, peeking through the window while watching others inhale gourmet food as if they were taking their last breath.

When you walk up to the hostess to request a table, you’re told they’re unable to seat you because admission is for members only. It would be a natural reaction to then work your tail off to one day earn enough money to join the exclusive club. And when that time finally comes, best believe you’ll be sporting some elastic sweatpants because there will be some serious Joey Chestnut-esque eating on display.

That’s exactly how most Strikeforce fighters have been behaving since getting promoted to the UFC. The Octagon has become their five-star buffet, and UFC President Dana White has certainly taken notice.

“Strikeforce had hungry fighters,” White stated following Saturday’s UFC 157 post-fight press conference. “These [expletive] guys are hungry. Most of them haven’t fought in a year. They didn’t know what was going on with their career, couldn’t pay their bills. All this [expletive].

“Now they’re in here and they know what it was like to be on the outside looking in]. They’re hungry, man. I love it. The Strikeforce kids, they’re going to raise the bar on all these other guys.”

White hasn’t stopped raving about Bobby Green since he rallied to submit Jacob Volkmann earlier this month at UFC 156. He referenced Green’s never-say-die mentality when defending the UFC’s decision to cut 16 fighters last week.

Strikeforce transfers continued to take advantage of their opportunities this past weekend at UFC 157. Robbie Lawler (Pictured), who fought in the UFC many moons ago before competing for smaller shows over the past nine years, now fully understands and appreciates what it means to be in the big leagues.

“Ruthless” was just that against Josh Koscheck. Although Lawler was more than a 3-to-1 underdog against the 22-time UFC veteran, it was Kos who was separated from his senses on Saturday.

White, for one, was thrilled to have another welterweight contender in the mix after watching Lawler go circa 2005.

“He looks good at 170 pounds, way better than he did at 185,” White said of Lawler. “He looked slow and lethargic and out of shape. He looked like he didn’t give a [expletive] at 185.

“He looked like the old Robbie Lawler at 170 pounds.”

With the UFC’s roster carrying more than 100 athletes than they would like, Strikeforce transfers know spacing is limited. That’s why they are fighting with a hunger their counterparts better match, otherwise, the unemployment line could be calling soon.

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