Thomas Wolfe claims you can’t go home again. The famed novelist clearly never saw Robbie Lawler (pictured) fight.
In Wolfe’s defense, he’s been dead for over 75 years so he has a valid excuse.
In any event, Lawler has been on a violent tear since returning to the UFC three bouts ago. “Ruthless” has lived up to his nickname, steamrolling Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker, then beating now-former welterweight heir apparent Rory MacDonald this Saturday at UFC 167.
“Robbie Lawler, when he was younger, all he gave a s*** about was making money,” UFC president Dana White recalled after Lawler’s victory over MacDonald. “His thing was money, ‘I want to fight for whoever is going to pay me the most money. I need money.’
“There were so many times that Robbie and I had talked throughout the years when he fought for other organizations and he’d be like, ‘I want to come back and fight for you guys. I want to come back and fight in the UFC.’ I said, ‘Kid, it makes no sense. I’m not going to pay you what they are paying you. They need you over there, and they gotta pay you whatever the hell they gotta pay you to keep you.'”
Lawler went just 4-3 during his first tenure in the Octagon, which ended in 2004 after two straight losses. He came back to the UFC on the heels of a disappointing 3-5 run in now-defunct Strikeforce, but has transformed into a different beast since his return to the big leagues.
“Now, we bought Strikeforce, he’s back in the UFC and he’s a completely different animal,” White stated. “It’s not even about money. He doesn’t even talk about money anymore. Now, it’s about winning that title. He’s getting older now and he’s not this young, crazy kid anymore. He’s got a wife and he’s got kids. And now, it’s about before this opportunity goes away, I want to take a run at the title. And he’s doing it, man. It’s very impressive.
“He’s a completely different person than he used to be. I’ve always had a great relationship with Robbie. I’ve been a fan whether he was with us or with somebody else. I’m really happy for him.”