The word “legacy” is thrown around a lot when talking about athletes as they move toward the end of their careers. Much will be said about Robbie Lawler’s legacy as he heads into his UFC 290 bout, which he’s stated will be his last. The fighter to watch is usually an up-and-coming competitor, looking to break through to the upper rankings, but this time the focus should be on Lawler as he brings a storied career to an end.
With forty-six total bouts and a stint as UFC welterweight champion on his resume, Lawler is closing the door on his time as an active competitor. His time in the cage spans more than two decades and some of the most important promotions in the industry.
Many do not realize his UFC run started in just his second year as a professional fighter, making his debut in the Octagon back at UFC 37. From that point, he competed in well-known organizations like King of the Cage, PRIDE, IFL, EliteXC, and Strikeforce. But don’t call Lawler a “journeyman” as he competed at the highest levels within every stop. Along the way, he picked up key victories over the likes of Chris Lytle, Frank Trigg, Murilo Rua, Melvin Manhoef, Matt Lindland, Rory MacDonald, Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz, and many more. His victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 put that 170-pound title around his waist, which he would go on to defend two times.
Still, Father Time continues to catch up to even the most beloved fighters in the game, Lawler included. Since dropping the belt to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in 2016, he’s gone 2-5. If Lawler is to retire on a happy note, he will have to defeat Niko Price at UFC 290.
Niko Price stands in the way of Robbie Lawler's happy ending
Price is also looking to right his ship, as he was last seen taking a TKO defeat at the hands of Philip Rowe to close out 2022. Price made his debut for the company back at UFC 207 where he defeated Brandon Thatch via submission in the first round. During his UFC tenure, Price has defeated individuals like James Vick, Tim Means, Alex Oliveira, and more.