However, the fact of the matter remains that the UFC veteran is a three-time world champion and wields devastating one-punch knockout power that spans across two different weight classes.
The Miletich product is set to right his wrongs and get his career back on track when he takes on Russian import Adlan Amagov this Saturday for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine," where the two strikers will take co-main event honors.
Here's a look at some of Lawler's most impressive victories, which always produce fireworks.
In November of 2002, Lawler was already emerging as a top contender in the UFC's welterweight division and Tiki Ghosn stood between him and his third straight win inside the Octagon.
Ghosn rushed Lawler early against the cage with an array of punches, though the undefeated 6-0 star backpedaled and countered with a looping right hand which sent Ghosn crashing to the mat, yielding the knockout victory in just 89-seconds.
In his debut with the now defunct Pride organization, Lawler took on the talented and well-traveled Joey Villasenor.
Lawler was looking to bounce back from a submission loss to Jason "Mayhem" Miller under the Icon Sport banner and the emphatic return came at the expense of Villasenor in October of 2006, when the Greg Jackson fighter ate a flying knee to the face.
"Smoking Joe" crashed to the canvas, declaring Lawler the winner by KO in just 22-seconds.
While under the EliteXC banner, Lawler became the organization's middleweight champion and was looking to defend his title against a familiar face in Scott Smith.
The pair originally met just a couple of months prior when the bout was stopped after an inadvertent thumb caught Smith in the eye.
In their second outing, Lawler impressively wilted the heavy hitter with punches and kicks to the body, which yielded the TKO victory midway through the second round, successfully defending his title in the process.
Vying for the vacant title, Lawler took on Pride veteran Murilo Rua, brother to former UFC champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
In September of 2007, Lawler repeatedly lit up the Brazilian on the feet before finally wading in for the finish in the third round when he connected with a brutal combination, dropping "Ninja" with a strong uppercut.
Some ground-and-pound blows later, Lawler cinched the emphatic knockout victory and earned another belt to add to his mantle of impressive accomplishments.
In January of 2010, Lawler was looking to bounce back from a disappointing submission loss to Jake Shields when he was pitted against K-1 star Melvin Manhoef.
The heavy hitting Dutch striker proceeded to wilt Lawler slowly but surely, courtesy of some crippling leg kicks. Just as Manhoef stepped recklessly in for the finish, the "Ruthless" one countered with a right hook, dropping the striking dynamo instantly.
Two more shots on the ground earned the emphatic, come-from-behind knockout victory in arguably Lawler's most memorable performance to date.
After succumbing to his first career defeat at the hands of Pete Spratt, Lawler was then matched up against fellow banger Chris Lytle in November of 2003.
The duo went back-and-forth for the full 15-minute affair, with Lawler edging Lytle thanks to his wrestling skills and punching power which sent the durable fighter reeling to the mat on several occasions.
After Lawler exited the UFC, going 0-2 in his last two outings, he ventured to the now defunct Superbrawl promotion where he took on fellow Octagon veteran Falaniko Vitale.
The two middleweights met for the promotion's vacant title. The Hawaiian proved formidable early, nearly cinching several submission on Lawler, though the Miletich fighter eventually landed his crushing fists on Vitale, cinching the knockout victory in the waning moments of the second round.
With the win, Lawler picked up his first world title in the process.
The duo met once again less than a year later in order to determine the first Icon Sport 185-pound champion.
Though Niko proved to be competitive in their initial encounter, Lawler disregarded the advantageous positions that the submission ace had cinched, favoring to plod forward and gun for the knockout.
His strategy proved effective as Robbie hooked his way to a knockout win in less than four minutes of action.
After dropping a decision to former Strikeforce champion Renato Sobral, Lawler was looking to get himself right back in the pecking order of the middleweight division when he took on former UFC title challenger Matt Lindland.
The Team Quest star was once coveted as one of the best 185-pounders in the world, given his Olympic caliber wrestling and underrated jiu-jitsu skills.
Lawler stormed through Lindland, disregarding his grappling skills and swiftly earned the knockout victory, donning a well kept mane of hair to boot.
After his losing his title to the aforementioned "Mayhem," Lawler had his chance to reclaim what was once his when he took on then champion Frank Trigg for his middleweight Icon Sport title.
Trigg was coming off of a knockout victory over Miller and was looking to defend his belt for the first time against the heavy hitting Lawler, who took the Xtreme Couture fighter into the later rounds.
In the fourth, Lawler took advantage of a fatigued Trigg, muscling him to the corner where he dropped bombs on an unassuming "Twinkle Toes," who was victimized by the heavy hooks of "Ruthless."