Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Robbie Lawler has a chance to return to the top of the UFC welterweight picture.
Robbie Lawler spent a lot of time away from the UFC. Before this recent run, his last fight with the promotion came in 2004 at UFC 50 against the late Evan Tanner.
That said, when he had a chance to show that he was a legitimate contender, he made the most of the opportunity.
Lawler's time in the now-defunct Strikeforce wasn't spectacular, as he racked up a 3-5 record against some fairly strong competition. As a result, few bought into the notion that Lawler was going to win many fights in the UFC...never even mind one against longtime welterweight contender Josh Koscheck.
Then he knocked out Koscheck in the first round.
While some are slotting him into the Top 10, Lawler has a lot to prove in a crowded welterweight division. Unfortunately, while he was lined up to cement himself among the upper echelon of the division with a fight against Tarec Saffiedine, an injury forced the Strikeforce welterweight champ out of the bout. Siyar Bahadurzada was brought in instead and then he too had to withdraw due to an injury, which opened the door for anonymous Strikeforce fighter Bobby Voelker.
It's a dangerous fight for Lawler, and even if he wins, the questions will still linger. He needs at least one more big win to show that he is the fighter he was when he knocked out Frank Trigg and slapped around Murilo “Ninja” Rua, instead of the one who was outmuscled and outlanded by every solid middleweight on Strikeforce's roster.