Robbie Lawler began fighting in 2001, and by 2002, the Miletich Martial Arts team member was in the UFC. There he went 4-3, but left on a two-fight losing streak.
Lawler went 8-1 (1 NC) outside the UFC, winning the ICON Sport Middleweight Championship and the EliteXC Middleweight Championship in the process. He then signed with Strikeforce. There he went 3-5, losing a title challenge to Jacare Souza. When the UFC acquired Strikeforce, he contract moved over the UFC.
During this same period (2012-2013) Lawler joined American Top Team. While widely recognized as one of the world’s best teams, ATT had yet to have a UFC champion. Lawler saw his career reborn, as he went from 1-3 in Strikeforce to 3-0 in the UFC, and got a title shot vs. Johny Hendricks.
Lawler lost a unanimous decision, won two more, faced Hendricks again, and won. ATT had its first UFC champion. Then Lawler defended it twice, the first time vs. Rory MacDonald in the fight of the year. Some say it was the fight of the ever.
At UFC 201 on July 30, 2016, Lawler lost his belt to Tyron Woodley. While Woodley is also an ATT fighter, he trains primarily out of a Missouri branch, and not at the headquarters in Coconut Creek, Florida, where Lawler did.
‘Ruthless’ was scheduled to fight ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016, in New York, but withdrew citing the need for further time to recover from the knockout loss to Woodley. He does not currently have a fight scheduled.