Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 157 PPV fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche. Here, we look at the PPV opener: Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler.
The UFC 157 PPV main card opens with Welterweight action. Josh Koscheck (17-6 MMA; 15-6 UFC) welcomes Strikeforce fighter Robbie Lawler (19-9(1) MMA; 4-3 UFC) back to the UFC. This three round fight kicks off the five fight UFC 157 PPV main card. UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche airs live from Anaheim, California this Saturday, February 23. The main card begins on PPV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
This is another fight in the sort of ongoing UFC vs. Strikeforce series. So far, the results have been more in Strikeforce's favor, with fighter like Tyron Woodley and Fabricio Werdum doing quite well for themselves. Former EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler looks to keep that streak going here, though he is the decided underdog against the former #1 contender Koscheck. Look for Lawler to use his hands here, while from Koscheck, it's hard to know exactly what to expect. The wise move would be to outwrestle Lawler - we'll see if that's how he chooses to play it.
How do these two stack up?
Koscheck: 35 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach
Lawler: 30 years old | 5'11"
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Josh Koscheck has been a fixture of the UFC Welterweight division ever since his run as the abrasive "bad guy" of The Ultimate Fighter season 1. A decorated wrestler, Koscheck added more striking to his game over the years, developing into one of the division's best. But ever since a 2010 decision loss to GSP that left him with a fractured orbital bone, there have been questions about Koscheck's future. He barely pulled off a win over Mike Pierce, then lost a close decision to Johny Hendricks. This is his first fight since the Hendricks loss last May. There's no shame in losing to Hendricks (or Pierce), but it seems that GSP fight may have taken something out of Koscheck for good.
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler first made a name for himself in the UFC way back in 2002. An aggressive, brash power puncher, Lawler started hot inside the Octagon, but soon started losing against more disciplined fighters. He left the UFC in 2004, and is now back over 8 years later. A long time training partner of Matt Hughes, Lawler developed a much more patient, focused striking game during his UFC hiatus, picking up big wins over the likes of Frank Trigg, Melvin Manhoef, Ninja Rua, and many more. But in recent years, he's had some definite struggles - he's just 3-5 since his 2 fight EliteXC series with Scott Smith on network TV. He's coming off a loss to Lorenz Larkin in Strikeforce, and fighting at 170 for the first time since a 2004 UFC loss to Nick Diaz.
Why should you care?
Because Lawler is awesome and even if he's not as good as he once was, I'm excited to see him back. He has the kind of power that can end the fight in an instant, but so does Koscheck, which makes for a fun fight.