It's 2015, and Robbie Lawler is the UFC welterweight champion. That would've been hard to imagine just a couple of years ago, but the 14-year veteran went from dropping 5 of 8 bouts in Strikeforce as a middleweight brawler, to beating the UFC's elite and being crowned as the champ.
Lawler says there are a lot of things that contributed to his improbable run to the top of the UFC, but says a lot of this has been with his personal growth and finally being ready for the spotlight. The 32-year-old spoke to the media scrum about it:
"For some reason, everything has been clicking the past few years."
"Believing in myself and my coaches, moving down to American top team, and just enjoying the sport. I've enjoyed it, and I enjoy fighting, and I enjoy training. Coming back to the UFC was huge. I was ready for the spotlight for the first time. I don't think 3 years ago, I would've been talking to you guys very much. I just think I'm ready now for whatever it takes to be a world champion and a UFC fighter. I've just been growing as a person and as a fighter."
It's a long road to the top but according to Lawler, nothing much has changed and it's 'business as usual' since winning the title:
I'm excited to get back to training, but I need rest. I've had a tough year, a long year, a lot of fights in a row, so my coaches want me to relax a little bit. It's a little hard to relax. I don't really know how to do that since this last year, all I've been doing is training and training.
I don't really worry about (Hendricks deserving a third fight). I just worry about who I'm fighting. I just move forward and not worry about the things I can't control.
Watch the entire video above from MMA Fighting.