DALLAS, Texas - Robbie Lawler did not think he would get his "shot at the title" this way, but he is not exactly whining about it. Ruthless Robbie will fight Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks on March 15 in UFC 171 for the welterweight title in Dallas.
The title became available after champion Georges St. Pierre announced he was taking a leave of absence.
Lawler and Hendricks were both in Dallas recently to promote the fight, and Lawler answered some questions.
You watched Hendricks fight against St. Pierre, what did you think? I thought St. Pierre was being strategic and trying to win rounds. Johny did a good job of beating him up. You're never really surprised in sports. I thought Johny won the fight. I looked at it as someone got beat up (St. Pierre), and the other guy didn't.
Did you think you'd be in line for this fight? I didn't think about it too much other than I thought I would be in contention and the discussion for sure.
How did you find out? Dana White called me.
Your reaction? Alright, let's do it. I don't get too excited about it. It's not like I won the lottery. When you believe in yourself, you believe it will work out.
Hendricks is the favorite - why can you win? Because I'm a hard worker who can hurt people.
The fight is in Dallas, Johny's region, is that an advantage? No. It's just him and me. It doesn't matter if the crowd is booing or cheering
What do you do in your free time? Relaxing now - it doesn't seem like I do relax. Hang out with my family, watch sports, and hang out with my son (4).
What is worse - bad diaper, or stale milk? Bad diaper.
Do UFC fighters taper? Yeah - you build it up, and then take workouts out. Make them shorter and more intense. You can't wear your body down, you have to give it a break and when it does it responds. I start doing that about three weeks before a fight.
Nervous any more before a fight? No, not really. I've put in the work and I've been dedicated to win. When you put in the work, you are not worried.
Whomever wins this fight, because it's not GSP, will there be an asterisk? No. You can't spend your whole life thinking what will people think.
If you weren't an MMA fighter, what would you do? I started full-time in 2000. I really don't know what else I'd do. I would probably be competiting in something.
How long can a UFC fighter fight? Depends on how much money you make, how your body is doing, and are you really putting in the effort? I don't think this is a sport where you just show up. It's too hard.
For a UFC guy, your ears are in pretty good shape - how? I do have cauliflower ear. I had surgery to repair it. They cut it, put cotton or something - sewed it up. Hurt like hell. I'll never do it again. It never really bothered me before. When I got the surgery, it was way worse.
What is the worst injury you've inflicted? Probably just getting knocked out.
You been knocked out? Yeah - not sleeping. But falling on my head. For me, it was a (snaps his fingers). It was like closing my eyes and opening. I fell down (in the fight). I lost the fight. With me, I knew right away I was fine. I felt like I could keep fighting. There are some guys you think - he has to stop.
Would you want your son to be a UFC fighter? It's a hard road. You are going to have to wrestle and box and do a lot of other things really, really well. It's a rough sport. It would be ridiculous for me to act like nothing is going on - this is a rough sport. This is what I chose to do.
How much do you guys make? The first two years, I didn't make any money. Like, no money. I did a lot of amateur fights. I did it because I loved it. When I first started, in 2000, the champions weren't making anything. I didn't get in this because of the money. I did it because I loved it. Different guys make different money. As soon as you stop enjoying this, get out of the game.
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