Rory MacDonald versus Robbie Lawler has gone down in MMA history as one of the greatest fights of recent years. With MacDonald due to face Paul Daley on Bellator 179 in a couple of days, we thought it was a good time to hear from his opponent on UFC 189 about what it was like to face him. Tony Reid caught up with Robbie Lawler shortly after the event for the following interview.
Tony Reid- Your title defense against Rory MacDonald at UFC 189, to me, was inspiring. It made me happy to be a part of the same sport, the same human race as the two of you. The ability, the warrior spirit the fact that you both fought through so much, refused to give in, and performed the way you did.
Robbie Lawler- Thank you.
Tony Reid- Rory recently said the fight was “the greatest moment of my entire life”. What are your thoughts when you hear him say that?
Robbie Lawler- It was an awesome experience. He let it all hang out that day and he did a great job.
Tony Reid- How high was that night on your “greatest life moments” list?
Robbie Lawler- Obviously it was high on the list. The crowd that night was awesome. It was nice to put on a performance like that in front of a crowd that was so excited for International Fight Week.
Tony Reid- A fight like that changes the people involved in it. What did you learn or figure out about yourself that night?
Robbie Lawler- Nothing really. I have been doing this for a long time. I was just able to showcase to the rest of the world what I am capable of and the kind of fighter I am. There wasn’t anything I found out about myself that night. It’s all about getting better and pushing myself to becoming a more complete fighter.
Tony Reid- What was the toughest or most challenging moment of the fight for you to fight through?
Robbie Lawler- Obviously everyone saw which spots where the toughest spots in the fight. It’s all just figuring out a way to get the job done. You don’t really concentrate on that type of thing too much. You are just doing the best you can and trying to figure out a way to get the win.
Tony Reid- You suffered a grizzly torn lip in that fight, among other cuts, bruises and injuries. What was waking up the next morning like? I would assume the fact that you still had the UFC gold made it a little easier…
Robbie Lawler- My body was fine. Obviously I had the split lip. Other than that I had a little bit of swelling but not too much. My body felt great. Just my lip and my head were a little swollen from stiches and stuff.
Tony Reid- You are insane. Honestly you are the toughest guy I have ever talked to. That is amazing to say that after that fight.
Robbie Lawler- Here’s the thing, my team at American Top Team did a great job getting of me ready for the fight. They always say training is way harder than the fight itself. That was true, even though I didn’t get cut up in training camps but my body was bruised and beat up from the weeks of training. I was recovered well and my body felt great after the fight due to all the hard work put in at American Top Team.
Tony Reid- You were at the UFC event the very next weekend and looked completely healed. Rogan said you must be like Wolverine with those healing powers.
Robbie Lawler-Yeah I got the stitches out of my lip about five days after. I was working out. Normally I work out the Monday after a fight and then I take the rest of the week off. That week I worked out on Tuesday because Monday was a travel day. I worked out on Tuesday pretty hard, I worked out again on Thursday and then back to a normal week of lifting every other day. I have been pushing myself to get better and my body feels great and I can’t wait to get after it again.
Tony Reid- The fight was part of the UFC 189 card that had the Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes main event. Your fight even going in was a bit overshadowed by the madness that is Conor McGregor. You and Rory put on a fight of the year, what was your experience as far as the hype that was found on other fights on the card?
Robbie Lawler- Conor did a great job of promoting the fight and Chad stepped up on short notice and put on a great show. I don’t really worry too much on what is going on outside of my fight. I concentrate on what I can control and that was getting ready for my fight and getting ready for Rory.
Tony Reid- MacDonald, Hendricks I and II, Brown, Ellenberger, you are in one Fight of the Night (or fight of the year) fight after the next. What fight, in your opinion has been your fight of the career to this point?
Robbie Lawler- Every fight was big in my career. Every fight means the most. This last one was the most important. I was able to get the victory and showcase some skill and some heart. It was nice to be fighting on one of the biggest cards of the year and showcase my skills in front of a lot of great fans.