Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, arguably regarded as one of the biggest ‘fan favourite’ fighters to ever compete for the organisation, will retire after his next fight at UFC 290, Dana White has confirmed.
Lawler, 41, will face Niko Price on the July 8 card, which will come just days after he is formally inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame along with Rory MacDonald for their classic UFC 189 welterweight title bout in the summer of 2015. That fight served as the co-main event to Conor McGregor’s main event win against Chad Mendes, which secured the Dubliner his first slice of UFC gold.
“I found Robbie Lawler when he was 19 years old and UFC 290 will be final fight of his amazing 22 year career,” White said in a social media broadcast on Wednesday.
Lawler, a former member of the old school Miletich Fighting Systems teams which produced a range of UFC champions like Lawler, Jens Pulver, Matt Hughes and Tim Sylvia, fought 46 times (so far) in an extensive mixed martial arts career. His crowning achievement was winning the then-vacant UFC welterweight title in a fight with Johny Hendricks in December 2014. He would go on to defend his crown twice, against MacDonald and Carlos Condit, before losing the title via first-round knockout to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in July 2016.
He also won middleweight gold in the Elite XC and Icon Sport promotions.
Lawler was most recently seen in the cage in July of last year where he was defeated by Bryan Barbarena. His most recent win came against the returning Nick Diaz in September 2021; a fight in which he avenged defeat from their first meeting all the way back in April 2004.
UFC 290 is set to be headlined by a featherweight world title fight between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez. The co-main event will see flyweight champion Brandon Moreno attempt to defend his title against Brazil’s Alexandre Pantoja.
Lawler vs. Price is expected to headline the prelim card prior to the start of the pay-per-view.