Robbie Lawler may be one of the most ferocious fighters in the history of the sport inside the cage, but it’s going to take a lot to rattle him outside of it.
The latest example of Lawler’s calm, cool and collected approach came on Wednesday after Nick Diaz asked for their fight at UFC 266 to be moved from welterweight to middleweight. While there were no details surrounding the request, Diaz was likely struggling to get down to 170 pounds for the fight and his team preemptively asked for the change rather than attempt a potentially dangerous cut to welterweight.
As usual, Lawler just rolled with the punches when it came to the change in weight classes and nothing much is going to change for him heading into Saturday night.
“I mean I’m ready to go,” Lawler said during UFC 266 media day. “That’s all that matters. Camp went well and controlling the things I can control.”
After landing in Las Vegas late Tuesday night, Lawler spoke to UFC president Dana White about the request from Diaz’s camp. While it’s possible that Diaz had to conceded some portion of his purse or perhaps Lawler just got a bump in pay to make the move to 185 pounds, the former welterweight champion left all of that up to his manager as he stayed focused on the fight.
“Yeah we had a short conversation,” Lawler said about speaking to White. “It is what it is. I’m ready to fight. We’re moving forward.
“I let Dave [Martin] do those kinds of things. He consults me and figures it out. I don’t get into the nuts and bolts of that stuff. I know that’s an interesting part of this sport but I don’t really discuss those things.”
It would be understandable if Lawler was upset about the change in weight, particularly because he had dieted and prepared his body to compete at welterweight rather than middleweight.
Still, Lawler refuses to allow himself to waste energy on complaining about Diaz or the change to their fight because they’ve still got to do battle on Saturday night and to him that’s all that really matters.
“I’m just trying to stay calm,” Lawler said. “There’s no sense in getting all riled up and excited this happened, this is whatever. Just staying relaxed. Camp went well so that’s pretty much what it comes down to. I’m falling back on the work I put in. The work I put in went great. My training partner Jason Jackson got me tip top and ready to go. I’m sharp right now. I’m freaking strong. My coaches did a great job. That’s what I’m falling back on and why I’m not too worried about it. Life is good.
“[Nick Diaz] comes to fight. He’s going through whatever he’s going through. It is what it is kind of thing. Just show up and fight and that’s kind of the approach I’m taking. Just whatever.”
Despite his docile demeanor, Lawler will certainly look to take Diaz’s head off in the fight, especially as he seeks revenge for the loss he suffered in their first meeting over 17 years ago.
Outside of that, Lawler holds no ill will towards Diaz for whatever struggles he’s facing that forced him to ask for the change in weight class.
“No, it doesn’t matter,” Lawler said candidly. “It’s kind of where we’re going now and it is what it is. I feel good. That’s all that matters. I’m ready to fight.”