Robbie Lawler’s next welterweight title defense will likely be against Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 on July 30.
The proposed matchup was revealed during Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight. UFC 201 will take place at Philips Arena in Atlanta and air on pay-per-view. It will be the Las Vegas-based promotion’s first trip to Atlanta since UFC 145, which saw Jon Jones defend the light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans in the evening’s main event on April 21, 2012.
Both Lawler and Woodley have American Top Team ties, although Woodley is based in St. Louis and Lawler calls Coconut Creek, Fla., his training home. According to Woodley, that affiliation won’t be an issue.
[Robbie Lawler] and I were #BrosBeforeBlows and nothing will change after the cage is reopened,” Woodley wrote on Instagram. “It speaks volumes to the level of training at [American Top Team] that under one roof you breed so many champions and contenders.”
Lawler has won five straight fights, including several in dramatic fashion. Most recently, the reigning 170-pound champion outlasted Carlos Condit to take a five-round split decision in the UFC 195 headliner on Jan. 2. Prior to that, Lawler had a “Fight of the Year” worthy effort in stopping Rory MacDonald in his first title defense at UFC 189.
Woodley, meanwhile, has been out of action since garnering a split decision triumph over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 183 in January 2015. He was supposed to meet former champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 192, but the bout was scrapped when weight-cutting issues hospitalized “Bigg Rigg.” Woodley was promised the next welterweight title shot shortly after the bout’s cancellation.