One of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts will be back in action Saturday night as “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will look to make it three consecutive title defenses in the main event of UFC 201. The welterweight champion is fresh off back-to-back all-time great brawls and while he’s likely willing to put his body through hell again, he is probably hoping for an early knockout.
Lawler will have his hands full once Bruce Buffer introduces he and his upcoming opponent -- Tyron Woodley -- as the American Top Team fighter is a vastly different from the last few foes Lawler conquered in Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald. A powerful wrestler with a solid submission game, “The Chosen One” also packs some serious power his fists.
But Lawler is fighting better now than he ever has in his career. Though Woodley has been triumphant in his last two and four of his previous five fights, Lawler has more experience in huge fights. “Ruthless’ Robbie has won his last five and eight of his last nine and doesn’t expect to be giving up his title anytime soon.
At Friday’s weigh-ins, both Lawler and Woodley came in within the division’s 170-pound limit. The challenger was the first to step on the scale and Woodley nailed it; he officially clocked in at 170 pounds. Lawler was equally on point; the champ tipped the scale at 170 pounds.
The co-feature is a pivotal matchup in the women’s strawweight matchup as Rose Namajunas will take on Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Namajunas, who has won three straight including an upset of Paige VanZant, came in officially at 116 pounds. The undefeated Kowalkiewicz weighed 114.5 pounds, giving their fight the go-ahead.
UFC 201 will go down Saturday from inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. The event will kick off on UFC Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Fox Sports 2 will carry the rest of the preliminary card, which goes live on the sports network beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, followed by the pay-per-view telecast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
UFC 201 Weigh-in Results:Robbie Lawler (170) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Rose Namajunas (116) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (114.5)
Matt Brown (171) vs. Jake Ellenberger (170)
Francisco Rivera (135.5) vs. Erik Perez (135)
Nikita Krylov (206) vs. Ed Herman (205.5)
Jorge Masvidal (171) vs. Ross Pearson (170)
Wilson Reis (126) vs. Hector Sandoval (126)
Freddy Serrano (126) vs. Ryan Benoit (126)
Michael Graves (170.5) vs. Bojan Velickovic (170.5)
Damian Grabowski (256) vs. Anthony Hamilton (258.5)
Cesar Arzamendia (155) vs. Damien Brown (155.5)