Robbie Lawler in MMA renaissance after UFC on Fox 8 win

Maggie Hendricks

At 31 years of age, Robbie Lawler is in his second stint with the UFC. His first fight back in the UFC after fighting for Strikeforce and Elite XC was a first-round knockout. He had his second fight back at UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle on Saturday. This time, he won early in the second round with a knockout of Bobby Voelker.

Lawler, who has been fighting since 2001, looked sharper and more technical in the cage than he has ever been, controlling Voelker for the first round. He bloodied Voelker's nose, then showed off with a flying knee and several kicks.

The kick is exactly what stopped the fight for Lawler in the second round. He hit Voelker squarely in the face with his shin, and then followed up with precise ground and pound to end the fight 24 seconds into the second round.

Lawler attributed the change in his performance to his new training camp, American Top Team.

“I’m excited. Camp went really well and I felt really good with the weight cut. They really woke me up at American Top Team. I’m happy, but I want to go home and see my family. I’m healthy so I want to get back in there and train, but I just want to spend some time with my family right now.”

This sharp, technically sound Lawler is an upgrade from the powerful brawler he has been throughout much of his career. Previously, you could count on Lawler putting on fun fights, but not necessarily win. He hasn't strung together two wins since 2007, when he beat Murilo Rua and Frank Trigg. Now, at 31 years old and after 31 fights, a better fighter is emerging.

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