A highly anticipated match-up between former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and former lightweight title challenger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is set for the UFC's biggest fight weekend of the year.
The bout, first reported by ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Twitter, is the first marquee match-up announced for International Fight Week, the promotion's annual week-long extravaganza in Las Vegas. A heavyweight trilogy between Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem is also in the works but has yet to be made official.
International Fight Week, among other fan festivities throughout the week, features three UFC events on three consecutive nights. The fights kick off on Thursday, July 6, with UFC Fight Night 113, continues on Friday with The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, and culminates with the UFC 213 pay-per-view on Saturday.
Lawler vs. Cerrone is expected to take place as part of UFC 213.
It will have been nearly a year since Lawler (27-11, 1NC) set foot in the Octagon. Tryon Woodley took the welterweight title from Lawler in his last fight at UFC 201 on July 30 of last year.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the division, Lawler was supposed to have fought Cerrone at UFC 205 in November at Madison Square Garden. The former champ backed out of the fight after having a rough time recovering from the loss to Woodley.
Cerrone (32-8, 1NC), currently sitting at No. 8, missed out on UFC 205, but went on to knock out Matt Brown at UFC 206 in December. Nearing a title shot, Cerrone stumbled in his January bout against Jorge Masvidal, losing via TKO stoppage early in the second round at UFC on FOX 23.
Both men will be looking to right the ship and get back into title contention with Woodley waiting on the sidelines for his next title defense.
UFC 213 takes place on Saturday, July 8, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 3, 2017