Saturday March 15 2014 will be the night Robbie Lawler has waited 12 years for – his opportunity to become the UFC Welterweight champion.
With the king Georges St. Pierre abdicating his throne and leaving the title vacant, the only thing standing between Lawler and his moment of destiny is the uncrowned champion Johnny Hendricks.
For Lawler, this title match is 10 years in the making. After a promising start in the UFC at the age of 20, and riding a 4-0 win streak (all wins by knockout), it was believed that he would become the next big thing but back-to-back defeats seen him cut from the organisation.
Lawler would dominate his first four of five opponents (two decisions and two Kos/Tkos) before losing back-to-back matches.
A knockout loss to Nick Diaz (who was a strong title contender himself) and a submission loss to Even Tanner (who won the middleweight championship in his next fight) ended all talk of challenging for the title and saw him gone from the UFC.
Two stoppage losses left Lawler’s career at a crossroads and the once young prodigy had to ponder a career outside the UFC.
However, after a nine-year absence you could say that fate has brought him back to claim what could have been his years ago.
Lawler’s momentum is at an all-time high since his return to the UFC – with a decision win over Rory MacDonald and two devastating knockout victories it feels like all the pieces to his puzzle are finally coming together.
All that’s left is 25 minutes, an Octagon and the heavy-hitting Jonny Hendricks to become the champion he needs to conquer these factors if he is to leave Dallas with his destiny fulfilled.