A highly-anticipated fight in the UFC Welterweight division on Saturday sees the champion Robbie Lawler going into his third title defence against the well-rounded Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC 201. Ring rust will be a concern for Woodley, who recently was seen in Salman Khan-starrer Bollywood movie 'Sultan'.
Woodley, 34, hasn't fought inside the octagon since Jan. 2015, whereas Lawler defended the UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 195 in Jan. 2016.
There might be some challenges ahead of Woodley, who has a 15-3-0 record in his MMA career, but the American fighter, who has a terrific takedown defence record, will not be expected to back down at all. "It's never about losing right now. It's not an option for me. I've come too far and I put in too much work," Woodley said ahead of the fight.
"I've got too many people that are banking on me, too many people that have put in the time that is leaving their families. I look to seize the moment and I look to do the right thing with the exposure that I get from it. I'm going to make this a new me."
Lawler, meanwhile, is just unstoppable inside the octagon as of now. Coming into the fight at the back of a 27-10-0, 1NC record, the bald fighter, known for his powerful knockout striking ability, has won all his previous five fights in the UFC, including two title defences. Lawler won the belt after getting past Johny Hendricks via split decision in UFC 181 and then went on to beat Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit in UFC 189 and UFC 195 respectively.
"They [my coaches] wanted this fight [against Woodley] so we put it together and UFC put it together and that's who I'm training to get ready for. It wasn't anything other than that. I'm not intrigued," said Lawler ahead of the fight at the Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia.
"I'm not excited about this or that. I'm just a mean fighter who's looking to go out there and finish people and do what I do. So it's never about anyone else. It's focusing on myself, how I can get better and go out there and get the job done."
Both fighters weighed in at 170 pounds in the official pre-fight weigh-in. Catch the staredown below:
The co-main event of UFC 201 sees powerful UFC women's strawweight fighters Rose Namajunas go into battle with the undefeated Polish fighter Karolina Kowalkiewicz. While the 24-year-old Namajunas weighed-in at 116 lbs, Kowalkiewicz weighed in at 114.5 lbs. Catch the staredown below:
Where to watch live
UFC 201: Lawler vs Woodley airs LIVE from 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PT (7:30 a.m. IST, 3 a.m. BST, 1 p.m. AEDT) on July 30. Click here for the main card fights.
India - Sony Six, Sony Six HD.
US, Canada - PPV.
Brazil - Combate.
UK, Ireland - BT Sport 2.
Australia - Main Event.
New Zealand - Sky Sports Arena.