UFC president Dana White recently announced that ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler will grace the Octagon one final time in the upcoming International Fight Week. The 41-year-old will look to battle it out against Nico Price in the last fight of his lengthy career. However, the news has received a lot of pushback from the MMA world after after the fans learned about the placement of the said bout.
The Las Vegas-based promotion has put the former welterweight champion on the prelims instead of the expected placement in the main card. “I found Robbie Lawler when he was 19 years old and UFC 290 will be the final fight of his amazing 22-year career,” Dana said. Lawler will also join the UFC Hall of Fame as his legendary 2015 fight with Rory MacDonald will be enshrined.
Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and interim champion Yair Rodriguez will headline the main event. While Lawler’s career has seemingly appeared to wind down, fans strongly believe he deserves to fight on the main card before hanging up the gloves.
The San Diego native made his professional MMA debut in 2001. Robbie will head into his final fight with a record of 29-16 and 1 NC. Exactly two decades and one day ago, ‘Ruthless‘ debuted at UFC 37: High Impact. Since then, he has pulled off numerous highlight-reel finishes over a plethora of talented fighters. He bagged the UFC welterweight gold in a 2014 rematch against Johny Hendricks.
From the likes of Nick Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Tyron Woodley, and RDA, Lawler has fought them all. It is worth mentioning that this isn’t the first time the promotion had placed a Robbie Lawler fight on a preliminary card. For UFC 276, the brass had a bout between him and Bryan Barberena on the prelims.
Speaking to MMA Junkie on the same, Lawler said, “I’m not going to lie: I was surprised. I’m like, ‘Ok, whatever.’ I get to get out of there earlier, which is nice.” Fortunately for his fanbase, a week later, they moved his fight to the main card of the July 2 event.
UFC placing Robbie Lawler on the prelims draws huge backlash from the fans
As the career of the welterweight legend comes to an end in 2023, fans express mixed feelings for someone they’ve watched since the early 2000s. The MMA world collectively feels Robbie deserves a main card placement at UFC 290. Since the announcement, many have taken to social media to voice their anger on the subject. Some have even shown an interest in starting a petition to bring this to Dana White’s notice.
Here are some fan reactions on the matter
We should start a petition to get that man moved to the main card for his final fight.
— Julian Murray (@JMurrayMMA) May 10, 2023
For what Robbie Lawler has done for this company, giving him his retirement fight on the prelims is disrespectful as fuck.
When people say the UFC isn’t hitting the same anymore this is one massive example of that.
— Kairos (@KAIROSMMA2) May 10, 2023
Robbie Lawler on the prelims for his retirement fight? Tbh I’m sick of UFC doing veterans of the sport dirty like this. https://t.co/LaXwXPmP4u pic.twitter.com/V8DG5gNzs3
— Squid Vicious MMA (@SquidViciousMMA) May 10, 2023
Robbie Lawler retiring a legendary career, that put on numerous wars for the fans…is on the prelims #UFC290
— DevilsAdvocateMMA (@DevilsAdMMA) May 11, 2023
not a big lawler fan, but you induct him into the hall of fame, and despite being a former champ you put him on the prelims? shit doesn’t make sense. the way the ppv cards have been structured this year have just been laughable
— STARING INTO YOUR SOUL (@staresintosouls) May 10, 2023
Let Nickal headline the prelims and let Robbie start off the main. It’s not that hard.
— alta1 (@marcalta1) May 11, 2023
Let’s get him on the main card. Let’s get something trending. #robbieonMAINCARD
— Kindred 😶🌫️ (@StahlErnest) May 11, 2023
Can’t they just add the fight to the ppv? Its lawler like cmon
— gummo ♰ (@camoissad) May 10, 2023
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Robbie is calling it a career at 41 years of age. However, considering the placement of his final fight on the upcoming card, fans think Robbie is not getting the respect he deserves. Will the promotion eventually move the bout for him just as they did for UFC 276? Only time will tell.