ByJim Edwards, writer at
MMA story chaser from the UK
Jim Edwards

It’s been a long time since we last saw in a UFC Octagon, but at , he will back in the spotlight when he takes on in one of the most highly anticipated fights of the summer.

The former UFC welterweight champion has scarcely been seen since his defeat to Tyron Woodley at UFC201, but earlier this week, he spoke to ESPN’s Five Rounds with Brett Okamoto ahead of his return against Cerrone in July.

“Nothing, just spending time with my family and time with my son, just doing those types of things,” Lawler said, explaining what he’d been doing during his time off. “I’ve been working out, but everything has been good. [I’ve] just been getting my life situated and getting ready to get back into that Octagon. Just hanging out with my family and relaxing, just living life and getting ready for a fight.”

Having dominated the UFC’s 170-pounds division before his defeat to Woodley, many believe that Lawler should get a rematch with the champion should he defeat Cerrone at . While happy to admit regaining his title is a goal of his, Lawler said he wasn’t obsessed with getting his strap back.

“I’m just looking to have a good time and win fights and knock people out,” Lawler said. “That’s what I’ve been doing, but I think I just wanted to hang out with my family a bit more and spend as much time [with them] and do those types of things for a bit. You don’t really know with the UFC what you’re getting fight-wise. When I got back to the UFC, it was just win fights, win fights, win fights, and then you get a title shot, but we will see.”

Despite being out of the spotlight of late with regards to his fighting, Lawler’s name has still been hitting the headlines due to his departure from American Top Team. Rumors have floated around as to why he left, but he was in no mood to go into any details on what happened.

“It was just time for me to go—it wasn’t the place to be,” Lawler said. “I have a lot of friends and buddies still training there, but the place wasn’t for me anymore. That’s all I have to say about that. Yeah, it doesn’t matter. It just wasn’t the place for me anymore and I had to go look for another place.”

With the fight with Cerrone approaching on the horizon, Lawler said that the remaining weeks were all about getting himself physically in shape and ready for whatever could transpire.

“I’m not really too worried about that right now—I’ll just have to wait and see what plays out,” Lawler said. “I’m just getting my body in shape and working on all of my skills. Wherever the fight goes I want to be prepared and if there’s someone standing right in the middle ahead of me they’re going to get beaten up.”

The return of Georges St-Pierre has been one of the main talking points in the MMA community of late. Lawler, however, isn’t going to worry himself with thoughts about the former champion. As far as he’s concerned, St-Pierre wouldn’t take a fight with him anyway.

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen—I think Georges is going to pick an opponent that is going to be the best for him to get a victory and sell a lot of pay-per-views,” Lawler said. “I don’t think he wants to fight me, so, I don’t know. I have to win a couple of fights and beat a few people up first.”

vs. goes down at on July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena.


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