Two of the UFC’s most formidable former champions engaged in one of the most painfully awkward interviews we’ve seen in recent times.
When you think of both Robbie Lawler and his UFC Winnipeg opponent Rafael dos Anjos, of course, the first thing that will come to mind are their respective championship achievements, relentless pressure and their shared will to fight. But, in a recent interview with TSN: Sportscentre we managed to find them both in an interview that was about as awkward as you will ever see in MMA these days.
Both men are coming off impressive wins in the welterweight division, with RDA having ran through Neil Magny at UFC 215, and Lawler, coming out on top of a closely-contested war with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 214.
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the winner of this tantalising match-up will be next in-line for the champion Tyron Woodley, and while both men have held belts in the UFC before, a second successful title-run could elevate either man to legendary-status.
Lawler’s first reign atop the welterweight division saw him engage in some of the greatest fights the UFC has ever seen and after the long and bumpy road he took towards winning his first piece of UFC gold, to win another championship, at the age of 35, would only serve to further the impact of his late-career resurgence.
For RDA, winning a belt at 170lb – which would be remarkable in its own right given his status as a true-lightweight – would place his name into a very exclusive group of fighters who have won UFC titles in more than one weight-class. His run atop the 155lb division was brief and brilliant and before his loss to Eddie Alvarez in 2016, many were starting to cite him as the greatest lightweight to ever do it.
A win over Robbie Lawler would certainly give his standing within the welterweight division some push.
Nevertheless, both men found themselves outside of their respective comfort-zones following an excruciatingly awkward interview on TSN, which can be watched in full below.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena