As if we needed any more evidence that Strikeforce is shutting down after their next event, check this out: Orange County Register reports that veteran banger Robbie Lawler will make his first UFC appearance in over eight years when he faces Josh Koscheck in a welterweight bout at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche (Feburary 23rd, Anaheim). The fight will also mark Lawler’s first match at 170 pounds since his knockout loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 47 in April 2004.
Though Lawler’s recent stint in Strikeforce suggested that the HIT Squad member’s best days are behind him — he won just three of eight fights for the promotion since 2009, and is coming off a decision loss to Lorenz Larkin — “Ruthless” hasn’t lost his savage knockout power, which helped him earn classic victories over Melvin Manhoef and Matt Lindland. (Fun fact: Since leaving the UFC after a middleweight loss to Evan Tanner at UFC 50, Lawler has earned all of his 11 victories by stoppage, with 10 coming via KO/TKO.)
Josh Koscheck is coming off a loss as well, dropping a split-decision to Johny Hendricks in May, but he’ll surely be considered a strong favorite in this matchup, as he’s remained competitive with the top welterweights in the UFC — not to mention the fact that Lawler’s drop to his old weight class could wear him out before the fight. So is Robbie dead meat, or is Kos going night-night?