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Robbie Lawler set to put UFC welterweight title on the line in July

Lawler will be aiming to make his third successful defence of the 170lbs title.

UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

ROBBIE LAWLER’S NEXT defence of the UFC welterweight title looks set to take place on Saturday, 30 July.

According to a report from MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, Lawler will put the belt on the line against Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 — which could take place in Atlanta, although no details have officially been confirmed by the UFC.

Lawler, the second-longest reigning current UFC champion, will be defending the 170lbs title for the third time since he dethroned Johny Hendricks in December 2014.

The 34-year-old stopped Rory MacDonald via TKO in the fifth round of an epic battle in July of last year, before edging out Carlos Condit on a split decision in another classic encounter this past January.

Condit has been pursuing a rematch ever since, former champion Georges St-Pierre was linked to a clash with Lawler and Conor McGregor was even in the running for the next welterweight title shot until his progress was halted by Nate Diaz.

However, the opportunity will instead be presented to Woodley, who’s currently ranked third in the welterweight division — behind MacDonald and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, who square off on 18 June in Ottawa.

Woodley — whose bout against Hendricks was cancelled in October when his opponent failed to make weight — will be returning to action for the first time since his January 2015 split-decision victory against Kelvin Gastelum, which followed a first-round TKO of Dong Hyun Kim, as the 34-year-old bounced back from a loss to MacDonald.

As Woodley alluded to in an Instagram post this morning, both he and Lawler represent American Top Team but they don’t currently train together.

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Paul Dollery

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