Just In Robbie Lawler: ‘Back to the drawing board’ after UFC Newark loss to Colby Covington MMA Life

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NEWARK, N.J. – Saturday was not Robbie Lawler’s night.

Former UFC champ Lawler (28-14 MMA, 13-8 UFC) dropped a unanimous decision to Colby Covington (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and lost every round on all three judges’ scorecards, then said he’ll work to improve.

“Colby did a really good job,” Lawler said backstage after the fight. “I just wasn’t able to do enough. I kept a good pace (and) mixed it up with takedowns. My body felt good. I just need to go back to the drawing board and get back to work because there’s a few things I can strengthen up and get better.

“It’s a learning experience. I actually felt pretty good going out in the cage. I felt pretty good in there. Just need to get back to work.”

A big talking point of Covington’s performance Saturday was his frenetic pacing and high striking numbers. Over the five rounds of action, Covington broke numerous UFC records for output. But Lawler said he didn’t really notice in the cage.

“I’m just trying to duck and dodge and weave,” Lawler said. “You don’t pay attention to those things. You’re not counting punches. His volume was high. He kept a good rate. But it’s just part of the game.”

Lawler said he will need to reassess things and get back in the gym. He said he felt relatively good while inside the cage, but acknowledged there are some adjustments that need to be made.

“It’s been a while since I felt good moving around, bouncing around,” Lawler said. “My takedown defense was pretty good. Getting back up was pretty good. I just need to get back to work and build on those things.

“It’s all just a learning experience. I feel like somebody could take that and twist it and say, ‘Maybe he wasn’t right because of this.’ That was the best I’ve been for a while, and I’m going to grow from it.”

With the victory, Covington has lined himself up for a title fight with current champ Kamaru Usman later this year. Lawler has competed against Covington and trained with Usman.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” Lawler said. “Obviously, Colby likes to put volume on. Usman is a very strong, rangy, smart fighter. It’s going to be a good fight. I think the UFC is going to do a good job with promoting what they like to promote.”

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