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MMA UFC

No Vacation for Robbie Lawler

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

How could you possibly top UFC 171? In the main event for the vacant UFC welterweight title, top contenders Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler went to war for five full rounds.

In the spectacular back-and-forth affair, the duo electrified the crowd in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, making for one of the most exciting fights of 2014 thus far. Lawler was defeated by who many considered the rightful champion coming into the bout, but nonetheless put on the performance of his career.

So after coming up short in his inaugural shot at UFC gold, how would the 32-year-old MMA veteran respond?

Not by taking a tune-up fight, that’s for certain, as the No. 1-ranked contender is set to clash with the hard hitting No. 6-ranked welterweight Jake Ellenberger, who was originally slated to face former Strikeforce welterweight champion #8 Tarec Saffiedine.

Ellenberger hasn’t been in action since dropping a decision to Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8, in what was a lackluster performance from both fighters. The normally aggressive Ellenberger looked tentative against the young Canadian prospect, and afterward “The Juggernaut” vowed to abandon this conservative in future fights, making a bout with Lawler all the more tantalizing.

Both Lawler and Ellenberger are known for their constant pressure and ridiculous power, and with both looking to make a statement after disappointing losses, this is shaping up to be a lock for the Fight of the Night. This surefire barn-burner will not only make for an exciting fight for fans of a good brawl, but could easily catapult either man within striking distance of a shot at the 170-pound title.