Bobby Voelker Admits “I’m Taking a Chance” Versus Robbie Lawler, “But That’s What Fighting’s All About”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Bobby Voelker took on one of the promotions more established vets, when he made his Octagon debut at UFC 158 versus Patrick Cote, and now “Vicious” will take on another one when he fights Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 8. Originally, Voelker was scheduled to fight James Head at the second UFC on FOX Sports 1 card next month. Due to an injury to Siyar Bahadurzada, however, Voelker has been tapped to fight a man who made his Octagon debut in 2002.
“I absolutely look at it as a bigger opportunity,” Voelker said during a recent interview with Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his July 27th bout with Lawler. “It’s a great opponent and a great way to test my skills. I’ve been in the game a long time, so it’s just a great way to test what I have against another opponent, who’s been in this as long as I have. That’s kind of what I’m looking forward to and I’m just excited to get in there with Robbie.”
In addition, Voelker (24-9) will fight Lawler on the main card of the event, which will be broadcast into thousands of homes via FOX. In other words, not only is it a key opportunity for Voelker to showcase his abilities against a high profile opponent, but he’ll get to do so on a massive stage.
“I hope so,” said Voelker, while discussing whether his bout will be included in the night’s broadcast. “I’m not too sure about where it’s going to be on the card by any means, but I assume since it’s Robbie Lawler, he’s a huge name, he’s always televised, he’s always an exciting fighter to watch, so I assume it’s going to be somewhere near the end of the card.”
Voelker may be coming off a tightly contested, unanimous decision loss to Cote at UFC 158, but the 34 year-old is clearly excited to be competing in the world’s largest MMA promotion and regularly. In 2010 and 2011, Voelker won three consecutive bouts with Strikeforce to move up the promotion’s welterweight ranks, but injuries and the demise of the organization left him on the sidelines for nearly two years.
“I love it. It’s a great turn around. It’s keeping me busy; that’s what I want,” said Voelker, who before facing Cote hadn’t competed since July, 2011. “I want to stay busy. Sure they sprung this fight on me but I’m a fighter, I need to be ready for these kinds of situations…we need to be ready all the time in case we get that call, so we can step up to the plate and really make that statement.”
Of course, some might argue that Voelker is taking a big chance by agreeing to fight Lawler on short notice, whose resume is replete with knockout wins.
“I’d say, yeah, you’re right, you know I’m taking a chance,” Voelker said when presented with a devil’s advocate scenario. “That’s what fighting’s all about. I’m taking a chance where maybe I lose another one and it knocks me back a notch, or maybe I beat Robbie Lawler, who’s one of the greats for the longest time, which boosts my career way ahead of schedule.”
“Robbie is quick; Robbie is strong, Robbie’s powerful, he’s got a good grappling game, he’s top notch all around,” Voelker added when asked to break down his next opponent. “I feel like my skill level is at the same level he’s at. I really want to get in there and prove it.”
UFC on FOX 8 will be hosted by Seattle’s Key Arena on July 6th.