Lawler comes full circle at UFC 171

Matt Hughes was actually on the card fighting after Robbie, so he was staying behind in the locker room, and as Rob was headed out, he stopped, leaned back into the room and said, 'I'll be back in about three minutes.'

"Lawler went out and destroyed Tiki. We came back and Matt looked at us and started laughing and said, 'Yeah, that was about three minutes.'

Horn: He's had some pretty good one-liners. When he fought Tiki, he was a young kid. He fought and trained hard, but he was just a kid. He goes, 'I'll be back in three minutes,' and oddly enough, he was. He was known for things like that.

One of his fights -- it was fairly early [in his career] -- they were doing the fighter meeting, and the promoter told everybody they were going to do a bonus for the guy who gets the best knockout. Robbie stands up, right in the middle of the fighter meeting, and goes, 'You can just write my name on that check right now.'

Cox: One fight he didn't win was when we were over in Hawaii fighting in Icon Sport against Jason Miller [in September 2006]. Robbie got him down and hit him so much it would have been stopped in every other state. But Robbie [eventually] punches himself out and loses by submission.

I remember he walks to the side of the ring, leans over the ropes and looks down at us and goes, 'Can you believe that? I just lost to a guy who hits like a girl.' And then he started just shaking his head.

Pulver: We'd sit there and stare at boxing videos -- Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer -- then we'd shadowbox. He loves the knockout. That was always the one thing about him is he hit like a ton of bricks.

I think it was tough for him to not want to focus on that because you throw one punch and the fight's over. It's like, 'OK, why don't I just do this every time?' We were fanatics about watching boxing. We all came from a wrestling background, so of course you want to learn striking.

Miletich: He loved hitting home runs. I'd say to him, 'Rob, in the gym when you spar, you're so technical. You're slick. You get out of the way of punches. You pick people apart in the gym, it's amazing. Then you go out and fight and start brawling. Where is the disconnect? What happens between the gym and the cage?' And he goes, 'I want to get a guy out of there.' I think with maturity he realized he didn't have to think that to put guys away.

Matt Pena, longtime boxing coach: One of my favorite moments was against Melvin Manhoef [Strikeforce: Miami, January 2010]. We're sitting in the lobby getting ready to go to the event, and all of a sudden, Manhoef is walking by mean-mugging us. And Robbie is not even there. He's acting like he wants to fight us. I was like, seriously? That's ridiculous. It really rubbed everyone the wrong way.

During the fight, Manhoef is picking away with leg kicks but he's keeping space, so Rob couldn't get comfortable throwing shots. We were like, 'Man, by now Manhoef is usually throwing combinations, he's not a guy who usually sits back.' Then I saw Rob twist his ankle and start limping. We didn't have a problem with losing, but when I saw he may have damaged his leg, I thought, 'Oh s---. This is not good.'

Cox: I didn't get to go to that fight because my wife and I were on vacation in Italy. We were in a hotel room, and it was about 4 in the morning. I was all over the Internet trying to find a feed.

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