Bobby Voelker is feeling positive ahead of his welterweight fight with Robbie Lawler in Seattle on Saturday.
The 34-year-old stepped in, after Siyar Bahadurzada was forced out by injury, which gives him a second chance to get a first UFC victory under his belt.
His first battle in the Octagon was against Patrick Cote in Montreal last March, a bout he lost on a unanimous judge’s decision, which ended his three-fight winning streak and pushed him to the back of the welterweight division.
Voelker defied his trainer’s opinion that his latest opportunity had come too early for him, and the American fighter thinks a hard work ethic will help him on Saturday.
He said to ufc.com: “My thoughts at first were ‘What’s the date?'
“When they said July 27, I figured out it was like two weeks away and had a talk with my trainer about it.
“He said I definitely needed more time to prepare for a fighter like Lawler, but this is the UFC. When they come calling and asking you to step in for a fight you take it. I said let’s do it.
“There is a lot of upside in this fight and that is exactly how I’m looking at it. That is the way I have to look at it. I’m training my butt off to get ready for Lawler. That is all I can do and I’m coming in there ready.”
Lawler is three years Voelker’s junior, and weighs in at two pounds heavier, with his victory over Josh Koscheck in February on his return to UFC, which gave him the Knockout of the Night bonus.
But Voelker will try to be aggressive to stop his opponent.
He is a powerhouse right off the bat,” he said.
“In the past, I have tended to be a slow starter and I cannot do that with him. I cannot give him that edge off the bat. It’s going to be fireworks from the get-go.”
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