2016 promises to be the biggest year in UFC history and the year will be starting off with a bang. The UFC will be kicking off their 2016 campaign with a title fight in arguably the deepest division within the promotion. Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (26-10-1) will be defending his 170 lb. title against former UFC Interim Welterweight champ Carlos Condit (30-8).
Robbie Lawler is in the midst of the most successful run of his MMA career. After making his return to the Octagon in February 2013, he won seven of eight fights including his victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 to win his first championship in the UFC.
How did he follow that up? With an instant classic, a 2015 Fight Of The Year candidate against Rory MacDonald when "Ruthless" won by TKO in the fifth round of one of the most brutal fights in recent memory.
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Lawler, 33, has enjoyed a career Renaissance of sorts lately and will be bringing his four-fight winning streak and his heavy hitting style into a fight against an opponent whose fighting style will be very different than his own.
Carlos Condit was on top of the Welterweight division a few years ago. After an extremely successful stint in WEC, where Condit won all five of his fights, including winning that promotion's Welterweight title, "The Natural Born Killer" made the jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
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After stumbling in his debut against Martin Kampmann, Condit, 31, won another five straight fights, capturing the Interim belt. However, when the legend Georges St. Pierre made his return, Condit was outclassed by GSP, losing the Interim title.
After going 1-1 in his next two fights, Condit suffered a severe leg injury against Tyron Woodley at UFC 171, sidelining him for over a year. After a successful return against Thiago Alves this past May, Carlos Condit gets his long-awaiting chance to once again be the man on top.
When these two warriors step into the Octagon on January 2, one thing is for certain that the MGM Grand will be treated to some fireworks. Both fighters will be no doubt looking to finish the other and if the previous fights that Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit have participated in are any indication, that absolutely seems like a possibility.
Between both fighters, they have 49 finishes in their MMA careers. Condit's reach advantage will certainly become a factor in this fight early on but Lawler's tenacity may be the deciding factor in this fight that will definitely send the UFC off and running in 2016.
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic vs. Andrei Arlovski
Welterweight: Albert Tumenov vs. Lorenz Larkin
Featherweight: Diego Brandao vs. Brian Ortega
Lightweight: Abel Trujillo vs. Tony Sims
Bantamweight: Michael McDonald vs. Masanori Kanehara
Welterweight: Kyle Noke vs. Alex Morono
Women's Strawweight: Justine Kish vs. Nina Ansaroff
Lightweight: Drew Dober vs. Scott Holtzman
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy
Bantamweight: Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka