Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler is looking at an extended layoff due to a torn ACL.
Lawler (28-12) suffered the injury during a five-round decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos on Dec. 16 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Lawler finished out the fight on one leg and did not reveal the injury afterward.
UFC president Dana White broke the news to Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. Additional sources confirmed the injury to ESPN.
“He blew his ACL, meniscus and every other thing that’s in your knee out in like the third round,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “Wobbled over to the fence, laid against it and asked Dos Anjos to come in so they could just bang it out. Robbie Lawler went to the fifth round.”
Lawler has not undergone surgery yet but is expected to do so. There is no official time frame for his return, but recovery from a torn ACL is typically six to nine months.
The 35-year-old fought twice in 2017. Before dropping the decision to Dos Anjos, Lawler defeated Donald Cerrone via decision at UFC 214 in July.
Fighting out of South Florida, Lawler surrendered the UFC’s welterweight championship to Tyron Woodley in a first-round knockout loss in July 2016. He took a full year off after that loss.