Robbie Lawler Returns, Fights Josh Koscheck at UFC 157

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Robbie Lawler (red shorts) fires a punch at Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight at the Strikeforce event at Sears Centre Arena on July 30, 2011 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)

Robbie Lawler will make his return to the UFC after eight years of fighting outside the organization, and face Josh Koscheck at UFC 157 in February, UFC officials told GRACIEMAG.com Thursday morning.

“Ruthless” will drop to his old weight class, welterweight, to face Koscheck on the main card for the Feb. 23 show at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Lawler (19-9) hasn’t been in the octagon since 2004, when he lost to the late Evan Tanner by submission at UFC 50. Since then, Lawler has fought in several promotions, including Strikeforce, Pride, the IFL and Elite XC, where he held the promotion’s middleweight title. The bout with Koscheck will be his first at 170 pounds since losing to Nick Diaz at UFC 47 in 2004.

Koscheck (17-6), a former two-time challenger to George St-Pierre’s welterweight title, was last seen in action at UFC on FOX 3. On the May card, “Kos” dropped a split decision to highly-ranked Johny Hendricks after being the winner of two consecutive outings.

UFC 157 is headlined by UFC women’s champion Ronda Rousey defending her title against Liz Carmouche, as well as a co-main event between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson and former UFC 205-pound champ Lyoto Machida.

The O.C. Register initially reported the Lawler-Koscheck match-up.

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