Before Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts, American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and many of today's great fight camps exploded onto the scene, Militech Fighting Systems (MFS) was the be all, end all, when it came to fight teams.
Located in Bettendorf, Iowa, and spearheaded by Pat Militech, MFS once housed many Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titleholders including former lightweight kingpin Jens Pulver, heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, longtime welterweight ruler Matt Hughes, and of course, Miletich himself, who won the 170-pound strap way back in 1998.
Lurking in the shadows, however, was Robbie Lawler, a man who won titles in other mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations (Elite XC and Icon Sport) but never tasted UFC gold.
And as "Ruthless" prepares for his first-ever UFC title fight against Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 on March 15, 2014 (see their staredown here), he would love nothing more than to be able to join the elite class of former MFS champions by getting the win in Dallas, Texas.
Robbie broke it down during a recent fan chat with Dallas News:
"I think it would huge to be a champion. I've trained with many champions at MFS and it would be amazing to be a UFC champion just like all my buddies. We've had four champions there: Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Tim Sylvia and Pat Miletich."
Though Lawler currently calls American Top Team (ATT) home, his roots will always be with MFS, a team that helped mold one of the most lethal strikers in the welterweight division, and perhaps all of MMA.
And after 12 years of climbing and fighting his way to the top of the division, Lawler finally gets his chance to shine and prove he belongs in the same conversation as his champion teammates before him.
Something "Ruthless" said would be "a cap to a good career."