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Robbie Lawler says Matt Hughes’ absence ‘has been hard’ leading into UFC 214

UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour - Calgary Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Robbie Lawler will enter the Octagon tomorrow night (Sat., July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., for the first time since losing his UFC welterweight title to Tyron Woodley one year ago. Unfortunately for “Ruthless,” long-time friend and former coach Matt Hughes will not be by his side, as the UFC Hall of Famer recovers from injuries suffered in a car-train accident this past June.

“Yeah, it’s been hard,” Lawler said at UFC 214’s media day earlier this week. “He’s usually here with us right by our side, hanging out, making sure I’m alright. It is what it is. He’s doing better, but that’s something his family should talk about and let the media know through their outlets, not mine.”

Having not fought since UFC 201, Lawler is currently experiencing the longest layoff of his 16-year career. When the former UFC champion steps back inside of the cage at UFC 214, he’ll be given the task of disposing of hard-nosed veteran Donald Cerrone, who is coming off a knockout loss at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. That’s a tough return to action for Lawler, especially considering “Ruthless” has to block out his emotions regarding Hughes.

“It’s not on my mind until like somebody asks me,” Lawler said, “Because I’m pretty good at focusing on what I need to focus on. But yeah. It’s rough.”

If Lawler is able to knock off Cerrone at UFC 214 and recapture the divisional pizzazz he possessed just one year ago, he’ll quickly reestablish himself as a title threat entering 2018 and give Hughes something to smile about. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 214 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FXX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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