Houston, TX — Despite an early scare care of a knockdown at the hands of Mana Martinez, bantamweight Ronnie Lawrence found his groove and secured his second win inside the octagon at UFC 271.
The Nashville-based fighter was out nearly a year between fights, and ultimately earned a unanimous decision win. But it wasn’t easy making it back to the cage on Saturday.
“We all have stuff in camp that makes it tough. I had a few things go wrong, a few things, the weight cut kind of got messed up,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press.
Of course, there were hiccups during the fight as well, he added. “No one’s happy with being dropped in a fight either. I felt a little flat, didn’t feel good all day, but we went in there and got it done. Sometimes a fighter’s gotta fight.”
Among the things that went wrong for Lawrence, a staph infection — his third in roughly a year. “I’m not dirty or nothing, I don’t know if I train too much, it’s just bad luck. I need to figure out what’s been going on with that.”
Despite the recurrent nature of the infection, Lawrence never considered pulling out of the fight. “Fans don’t fight, so they don’t truly understand, but that’s just not a good look for the fans, if you pull out of a fight for staph,” he explained. “It didn’t go through my head.”
So while he would like some time to sort things out, Ronnie Lawrence also doesn’t want to be away too long again. “I don’t want too much time, because every time you spend too much time out of the cage, it’s almost like the first time you get back in there. But I would like to figure this out. Hopefully I will.”
Watch the full UFC 271 post-fight press scrum with Ronnie Lawrence above.