The promotion announced today that ex-welterweight champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) will take on ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), who seeks to win a belt at 170 pounds after joining the division earlier this year. But, since the latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, the UFC's gone in this direction.
The organization announced the bout via the UFC Canada Twitter page that Lawler will take on former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC on FOX 26.
UFC Winnipeg (UFC on FOX 26) takes place December 16 at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The 35-year-old defended his title twice before losing to Woodley in Fight of the Year candidates against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit. Against dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 26, he'll look to string together a couple of wins to work his way back into title contention. He surrendered his title to current champ Tyron Woodley in June 2016, but has since rebounded with a decision win over Donald Cerrone in July. Then, after losing to Tony Ferguson, he moved up saying the weight cut had been hard.
With the show headlining on FOX, the victor would have a strong case for a title shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who is now out of action with a torn labrum. Since then, having moved up to welterweight, he's 2-0 with wins over former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny.