MMA Fighter of the Year and other superlatives

Friday December 27th, 2013
Demetrious Johnson (left), Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva were in the spotlight in 2013.
Getty Images

When Lawler returned to the UFC early this year, he stumbled in the door weighed down by a 3-5 stretch going back to mid-2009. At 31, he was too young to be over the hill, but he wasn't exactly living up to the nickname "Ruthless Robbie." Now he is. Lawler won three times in 2013, twice by knockout. And with Georges St-Pierre having vacated the welterweight championship, Robbie was chosen by the UFC to fight Johny Hendricks for the belt in March. That's quite a reversal of misfortune.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.