SAN JOSE -- Robbie Lawler believes he's ready for another shot at the UFC welterweight championship he let slip through his hands four months ago.

A number of fighters in the division can make the same claim. But Lawler, 32, is the clear-cut favorite with four wins and a narrow loss in his five fights since returning to the UFC.

"Everything's clicking at the right time," Lawler said. "Before, I wasn't ready for the stage. I didn't want to do these interviews. I didn't want to be in front of the cameras. I just wanted to beat people up and get out. I've grown up now. I'm doing what it takes to be a really good fighter."

Lawler's lone loss since coming back was to Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 in March when the two fought for the vacant title left open after former champion Georges St. Pierre stepped down, saying he needed a break from the sport.

Lawler (23-10, 19 KOs) is expected to get another crack at Hendricks, provided the top-ranked contender beats knockout artist Matt Brown (21-11, 13 KOs) in Saturday's main event at the SAP Center.

It will be the Lawler's fifth fight in the past year. Included in those were knockout wins against Bobby Voelker and Jake Ellenberger, and a split-decision over Rory MacDonald.

The win over Ellenberger on May 24 put Lawler firmly back into the title hunt after his loss to Hendricks in March.


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"It's good. It kept me busy, kept me working," Lawler said. "I didn't have to go into these last two camps trying to get into shape, so I could work on things. I could work on fine-tuning skills and just get better day to day."

Lawler left the UFC a decade ago after consecutive losses to Nick Diaz and Evan Turner in 2004.

Hendricks, on the mend from an arm injury, has already made it clear he expects to fight the winner of the Lawler-Brown matchup, possibly early next year.

That's fine with Lawler, who plans to take a much-needed respite after his fight against Brown.

Brown, ranked fifth in the welterweight division, is also looking to use the fight as a springboard into title contention.

ESPN.com reported that Brown missed weight by 1.5 pounds at an official weigh-in Friday, but Brown remains eligible to claim the No. 1 contender status with a win Saturday, as well as UFC Fight Night bonus money.

Brown (19-11) weighed 172.5 pounds on his first attempt. According to UFC president Dana White, in a miscommunication between Brown and the California State Athletic Commission, the fighter was informed he could not attempt to make weight a second time. Although he originally was to be fined 20 percent of his fight purse, with 10 percent awarded to Lawler, the fine was rescinded after a discussion with the commission.

ESPN.com originally reported that Brown was given two hours to cut to the allowed 171-pound limit but elected to forgo the effort.

All 24 fighters set to compete in Saturday's event made weight except Brown and female strawweight Juliana Lima. Lima (6-1) weighed in at 116.5 pounds, a half-pound over the allowed limit.

UFC fight night

Main event: Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown
Where: SAP Center, first bout 1:15 p.m.
TV: Fox, 3 p.m. prelims; 5 p.m., main event