Former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will bring the curtain down on a 22-year MMA career at UFC 290, and the popular veteran is taking everything in his stride as he goes through his final fight week as an active fighter.

Lawler’s media day appearance was a typically understated one, as he admitted that his final bout was just another fight to him as he follows the same process that has served him well during his career.

Lawler will take on Niko Price in the featured preliminary card fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night. But, as far as Lawler is concerned, he could be facing anyone.

“Nothing against Niko, but I didn’t really care who I was fighting,” he explained.

“I’m always just focused on myself and trying to get my stuff situated. Trying to feel good on Saturday is really what I’m focusing on.

“If I feel good the fight is gonna go good. So that’s what I focus on. And I let the UFC kind of take care of that stuff. They talk, and they’re like, ‘Hey, what do you think about that?’ And I’m kind of like, ‘Whatever. Let’s just go.'”

Few fighters have seen the rise of the UFC at close quarters quite like Lawler, whose career has spanned multiple eras as the sport has grown and evolved in the 22 years he’s spent as a professional fighter.

“I remember what the UFC champions were driving around then, what kind of cars they were driving and like. I’m like, ‘Hold on a second!'” he grinned.

“So, when I was 16, Miletich brought a whole bunch of firefighters into a wrestling room to wrestle with us. I was a fighter. I mean, I did martial arts growing up, and I was wrestling and I’m like, ‘Hold on a second. What do you guys do?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, s**t, this is this is what I’m gonna do with my life.’

“I didn’t go into it for money necessarily. I went into it because I loved competing and I loved fighting and I loved sharpening my skills. And where the sports come since then, is ridiculous.

“When I first signed with the UFC, I went into their offices, and there was a security guard outside and probably four people in the whole building. I mean, there was the Dana (White) there was Donna (Marcolini), there was Joe Silva, and a lawyer. That was it. This sport is huge. UFC is huge, and it’s nice to be a part of it and see the growth, and be able to last and be a part of it.”

Lawler has never been comfortable lauding his own achievements, but when pressed to offer up a key bout from his career, he mentioned a bout he lost as a moment that helped transform his career.

“A big fight for me in my career with the UFC was probably my first (Johny) Hendricks fight (for the vacant welterweight title at UFC 171), because I didn’t get it done. Plain and simple, I didn’t get it done. I thought I should have, and he out-competed me and got the job done. So, after that, I was on a mission, and I think that was a big fight for me.”

Lawler was also asked about his remarkable run of fighting on UFC main cards, a run that ironically comes to a close in his retirement fight this weekend. Instead, he’ll top a preliminary card that will be featured on network television on ABC in the United States.

“I think it just shows that I go out there and fight, and I’m gonna put on a show,” said Lawler.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I wouldn’t necessarily think that it’s that cool, because you know how I am, I’m like ‘Whatever. Let’s just go out there and fight and put on a show. If there’s one person in there, there’s one person watching, whatever. Let’s freakin’ fight!’

“But I’m growing up now and I appreciate everything I’ve accomplished and being on the biggest stage at the end of my career, after a long career, is awesome.”

Saturday night’s fight with Price may mark the conclusion of Lawler’s stellar mixed martial arts career, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to end his involvement with the sport.

“No, I’m definitely going to be around the sport,” he confirmed.

“This sport’s given so much to me. The reason I am where I am today and been able to last as long is because of all the people helping me. So I’m going to give back all these little tidbits I’ve learned over time.

“We have a really good gym at Kill Cliff FC and being able to help guys get stronger so that they can make money and compete at a high level, That’s what I feel like martial arts is about. It’s about giving back and showing techniques.”