Bet on Lawler vs Woodley

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Current Odds (last updated: July 30th)

Robbie Lawler, -145
Tyron Woodley, +135

Summary: Tyron Woodley's best chance of victory is blitzing Lawler early and finishing the fight, as Lawler is a notoriously slow starter. With Lawler's exceptional gas tank and unbelievable toughness, the longer this fight goes, the more it plays to Lawler's advantage. Lawler has an iron chin and can withstand a tremendous amount of punishment - can Woodley say the same?

UFC 201 poster - Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley - Matchup and odds

In depth: It is worth noting that the line for this fight has moved dramatically in Woodley's direction in the week leading up to the fight.

When the line was first released in early June, Lawler was about a -280 favorite. Now, just hours before the fight is set to take place, the current Welterweight champion is a -140 favorite to win.

The biggest argument in favor of Woodley is that Lawler's chin must be on the verge of breaking given the wars that he has been in as of late. Despite being just 34 years of age, Lawler has been involved in 38 professional mixed martial arts fights, with many of them being bloody wars. Here are Lawler's last seven fights in the UFC - most of them have been absolute wars:

Carlos Condit (win)
Rory MacDonald (win)
Johny Hendricks (win)
Matt Brown (win)
Jake Ellenberger (win)
Johny Hendricks (loss)
Rory MacDonald (win)

With Lawler a notorious slow starter, many people believe that if Woodley wants to win, he needs to finish Lawler early. The Lawler team has surely planned for this eventuality, however, which will make the first round of the fight so interesting to watch. Can Woodley, who will almost surely look to blitz Lawler in the early minutes of the fight, finish the notoriously tough Lawler? What happens if Woodley can't get the finish - will he gas in the later rounds of the fight?

Those who argue in favor of a Woodley victory say that Lawler's chin must be on the verge of breaking. In addition, Woodley has top tier wrestling and an underrated grappling game - if he can put Lawler down early in the fight, he may just be able to inflict enough damage to garner an early victory.

The argument in favor of Lawler is simple - Woodley will not be able to withstand a five round assault from the champion. The deeper that the fight goes, they say, the more it plays to the champion's advantage.

All four of Woodley's KOs have come in the first round - if he can't finish off his opponents in the first round, he either goes to a decision or loses. It is very hard to imagine Woodley winning a five round decision over Robbie Lawler, as Lawler brings a tremendous amount of pressure over the course of an entire fight and seemingly gets stronger as a fight progresses.

In addition, this is, by far, the biggest fight of Woodley's career, while Lawler is accustomed to the spotlight. There is no worry about Lawler choking on the big stage - can the same be said for Tyron Woodley?

While Woodley has the wrestling advantage, Lawler is certainly not deficient in that department and will likely be able to keep the fight where he wants it - on the feet.


Let's look at the results of Woodley's last five fights:

Kelvin Gastelum (win)
Dong Hyun Kim (win)
Rory MacDonald (loss)
Carlos Condit (win)
Josh Koscheck (win)


Summary: In my opinion, this fight will go one of two ways:

1. Tyron Woodley will win via a first round KO.

2. Robbie Lawler will withstand an early onslaught and eventually win the fight via decision.

Here are the two lines for those possibilities:

Tyron Woodley Wins Via 1st Round KO, +700
Robbie Lawler Wins Via Decision, +210

These two lines are very interesting to me.

In terms of picking a winner for the fight, I'll take Lawler's chin and experience over Woodley's wrestling. If Woodley can't get the finish early, this will be a long night for the challenge.

Pick: Robbie Lawler, -140