This is one of the strangest Welterweight title fights I can recall.
First of all, Tyron Woodley was gifted this title shot. He hasn’t fought in 18 months and is actually only on a two fight winning streak over the currently ranked #11 and #6 fighters in the division (Dong Hyun Kim & Kelvin Gastelum). And the split decision win over Gastelum came after Kelvin had a very tough weight cut, which he wasn’t able to complete, so I don’t think we were seeing Gastelum at his best. The fact that Gastelum wasn’t at his best isn’t Woodley’s problem, but it doesn’t change the fact that Woodley is getting a title shot basically by claiming that he beat Johny Hendricks when Hendricks was forced to pull out of their scheduled fight from a botched weight cut. That’s basically the same as saying because a guy got injured during a training camp and then claiming you deserve a title shot. Anyways, I’m going to end the rant there, because Woodley’s waiting game paid off and this fight will take place on Saturday.
The second interesting thing about this fight is that Robbie Lawler is still the Welterweight Champion. According to MMADecisions.com 15 of 20 MMA analysts had Carlos Condit winning a decision in their recent title fight, while only 3 of the 20 media judges had Lawler winning. Two title fights ago, Lawler was down 3-1 on the judges scorecards before rallying and stopping MacDonald in the fifth, so that fight was very close to a loss for Lawler. Then we take it back to when Lawler won the title in his rematch with Hendricks. According to MMADecisions.com 12 of 16 media judges scored the fight for Hendricks, compared to only 3 for Lawler. Basically, what I’m trying to say is Lawler is extremely lucky to be the Champion.
Anyways, even though I don’t think either guy really deserves to be in this fight, it’s still happening to let’s break it down.
Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley
- Woodley +150
- Lawler -175
These odds are from BetOnline.ag.
As much as I somewhat think both of these guys are overrated, they are still top 5 Welterweights and both have the talent to finish the other in this fight.
Lawler has shown that he gets better as the fight goes on, while Woodley has shown that he he as a tendency to gas late in fights. I think this will be the main factor in this fight. If it gets past the second round, Lawler will be the winner, while Woodley needs to unleash his power early and connect with Lawler in order to finish this fight before the Championship Rounds.
Woodley has only been past round 3 once and that was a fourth round TKO loss to Nate Marquardt in a fight Woodley was winning. He’s a very muscled guy and they have the tendency to lose steam later in the fights because the muscles take more oxygen to power.
Lawler on the other hand takes his game to another level late in fights. That’s when he lets the warrior out and goes in for the kill. It’s very difficult for anyone to beat this version of Lawler. Add in the fact that Robbie hasn’t been KO’d in 12 years and I’m expecting this fight to go late, at which point I think Lawler will take over.
Don’t get me wrong, Lawler has been rocked recently and Woodley defiintely has a punchers chance early, but I think Lawler has the experience and saavy to take this fight into the later rounds before really unloading on Woodley.
Look for a fourth round KO for Lawler.
Play: Lawler -175 @ BetOnline.ag