clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 201 fight card: Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley full fight preview

New, comment

Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley will duel TONIGHT (July 30, 2016) at UFC 201 inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. In a match up of top-tier Welterweights, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

MMA: UFC 195-Lawler vs Condit Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight elites Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley will clash TONIGHT (July 30, 2016) at UFC 201 inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Few men have experienced career resurgences like Lawler, and he’s done a tremendous job of hanging onto the strap after finally making it there. The goal hasn’t changed yet, as Lawler is still doing his best to remain champion. On the other hand, Woodley is one of the few men who elected to sit out and wait for his title shot ... then actually received it. After 18 months away from the cage, Woodley can return and capture the strap in one fell swoop.

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Robbie Lawler
Record: 27-10 (1)
Key Wins: Rory MacDonald (UFC 189, UFC 167), Johny Hendricks (UFC 181), Carlos Condit (UFC 195), Matt Brown (UFC on FOX 12)
Key Losses: Johny Hendricks (UFC 171), Lorenz Larkin (Strikeforce: Rockhold vs Kennedy)
Keys to Victory: Lawler is a tremendous knockout artist who's damn near impossible to take down. He's dangerous in a brawl or a technical exchange, and Lawler has also proven to be a very tough man to put away.

In this bout, Lawler needs to be patient, as Woodley likes to hang out far on the outside before exploding with either counter punches or sudden bursts. Lawler has had difficulties with fighters who refuse to stay in the pocket before, which could leave him vulnerable here.

With that in mind, Lawler cannot try to rush in early on, as that could run him into a hard counter right. Similarly, Lawler cannot simply wait around and let Woodley take advantage of his fast power punches.

Intelligent pressure is the name of the game.

Additionally, Lawler should make full use of his left kick. He may have a difficult time landing clean punches early, but Lawler kicks damn hard and should make use of those strikes.

If Lawler patiently stays on the offensive, the opening for a knockout will open up eventually.

VS.

Tyron Woodley
Record: 15-3
Key Wins: Carlos Condit (UFC 171), Kelvin Gastelum (UFC 183), Josh Koscheck (UFC 167), Dong Hyun Kim (UFC Fight Night 48)
Key Losses: Rory MacDonald (UFC 174), Jake Shields (UFC 161)
Keys to Victory: Woodley is a very skilled wrestler with some serious knockout power. It's been awhile since Woodley has stepped into the cage, so there's also the chance that Woodley has developed some new tricks to his game.

Since Woodley is such a credentialed wrestler, he could try to blanket Lawler in similar fashion to Johny Hendricks. However, that seems like a poor plan, as Woodley definitely slows down when forced to push a high pace.

Plus, Lawler is really hard to take and hold down.

In all likelihood, Woodley needs a knockout to win this bout. That's a difficult proposition against a heavy puncher with a brick chin, but Woodley can definitely hit hard enough to shake things up.

The bright side is that Woodley's striking style is well-suited to land on Lawler. Either on the counter or with a quick, lunging strike, Woodley can catch his opponent off-guard and potentially end the bout at any moment.

Bottom Line: It’s another Robbie Lawler title fight, so it should be incredible.

Lawler has been putting it all on the line in each of his title fights, and he’s very nearly lost them all. Nonetheless, Lawler is the champion and has defended his strap twice throughout this wild ride, and he’s merely trying to add at least another six months to his reign.

If he comes up short, his accomplishments have already been massive, and he wouldn’t be far off from potentially earning another shot.

This is Woodley’s moment. At the age of 34, Woodley has waited for this chance and while it may be here now, the pressure is on for him to make the most of it. Otherwise, he’s back at the end of a long line. Should Woodley pull off the upset, all the waiting has paid off. He’s achieved the long term goal, and his focus must then shift to defended his strap opposite Stephen Thompson.

TONIGHT at UFC 201, Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley will battle in the main event. Which man will leave the cage with a strap of gold?