Becoming a champion in the UFC is not something that happens by accident, it is not something that happens by a fluke. Becoming a champion in the UFC is something borne out of a lifetime of hard work and dedication to one’s craft as well as determination to relentlessly pursue the right to be called the best. Within that special group of athletes, it is fair to say that some champions are more revered than others. However, is there a champion in the UFC who is more underrated than the current UFC welterweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler?
The American Top Team fighter and 170 pound king Lawler is a 37 fight veteran of MMA with a record of 26 – 10 with 1 no contest. Throughout his career, Lawler has forged fan favourite status for himself due in large part to his all-action fighting style and his brutal knockout power. In fact, 20 of his 26 wins have come by way of knockout.
Since his return to the UFC in February 2013, Lawler has defeated fighters such as Josh Koscheck, Matt Brown, Johny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald twice in the process of racking up an 7 – 1 record and capturing the UFC welterweight title. However, throughout his second UFC run, it feels like Lawler is continuously underrated. For example, in how many of those 8 fights have the betting odds had Lawler as the favourite? The answer to that question is 3 – against Bobby Voelker, Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown. He has been the underdog in all three title fights he has fought for the promotion, despite the fact that one of those was against a man he had already beaten around 18 months prior to their meeting at UFC 189 in Rory MacDonald.
On Saturday night at UFC 195 Lawler looks to defend his title for the second time against Carlos Condit. Despite being installed as a slight favourite when the market opened for this fight, the odds have steadily drifted Condit’s way and, at the time of writing, Condit had just overtaken Lawler in the market. Therefore, should this stay the same, Lawler will have been the favourite going into only 3 of his last 9 fights. For a man who currently holds UFC gold, is ranked #6 in the pound for pound rankings and the manner in which he has performed in the past 2 years, that is a remarkable statistic.
Lawler has shown himself to be a dangerous opponent for anyone who can change an entire fight in just one punch (remember that fight with Melvin Manhoef in 2010?). Not only that, he is incredibly durable having only lost once by TKO, and that was back in 2004. Stylistically I can understand why some think Condit is a bad matchup for Lawler, but an opponent who wants to stand and strike is also a dream matchup for Lawler. I must admit, when asked for my prediction for this fight earlier in the week, I quickly picked the challenger. However, having thought more about the fight, I would not give the same answer if asked today.
While Lawler’s rise to become UFC champion was unexpected, thoughts of his continued success seem to be constantly disputed in spite of his performances. Should he leave UFC 195 with the welterweight title still around his waist, Lawler would surely have done enough to prove himself to even his harshest doubters. Despite being consistently underrated, Robbie Lawler has continued to produce inside the octagon when it matters most and he has no intention of stopping any time soon. As Lawler said in his post-fight interview following his Fight of the Year victory over Rory MacDonald at UFC 189: “I’m the champ. I’m here to stay.”
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Rhode Island Prospect John Douma Booked for CES 49 against Zach Burhans
The New England regional MMA scene has been fairly quiet this month. Such a description won’t be apt one month from now. As the days fade away from the month of March, the two most prominent organizations of this region gear up for early April events. The CES MMA promotion holds CES 49, on the first Friday of April (April 6th). CES 49 takes place in its hub venue, Twin River Casino, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Yesterday, CES officials announced John Douma, a highly regarded pro featherweight prospect, makes his third appearance for the MMA promotion, when he faces Zach Burhans at CES 49.
For John Douma, he looks to continue his career with an undefeated record. At 2-0, Douma owns two stoppage victories, both coming in the first round (1 KO/TKO, 1 Sub). Born and raised in Wyckoff, Rhode Island, Douma is the New England regions 18th ranked pro Featherweight (Rankings by Tapology.com). A lofty ranking for a 21-year-old with only two professional fights on his record. Especially so in the regions most prominent professional division.
Zach Burhans comes into next months match with a similar amount of experience. Burhans has four professional fights in his arsenal of experience with a record of 3-1. Twice that of his opponent, but two times a small number is still a small number. The New York fighter makes his promotional debut at next months CES 49.
Surprisingly, Burhans has not fought since his last loss, which came in March of 2011. The loss was the first of his four fight pro career. It also was the first fight for Burhans since August of 2009. At CES 49, he ends his second hiatus from professional mixed martial arts. His second and most recent break from the sport was his longest. Burhans did not compete from March 2011, until next months CES MMA card. Making the span between his most recent and upcoming, around 6 years and nine months.
CES 49 takes place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on April 6th. Other bouts featured on the card include, #1 ranked New England Lightweight, Nate Andrews takes on Chris Padilla for the promotions vacant Lightweight title. Kaline Medeiros attempts to bounce back following her 3rd round submission loss to rising star, Mackenzie Dern at Invicta 26, when she faces 11th ranked pound-for-pound New England women’s fighter, Jenna Serio. Also, Chris Curtis goes up against Jason Norwood in a main card Welterweight clash.
Report: Bellator plans Rome event for July
With the news of Bellator 200, turning a bit stale being nearly a week old, comes more international event news for the promotion. According to a report by Raphael Marinho of Combate, Bellator scheduled its third international event of 2018. In the report, it states the promotion booked July 14th as a date for a Rome, Italy event.
It will be the first event held by Bellator in the historic city of Rome, Italy. The first in Rome, but the fifth Bellator event in Italy. Previously, the promotion made stops in Torino and Florence, Italy, holding two events in each location. It also marks the 23rd international held by Bellator. 23 events across 10 cities, and 5 countries.
The previous four Italian events held a mixture of combat sports. Each of the events had a Kickboxing card, serving as the main event and an MMA card, which acted as a main card. News of an accompanying Kickboxing card, most likely, would come following a formal announcement of the event.
Also included in the report, the promotion is working to make Alessio Sakara the headliner of evening. Sakara spent nine years with the UFC (Oct. 2005 – Oct. 2013). Over that span, he earned a record of 6-8. He was cut following four consecutive loses. Before signing with Bellator, Sakara signed with Final Fight Championship, where he went 1-0, 1 NC. His final fight with FFC (Final Fight Championship) was a 1:32 KO of his opponent.
The Italian athlete, Sakara, fought on three of the four previous Italy held Bellator events. Sakara headlined Bellator 190 & 168, while begin the co-main event for Bellator 152. Interestingly, the Middleweights only Bellator competition took place in his home country of Italy. He is 2-1 with the promotion, defeating Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran, respectively, while losing to Middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho, most recently.
- Interviews3 months ago
Exclusive: Alexander Gustafsson eyeing summer 2018 return- wants title shot next
- Opinion5 months ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Interviews5 months ago
Sage Northcutt on Moving to Sacramento and Life at Team Alpha Male
- Rumours3 years ago
Proto MMA History: The Day Antonio Inoki Almost Killed The Great Antonio
- Cage Warriors5 months ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- BAMMA4 months ago
BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream
- Interviews5 months ago
Tim Means on Lawsuit Against Supplement Companies “I’m Going to Shut Them Down”
- Interviews5 months ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”