UFC 201 – Lawler vs Woodley – Preview

July 27, 2016 at Phillips Arena, Atlanta Georgia, USA

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My four fight accumulator at Ultimate Fight Night – Holm vs Shevchenko got me back on track after a very poor Fight Week, and I’m looking to build on that this weekend.

Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley

I think we’re all finally used to the idea of Robbie Lawler as Welterweight champion now, and I like him to keep his strap at UFC 201. Woodley’s heavy handed, but I think Lawler will have a speed advantage, and as long as he can keep it standing, I’m on the champ here.

Rose Namajunas vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz

I made the mistake of betting against Thug Rose last time out, and made a mental note to back her against whoever she faced next, because she looked outstanding. Prior to that she gave Paige VanZant a savage beating too. I’ve been impressed with Kowalkiewicz so far, and was on her when she beat Heather Jo Clark in May, but I have to go for Namajunas to hand Kowalkiewicz her first professional loss.

Matt Brown vs Jake Ellenberger

Brown has lost three out of his last four, albeit against top 5 opposition. That’s not form I would usually back, but I think he’ll get one in the win column on Saturday against Ellenberger who’s only chalked up one win in the last three years.

Francisco Rivera vs Erik Perez

Talking of unbackable form, Rivera has lost four from his last five, but still arguably represents a jump in class for Perez, who’s fought much less often against lower ranked fighters. The bookies are struggling to split them, and so am I.

Ian McCall vs Justin Scoggins

McCall’s last outing was a loss to John Lineker all the way back in January 2015. I like Scoggins to increase his stock by picking off the higher ranked McCall here.

Ed Herman vs Nikita Krylov

I had Krylov on my betting slip when he choked Francimar Barroso in Rotterdam in May. That was his fourth win in a row, and although I expect Ed Herman to give him a scrap, I don’t see that win streak derailed.

Ross Pearson vs Jorge Masvidal

This is a fast turnaround for Pearson who only lost to Will Brooks three weeks ago. Masvidal is coming off a loss himself, but he’s had longer to regroup. This will likely be a bit of a striking thriller, and my money is on Masvidal to get the better of it.

Wilson Reis vs Hector Sandoval

Reis was supposed to be fighting Demetrious Johnson for the title on this card (which if we’re honest, seems a bit soon on his record, but DJ’s running out of opposition). Instead he has to settle for a prelim opener against promotional newcomer Sandoval. It’s a big opportunity for Team Alpha Male product Sandoval, but taking into account the short notice and the infamous debut jitters, Reis is the solid pick.

I’ve no strong feelings about Grabowski vs Hamilton or anything on the Fight Pass prelims. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any upsets to get behind so I’m backing all favourites here. Splitting them into two main bets, plus a small stake bet on every favourite on the card for fun.

Bet 1 – £10 returning £38.64

Robbie Lawler to beat Tyron Woodley

Rose Namajunas to beat Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Matt Brown to beat Jake Ellenberger

Justin Scoggins to beat Ian McCall

Bet 2 – £10 returning £31.11

Nikita Krylov to beat Ed Herman

Jorge Masvidal to beat Ross Pearson

Wilson Reis to beat Hector Sandoval

Bet 3 – £1 returning £184.85

Robbie Lawler to beat Tyron Woodley

Rose Namajunas to beat Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Matt Brown to beat Jake Ellenberger

Erik Perez to beat Fransisco Rivera

Justin Scoggins to beat Ian McCall

Nikita Krylov to beat Ed Herman

Jorge Masvidal to beat Ross Pearson

Damian Grabowski to beat Anthony Hamilton

Wilson Reis to beat Hector Sandoval

Michael Graves to beat Bojan Velickovic

Fredy Serrano to beat Ryan Benoit

Damian Brown to beat Cesar Arzamendia


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I’ll be watching all the build up to this event, plus the exclusive prelims on UFC Fight Pass. There’s also a fantastic collection of original shows and an incredible fight library you can lose yourself in for weeks. To support MMA Flashback, you can click on the banner below and sign up today. You won’t regret it.

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