UFC Tips | 3rd January 2015 | BT Sport 2


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Robbie Lawler v Carlos Condit | Sunday 05:00 | BT Sport 2

UFC 195 sees the organisation kick off 2016 and if the main event goes with expectation then it will certainly see fireworks to match those at Sydney Harbour.

The monikers for each fighter provide a tremendous teaser for anyone who is unaware of either fighter: ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler versus ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Carlos Condit. Even writing that gives me goosebumps.

Lawler is the current 170lb champion and has been through a renaissance over the past couple of years as his career had looked to be heading for the scrap heap when he spent some time floating around other organisations.

However, since returning to the UFC in 2013, Lawler has won seven of his eight fights. His one loss came at the hands of then champion Johny Hendricks and could easily have gone the way of the Ruthless one.

Prior to that Lawler had lost five of eight fights and appeared to be going nowhere fast. Although now, he is riding a four fight win streak and is coming off the back of the 2015 fight of the year where he brutally knocked out Rory McDonald at UFC 189 and Robbie’s stock could not be any higher.

Looking to dethrone the champion is Carlos Condit, a man who has been in this position before when (as interim champion) he fought against then champion GSP for the title, only to lose via unanimous decision. However, during that title bout, Condit rocked GSP like he had never been rocked before with a vicious head kick.

Since that fight, GSP has stated that Condit was the most dangerous fighter he had ever encountered and that he had never been hurt as badly by anyone.

Unfortunately for the Natural Born Killer, that fight marked the beginning of a poor run statistically in the UFC as he lost 3/4 fights culminating in a defeat to current number 4 ranked welterweight Tyron Woodley.

During this defeat, Condit ruptured his ACL resulting in 14 months out of the Octagon. Upon his return in May of 2015, Condit annihilated his opponent Thiago Alves in brutal fashion which eventually lead to him getting a shot at the title.

With Condit’s recent record, you would imagine the fans and media would be up in arms about him getting a title fight so quickly, however, given the style of both Condit and Lawler, the outrage has been forgone in expectation of what would be a truly outrageous fight.

Starting with the challenger, looking at his 30 wins in MMA, Condit has finished his opponents in 28 of those fights (93%) due to his wonderfully diverse kickboxing and his gritty BJJ. Standing at 6ft 2″, Condit has a 3″ height advantage and he will be looking to use this to land head kicks against Lawler who was badly rocked in his last fight to McDonald after receiving such a kick and was almost finished.

Condit uses high combinations of punches and kicks to break his opponents down and I genuinely feel that by doing this, he will have his best chance of beating the current champ. Condit is 9/2 with Boylesports to win by KO/TKO/DQ and with his relentless attacks and having seen Lawler rocked by lesser strikers in the past, I feel there is a great chance of this being successful.

For Lawler, the big change for him appears to be as much mental as anything resulting in his surprising upturn in form. Having started in the UFC when he was 19, there has never been a question about Lawler’s ability, however, he struggled with the press demands and of staying in training camps during his younger years. Looking at him now and listening to him, he is much more relaxed and at ease with all of the demands on a UFC champion.

To win this fight, Lawler will need to utilise his strong wrestling base and his powerful and accurate boxing. Against McDonald, Lawler used his southpaw right jab and straight left to devastating effect when he shattered his opponents nose.

Lawler does not throw high combos like Condit so will hope that his better striking accuracy (44% compared to Condit’s 40%) provides the difference.

Unfortunately for Lawler, with similar significant strikes landed per minute – 3.49 for Lawler against 3.41 for Condit – he absorbs more damage per minute than Condit with 3.39 significant strikes received compared to the challenger’s 2.28 strikes. With the volume of strikes that Condit throws, I do not feel that this bodes well for the champion.

It is little surprise that the bookmakers have both fighters almost inseparable and the market has swung about this week with Lawler starting as favourite whereas now he is a slight underdog. I believe that Condit will win this fight and he can be backed at a best price of 20/21 with Boylesports.

I will also be having small bets on Condit to win in the 3rd round at 16/1 with Bet365 and in the 4th at 22/1 also with Bet365.

Best Bets

Robbie Lawler v Carlos Condit – Carlos Condit to win (20/21 Boylesports)

Robbie Lawler v Carlos Condit – Carlos Condit to win by KO/TKO/DQ (9/2 Boylesports)

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