Sandwiched in between arguably the biggest pay-per-view events of 2016 is UFC 201, which is set for Saturday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Robbie Lawler headlines the card, putting his welterweight title on the line against Tyron Woodley.
Lawler has won three straight championship fights, last defending his 170-pound belt at UFC 195 when he defeated Carlos Condit by split decision. Woodley, however, hasn’t been inside the octagon in 18 months, beating Kelvin Gastelum by split decision at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015.
Woodley was promised a title shot, and he’s been biding his time, waiting to fight for the belt. Even though he’s the underdog, Woodley doesn’t fear any ring rust and expects to defeat Lawler.
“I just think I win by overwhelming and outworking Robbie and being a more well-rounded fighter than Robbie,” Woodley recently told CBS Sports. “I can honestly stand in front of Robbie and I have just as good a chance of knocking him the hell out, and he knows that, but what is a better strategy? To mix it up. Give him a little of brawl. Give a little bit of wrestling. Give a little bit of clinch. Give a little bit of takedown. Give a little bit of lateral motion. In general, we'll showcase how well-rounded a fighter I am and that'll present a lot of threats, a lot of anxiety and he'll get reaching, he'll get head-hunting.”
Lawler is favored, but not by an overwhelming margin. The biggest favorite on the PPV is Matt Brown, who’s set to take on Jake Ellenberger in a welterweight fight. The bantamweight fight between Francisco Rivera and Érik Pérez is essentially a tossup.
Four other fights will be broadcast on the UFC 201 PPV. Seven fights are on the preliminary card and can be seen on TV or UFC Fight Pass.
Below is the complete UFC 201 fight card with betting odds, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Main Card (PPV)
Welterweight Title: Robbie Lawler (-205) vs. Tyron Woodley (+165)
Women's Strawweight: Rose Namajunas (-235) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+185)
Welterweight: Matt Brown (-310) vs. Jake Ellenberger (+240)
Bantamweight: Francisco Rivera (-110) vs. Érik Pérez (-120)
Flyweight: Ian McCall (+185) vs. Justin Scoggins (-235)
Preliminary Card (TV)
Light Heavyweight: Ed Herman (+130) vs. Nikita Krylov (-160)
Welterweight: Ross Pearson (+175) vs. Jorge Masvidal (-225)
Heavyweight: Anthony Hamilton (-135) vs. Damian Grabowski (+105)
Flyweight: Wilson Reis (-310) vs. Hector Sandoval (+240)
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight: Michael Graves (-225) vs. Bojan Veličković (+175)
Flyweight: Ryan Benoit (+105) vs. Fredy Serrano (-135)
Lightweight: César Arzamendia (-110) vs. Damien Brown (-120)