Hello fight fans, it’s time for another Great Debate. This time we will be looking at the much anticipated bout between Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone. We’d like to extend a thank you to Derek Bowe of Derek Bowe MMA for his help in making this possible.
Why Robbie Lawler Will Win
By Derek Bowe
The fight that the UFC has tried to make multiple times, and finally we have it. What a fun matchup this looks to be! Former welterweight title holder, Robbie Lawler vs perennial top ten stalwart, Donald Cerrone. While this should be a fun fight, which conceivably could go either way, to me, this fight looks a little more one sided than one might expect it to be.
Robbie Lawler is someone who thrives in utter chaos, but it’s his ability to dictate the range, closing it, is where I believe he will do his best work. Donald Cerrone is a very traditional Muay Thai striker who employs a balanced attack of leg kicks, head kicks, and right straights. His talent has never been in question, however his mental makeup has been his Achilles’ heel throughout his career.
Donald Cerrone is at his best when he can move forward as the aggressor, and ultimately be the unrelenting force in his fights. The guy who will throw first, and get his opponents on their back foot. It is when he has not been able to be that, he begins to be tentative, and unable to get his attacking gameplan out of the mud. When he has been matched on aggressiveness, he tends to fold.
Robbie Lawler is not the guy who is going to fighting on his back foot. Lawler being a southpaw takes away a key ingredient to Cerrone’s success, his leg kicks, as Lawler is a southpaw. In being a southpaw, Lawler presents another issue for Cerrone, as he has struggled to land his right hand straight opposite southpaws in the past, (see Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, and Rafael Dos Anjos). Lawler also is the better outright boxer in this matchup, another area Cerrone has struggled in. His success has been absent when facing fighters who possess better hands.
Lawler would be wise to look to the body in this matchup, as Donald Cerrone has been susceptible to such strikes. This is a fight of whoever can move forward effectively will win, it’s a battle for progression. A battle Robbie Lawler wins in most cases. Look to Lawler taking this fight to Cerrone, negating Cerrone’s desired range, and finishing this fight inside the distance due to a body strike.
Official Pick: Lawler via 3rd round TKO
Why Donald Cerrone Will Win
By Cory Groeneveld
UFC 214 is here! On paper, the best card that has been put together this year. Everyone is talking about the potential fight of the year between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones. But don’t overlook the rest of the card. There are some amazing fights throughout the card. One of those fights, which is on the main card, is Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone. Two crowd favorites that a lot of people are excited to watch. I am going to tell you why I think Donald Cerrone will come out on top.
Both fighters come into this fight coming off a TKO/KO loss looking to get back on track. Momentum doesn’t favor either fighter in my opinion. Before their losses both fighters have wracked up some impressive wins. Cerrone recently has had victories over Matt Brown, Rick Story, Patrick Cote, and Alex Oliveira. Cerrone has proven he can go in with the big boys and come out on top. Cerrone has always had the mindset that he can take on anyone at any time and win. This confidence will come in handy when facing the former champion Robbie Lawler.
Going into this fight, Cerrone’s number one focus should be trying to bring this fight to the mat and control from there. Cerrone is the better grappler of the two. With 50% of his victories coming via submission, expect him to keep to where he has the biggest advantage. With that being said, his opponent is susceptible to being taken down and being submitted. Of Lawler’s 11 losses, 5 have come via submission.
Another great thing I like about Cerrone is that he can win on his feet too. He isn’t an elite striker but he has done some big damage on the feet before. Don’t look for that to be the case here though. Lawler is a very good striker and will be looking to keep this fight upright. With 74% of his wins coming via TKO/KO, Lawler will be looking for that knockout. But if this fight does become a fist fight don’t count Cerrone out. He has the power and the smarts to get that punch in there to put Lawler on his back. He may not knock him out, but if he can startle him and get him to the mat look for the submission to follow quickly behind. But with Lawler coming off a knockout at the hands of Tyron Woodley, we don’t know if his chin will hold up. Many of times, a fighter goes from best in the world to mediocre when his chin gives out on him (see Chuck Lidddell).
I am looking forward to this fight the most on the card. Two great fighters that everyone likes to watch. I am expecting and hoping that this fight goes the distance. I like Donald Cerrone to come out on top with a Unanimous Decision in what I think might be one of the best fights of the year.
Official Pick: Donald Cerrone by Unanimous Decision