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UFC 201 fight card primer: Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley

UFC 201 is headlined by UFC Weltereight champion Ruthless Robbie Lawler who takes on challenger Tyron Woodley. All the details are here in our Bloody Elbow primer.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In the main event at UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley, UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (27-10(1) MMA; 12-4 UFC) faces challenger Tyron Woodley (15-3 MMA; 5-2 UFC) in a five round world title fight. The UFC rankings have Woodley as the #4 contender at Welterweight with champion Lawler ranked at #4 on the pound for pound list. UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley airs live from Atlanta, GA this Saturday, July 30. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 and 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

Robbie Lawler is a popular champion, who has consistently delivered some of the best fights of the year in his title run. But Woodley feels like a weird choice for a challenger, making this not a highly anticipated defense for Ruthless. Woodley has good striking, but wrestling is his primary weapon, making this a classic striker vs. wrestler match-up.

How do these two stack up?

Lawler: 34 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
Woodley: 34 years old | 5'9" | 72" reach

What have these two done recently?

Lawler: W - Carlos Condit (SD) | W - Rory MacDonald (TKO) | W - Johny Hendricks (SD)
Woodley: W - Kelvin Gastelum (SD) | W - Dong Hyun Kim (TKO) | L - Rory MacDonald (UD)

How did these two get here?

Ruthless Robbie Lawler's latest run in the UFC has been nothing short of remarkable. Since his return in 2013 he's 8-1, he's become a world champion, and he's made his way to the top 5 pound for pound list - all this after effectively being written off at the end of his Strikeforce run. His past two fights have been amazing wars that have shown the heart of a champion. The question with Lawler at this point is how long he can keep this run going - at 15 years in the sport now he is long past the point that most fighters slip, but instead, Lawler seems to be in his prime. It's been amazing to watch.

Tyron Woodley comes from a wrestling background and used that to great results in Strikeforce, putting together an 8-0 run there before being stopped by Nate Marquardt in his last pre-UFC fight. His 5-2 run in the UFC shows that he has had some good wins, but never that one huge win. Carlos Condit is the best name on his resume - some discredit that due to the weird injury Condit suffered in the fight, but a win is a win. Woodley was supposed to face Johny Hendricks last October, but Hendricks missed weight. With that fight cancellation, Woodley has been out of action for 18 months. He was not a top contender before that break - it's very odd to see him here now.

Why should you care?

This is not an inspiring title fight, but Lawler always brings it. Plus, last time out, Amanda Nunes reminded us that you can never count the underdog out in MMA.