Welterweight bout: Bobby Voelker (+240) vs Robbie Lawler (-280) Fight Breakdown: The UFC on FOX 8 main card on July 27th brings us the BATTLE OF THE ROBERT’S: It’s BOBBY vs ROBBIE, VICIOUS vs RUTHLESS, as Kansas City’s “Vicious” Bobby Voelker takes on gritty veteran “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. Voelker is the underdog at +240 ($100 to win $240,) while the return on the favorite Robbie Lawler is -280 ($280 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Bobby Voelker (24-9 MMA, 0-1 UFC) took this bout on less than three weeks notice, replacing an injured Siyar Bahadurzada, who himself was an injury replacement for Lawler’s original opponent, Tarec Saffiedine. The under-rated and over-looked Bobby Voelker returns for his second bout in the octagon after suffering a controversial decision loss at the hands of the Canadian Patrick Cote at UFC 158 in Montreal; a fight many spectators believe he won. Voelker is a somewhat of a knock-out artist, as 15 of his 24 victories have come by way of KO/TKO. Despite having two knockout losses on his record, he displays a solid chin and has not been knocked out in over five years. Voelker prefers to strike, but his jiu-jitsu game is good as well. His submission defense is even better. He usually has good cardio, but with limited time to prepare, that is now questionable. He was already in training camp for a bout vs James Head on August 28th before being shuffled off to this main card spot, which comes one month and one day earlier than when he was originally expecting to fight. Robbie Lawler (20-9 MMA, 5-3 UFC) made an impact with his return to the UFC (and the welterweight division) when he took out Josh Koscheck in the first round at UFC 157, in what some believe was an early stoppage. Lawler didn’t take much time off, as he booked a match with Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffidine. Now, two injury replacements later, here he is in a match-up with another gritty, hard-nosed veteran striker in Bobby Voelker. Lawler has trained out of the Pat Miletich camp (Miletich Fighting Systems) in his Iowa hometown throughout most of his career, with some time spent at Power MMA in Arizona, but since his return to the UFC with the Koscheck bout, he has moved his training camp to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. Robbie Lawler is a heavy handed striker with a good chin, so he isn’t afraid to mix it up. He is also a great sprawler with tremendous takedown defense, often keeping the fight where he wants it. This is Lawler’s second fight in his return to the welterweight division and he figures to have the size advantage going in. Fight Prediction: I don’t think there’s going to be much of a feeling-out process; I think they are going to take the fight to each other right from the bell, looking to put each other away. Shots will connect but their chins will hold up. If Robbie Lawler has one weakness, it’s submissions, but I don’t think that will factor in this fight. Bobby Voelker works decent takedowns, especially from inside the clinch, but I feel he isn’t going to try to grapple with Lawler and is instead going to stand toe-to-toe with him in attempt to add another knockout to his win column. A KO by either fighter would not be much of a surprise, considering this is a battle of heavy hitters, but I expect this to be a gritty (or possibly boring) war that likely goes the distance. Gabe’s Pick: Bobby Voelker by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) — When the fight was first announced, I was favoring a Unanimous 30-27 sweep for Lawler, but the more I’ve looked into it, the more I’ve begun to like Voelker’s chances. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 1.5 rounds -180. Lawler is gonna land some heavy hands and Voelker’s gonna land some vicious knees, but they’re gonna keep this battle going past 1.5 rounds. — The odds indicate otherwise, but I feel Lawler’s chances of winning by Decision are greater than his chances of finishing the fight, so for sake of value, I would recommend you Lawler backers to play the Decision +318 prop, rather than the Lawler ITD -125 prop you are planning on. Personally, I’m more intrigued by the Voelker by Decision prop at +418.
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