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Ben Askren vs Robbie Lawler Betting Odds

The debut of Ben “Funky” Askren was supposed to take place in January for UFC 233 but that card is scrapped and we now have to wait till UFC 235 to see him collide with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. The former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion, Askren, is a -260 favorite with the former UFC welterweight champion, Lawler, coming back at +200.

Odds Analysis

With this being the debut for Askren, we don’t have previous lines for him. However, had there been lines out, there’s no doubt in my mind he would have been favored in the majority of them. Funky hasn’t seen action since November 2017, when he knocked out Shinya Aoki in the first minute of their fight. Similarly, Lawler hasn’t fought since his five-round brawl with Rafael dos Anjos in December of 2017, suffering a torn ACL and meniscus injuries. The 36-year-old hasn’t been this much of an underdog since he closed as a +330 dog in his first fight with Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 – a fight he lost via decision.  

This is a grappler vs striker bout as Ruthless likes to meet in the center of the Octagon and throw hands, while Askren finished sixth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Some people may feel more comfortable getting plus-money on Lawler because of familiarity vs an unknown in Askren but do so at your own peril as Funky is one to watch out for.

Ben Askren vs Robbie Lawler

Askren (-260) was traded to the UFC from ONE for arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC in Demetrious Johnson, so he comes highly touted. Funky has a perfect 18-0 record with six wins by knockout, five by submission and seven via decision and brings a high-level wrestling pedigree into the cage with him. Unconfirmed rumors are that the 34-year-old throws around his training partner and current UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, in practice all the time, which is a scary sight to imagine. The biggest knock on Askren right now is his body of work isn’t overly impressive, although he does have wins over former Bellator welterweight champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.

Lawler (+200) has tremendous hand speed parlayed with thunderous punching power. Ruthless has won 20 of his 28 professional victories via knockout but hasn’t earned a T/KO triumph since a fifth-round knockout of Rory MacDonald to win the UFC welterweight title. The 36-year-old has been in the UFC since 2013 and has won the belt twice, but has lost two of his last three fights. Lawler averages 3.56 significant strikes per minutes while absorbing 3.99 significant strikes per minute, really showing the way he likes to get into brawls with his opponents.

People will be pleasantly surprised when they get to see Askren for the first time. He is very effective at avoiding strikes and when he gets his hands on his opponents, the fight almost always goes to the mat. However, this is the first time in a while that Askren has faced a guy at or near the level of Lawler and it’ll be interesting to see how he combats the aggressive style Ruthless brings. UFC 233 is shaping up to be a great one.

Robbie Lawler vs Ben Askren Betting Odds
Robbie Lawler+200
Ben Askren+260

Odds as of March 2 at Bovada