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Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena UFC 276 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Value on Either Fan Favorite? (Saturday, July 2)

Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena UFC 276 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Value on Either Fan Favorite? (Saturday, July 2) article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC welterweight Robbie Lawler

  • Robbie Lawler returns to the octagon for the first time since September 2021.
  • He'll go head-to-head against Bryan Barberena, who's looking to build off a recent victory over Matt Brown.
  • Sean Zerillo takes a deep dive into the fight and offers up a best bet below.

Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena Odds

Lawler Odds
-110
Barberena Odds
-110
Over/Under
2.5 (-200 / +150)
Venue
T-Mobile Arena
Time
Approx. 10:30 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds as of Saturday and via BetMGM.

Robbie Lawler, a 21-year pro fighter and former champ, returns to the octagon for the first time since his September 2021 win over Nick Diaz.

The 40-year-old MMA legend recently earned a bump up to Saturday’s UFC 276 pay-per-view main card. There, he’ll meet fellow tough-as-nails welterweight Bryan Barberena, who’s looking to build off a recent victory over Matt Brown.

Let’s take a deeper look at this featured matchup between two fan favorites.

Tale of the Tape

Lawler Barberena
Record 29-15 17-8
Avg. Fight Time 11:37 12:31
Height 5’11” 6’0″
Weight (pounds) 170 lbs. 170 lbs.
Reach (inches) 74″ 72″
Stance Southpaw Southpaw
Date of birth 3/20/82 5/3/89
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.7 5.6
SS Accuracy 46% 49%
SS Absorbed Per Min 4.4 4.8
SS Defense 59% 45%
Take Down Avg. .66 .17
TD Acc 64% 25%
TD Def 65% 55%
Submission Avg. 0.0 0.3

Lawler-Barberena may be the fight I’m least interested in from a betting perspective of all the fights on Saturday’s card.

Lawler is 40, and his lone win since July 2017 is against Nick Diaz, who probably had no business returning to the Octagon last year.

Conversely, Barberena is 33 but has looked equally shopworn in his recent bouts, despite recording consecutive wins against Matt Brown and Darian Weeks. Before that, Barberena went life and death on the feet with Jason Witt – a wrestler – and generally got the worst of the striking exchanges.

While Barberena has a significant wrestling deficiency (55% takedown defense),  Lawler rarely attempts to grapple (0.66 takedowns per 15 minutes in the UFC) and seems unlikely to exploit that area of Barberena’s game.

Despite being older, Lawler seems like the more durable fighter at this stage of their respective careers, and if these two decide to swing it out, I would expect Lawler to be the last man standing. The difference in their striking defense (59% for Lawler, 45% for Barberena) is notable.

However, Barberena typically lands strikes at a higher volume (+1.88 per minute) and has a superior strike differential (+0.78 to -0.69 per minute), which could translate to better minute-winning ability.

Lawler vs. Barberena Pick

Barberena may be underrated in a pure striking battle, simply because Lawler doesn’t necessarily carry the power to exploit Barberena’s diminishing durability.

However, if Lawler decides to take the path of least resistance — and grapple for a change — he may look like a significant favorite.

I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline or the total, and among the winning method props, only Barberena by decision (projected +233, listed +250 at FanDuel) offers value. And it’s slight.

This is an easy spot to pass on betting. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my betting projections for the entire slate here.

The Pick: Pass

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