After his last scheduled fight falling out, Ronnie “The Heat” Lawrence is set to be back in the octagon since his last third-round knockout win almost a full year ago. Lawrence, 29, is 7-1 as a professional and 1-0 in the UFC. Mana “Manaboi” Martinez, 25, is 9-2 professionally and won his debut via split decision.
Lawrence vs. Martinez is a bout on the UFC 271 fight card this Saturday night. Fight fans can order the UFC 271 PPV to watch the Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker title fight and all PPV main card fights live.
Lawrence is a 3:1 favorite and growing over Martinez.
- Lawrence: -300
- Martinez: +240
Ronnie Lawrence fights like Patrick Beverley plays defense in the NBA: he’ll swarm and overwhelm with pressure until the final bell (or whistle). Specifically, Lawrence pressures with his relentless takedowns and wrestling. He will shoot, and shoot, and shoot again. Unlike other wrestlers who look for position or submission, Lawrence looks for two things on the mat. First, to exhaust his opponent. He wants them to struggle and fight from awkward positions to get up, then he takes them back down again. Second, Lawrence looks to mount and rain down ground and pound once his opponent is properly exhausted. He averages a staggering 10.8 takedowns per fight at a 76% clip and has finished 4 of 7 wins via knockout. On the feet, Lawrence has quality and varied kicks with solid volume; but, he looks to spend as little time striking as possible. Defensively, on the feet, is the most noticeable gap in his game. Because of his insane pressure, he’s rarely fighting off his back foot. When he is backed up, Lawrence’s sometimes porous defense has left him open to get clipped. Overwhelmingly, though, Lawrence is impressive and unrelenting with his pressure-focused and wrestle-heavy game plan.
Martinez is more of a well-rounded fighter who does a few things very well. He is big and long for the division with a quality boxing game. Martinez uses his length well when keeping range with the jab; but, his best shots are his power shots. Martinez packs some real heat when he throws and often throws that heat in combination. Although he has no submission wins, Martinez has a decent grappling and defensive submission game, this allows him to be freer on the feet and look for bigger shots. When he lands, he lands heavy and tends to end the fight. But, if he over-extends, he is susceptible to the takedown; and, while his ground defense may keep him alive for the round, he can be controlled on the mat.
I like Martinez’s game and potential. His boxing is crisp and his power is exciting. However, his biggest gap is that he is susceptible to pressure wrestlers who can take him down. Lawrence is that pressure wrestler. Now, if Lawrence decides to fight like Miles Johns last week and get baited into a striking match, Martinez will have a distinct advantage. But, most likely, I see Lawrence implementing his merciless takedowns en route to a decision win.
Prediction: Lawrence by decision
You can order the UFC 271 PPV on ESPN+ here to watch Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 and the entire fight card live this Saturday, January 12 in the United States.
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.