Justin Lawrence

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Justin Lawrence
Born Justin Ray Lawrence
(1990-05-15) May 15, 1990 (age 26)
Pacific, Missouri, United States
Other names The American Kidd
The Hammer (formerly)
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
Division Featherweight
Reach 67.0 in (170 cm)
Style Kickboxing. Kempo, Karate, Wrestling, Boxing,
Fighting out of Los Angeles, California, United States
Pacific, Missouri, United States
Team Blackhouse MMA
21st Century Self Defense Alliance MMA
Rank Black belt in Kempo Karate[1]
Years active 2010-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 13
Wins 9
By knockout 4
By submission 1
By decision 4
Losses 4
By knockout 1
By submission 1
By decision 2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Justin Ray Lawrence (born May 15, 1990) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the Featherweight division of Bellator MMA. A professional MMA competitor since 2010, Lawrence has also formerly competed for the UFC, Strikeforce, the RFA, and was a competitor on FX's The Ultimate Fighter: Live.


Originally from Pacific, Missouri, Lawrence began training at the age of six under his step-father, Benny Voyles, a former professional boxer and kickboxer who owns his own gym in St. Louis, Missouri. Lawrence would go on to become a two-time St. Louis' Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament Champion, and compile over 150 amateur kickboxing wins.[2][3] In kickboxing, Lawrence also was a six-time IKF International Kickboxing Federation National Kickboxing Champion, and a two-time Pan-American Kickboxing Champion.[1][2][4] Lawrence began wrestling in the third grade, and was talented, placing in the state tournament multiple times as well as in football as a running back at Pacific High School. Lawrence was also a member of the school's drama team.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 2007 Lawrence began his MMA career, taking his first amateur fight, winning in the first round via submission (rear-naked choke).[5] He picked up four more amateur wins, accumulating a record of 5-0 before turning professional.[5]

Lawrence's professional debut came on December 4, 2010 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II in St. Louis, Missouri. His opponent was highly touted Russian fighter, Max Martyniouk, who was also making his professional debut. Lawrence dominated throughout the bout but after Lawrence delivered a soccer kick to the head of the downed Martyniouk the fight was forced to go to a technical decision. Despite the illegal kick, Lawrence was awarded the win via a unanimous technical decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).[6]

After the exposure from Strikeforce, Lawrence received a call from Ohio promotion, Bobish's Ultimate Cage Battles, to fight on their April 9, 2011 card. Lawrence fought Pete Martin winning the fight via unanimous decision.[7] Lawrence then fought Jason Webb on November 11, 2011 at Fight Me MMA 3. Lawrence won the fight via submission (armbar) in the first round.[7]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In February 2012, it was revealed that Lawrence was selected to be a participant on The Ultimate Fighter: Live.[8] Lawrence defeated two-time WEC veteran James Krause via TKO to move into the Ultimate Fighter house, and become an official cast member.[9]

Lawrence was selected as the first overall pick by Dominick Cruz to take part on Team Cruz. In the first round of the tournament, Lawrence was selected to fight PRIDE veteran, Cristiano Marcello. Lawrence was able to defeat Marcello by knockout at 3:15 of the second round, earning a place in the quarter-finals.[10]

Lawrence's quarter-final fight was against Team Faber's Michael Chiesa. After a hard fought two rounds the judges declared a draw and the fight went to a third, "sudden-death" round. Lawrence was mounted early in the third round and lost via TKO, eliminating him from the competition.[11]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Though Lawrence did not win the show, UFC President Dana White decided to sign all 16 cast members to exclusive UFC contracts.[12] Lawrence made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1, 2012 against fellow TUF cast member, John Cofer.[13] Lawrence won via KO due to a head kick in the opening seconds of the third round. The performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors, with Lawrence also earning a Knockout of the Night bonus.

Lawrence made his Featherweight debut, dropping down to face Max Holloway on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150.[14] After two close rounds Lawrence lost the fight via TKO (body punches) at 4:49 of the second round.

Lawrence next faced Daniel Pineda on April 13, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.[15] He lost the fight via submission in the first round and was subsequently released from the promotion.[16]

Resurrection Fighting Alliance[edit]

Following his release from the UFC, Lawrence signed with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance.[17] Lawrence faced Luis Saldana at RFA 10 on October 25, 2013. Lawrence won the fight via unanimous decision.[18]

Bellator MMA[edit]

In April 2015, Lawrence signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.[19] He made his debut against Sean Wilson on June 19, 2015 at Bellator 138. Lawrence won the fight via TKO in the first round.

In his second fight for the promotion, Lawrence faced Emmanuel Sanchez on November 6, 2015 at Bellator 145.[20] He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  • International Kickboxing Federation
    • National Champion (Six Times)
    • Pan-American Kickboxing Champion (Two times)


  • St. Louis Golden Gloves
    • Golden Gloves Champion (Two times)
    • Diamond Gloves Champion (Two times)

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 9–4 John Teixeira Decision (unanimous) Bellator 167 December 3, 2016 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 9–3 Isao Kobayashi KO (punches) Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 June 24, 2016 2 2:11 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Loss 8–3 Emmanuel Sanchez Decision (split) Bellator 145 November 6, 2015 3 5:00 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 8–2 Sean Wilson TKO (elbows and punches) Bellator 138 June 19, 2015 1 4:56 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 7–2 Sam Toomer TKO (knees to the body and punches) RFA 25: Lawrence vs. Toomer April 10, 2015 1 4:55 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States Defended RFA Featherweight Championship.
Win 6–2 Mark Dickman Decision (unanimous) RFA 17: Cochrane vs. Giagos August 22, 2014 5 5:00 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States Won vacant RFA Featherweight Championship.
Win 5–2 Luis Saldana Decision (unanimous) RFA 10 October 25, 2013 3 5:00 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Loss 4–2 Daniel Pineda Submission (kimura) The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale April 13, 2013 1 1:35 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 4–1 Max Holloway TKO (punches) UFC 150 August 11, 2012 2 4:49 Denver, Colorado, United States Featherweight bout.
Win 4–0 John Cofer KO (head kick) The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale June 1, 2012 3 0:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night & Knockout of the Night.
Win 3–0 Jason Webb Submission (armbar) Fight Me MMA 3 November 11, 2011 1 2:17 St. Charles, Missouri, United States
Win 2–0 Pete Martin Decision (unanimous) Bobish's Ultimate Cage Battles 4 April 9, 2011 3 5:00 Parma, Ohio, United States
Win 1–0 Max Martyniouk Technical Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II December 4, 2010 3 N/A St. Louis, Missouri, United States The fight was stopped in round three due to an accidental soccer kick by Lawrence.


  1. ^ a b Justin Lawrence - Official UFC® Fighter Profile
  2. ^ a b "Baby-Faced Justin Lawrence Stands 5'8", Weighs 165 Pounds and Can Kick Your Ass Six Different Ways". RiverFrontTimes.com. March 17, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Meet the Fighters: Justin Lawrence". UltimateFighter.com. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ Justin Lawrence: The New Kid On the Block - Black House MMA
  5. ^ a b "Justin Lawrence - Black House MMA". BlackHouseMMA.com. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Strikeforce Results & Live Play-by-Play". Sherdog.com. December 4, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Justin Lawrence Fight Finder". Sherdog.com. March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ "'The Ultimate Fighter 15' cast unveiled with 32 lightweight fighters". MMAJunkie.com. February 27, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mixed martial arts results, Season 15 - The Ultimate Fighter" (PDF). State of Nevada, Department of Business and Industry Athletic Commission. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Episode No. 3 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. March 23, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Dana White reveals matchups for TUF 15 finale". BostonHerald.com. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  13. ^ "TUF Live Finale adds Lawrence-Cofer". MMAJunkie.com. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway booked for UFC 150 in Denver". MMAJunkie.com. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pineda-Lawrence set for TUF 17 Finale in April" Check |url= value (help). mmajunkie.com. February 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Duran, Holobaugh, Lawrence, Sicilia, Tamura among UFC fighter releases". mmajunkie.com. May 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Meet RFA's latest signings including Justin Lawrence, Chris Spang and Kevin Casey". kingdommma.co.uk. 
  18. ^ "RFA 10 results: Mike Rhodes cruises in title fight, Justin Lawrence victorious". mmajunkie.com. October 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ Bellator MMA signs RFA featherweight champ, UFC vet Justin Lawrence | MMAjunkie
  20. ^ "Bellator 145 Fight Card". bellator.com. 2015-11-06.