|Born||Justin Ray Lawrence
May 15, 1990
Pacific, Missouri, United States
|Other names||The American Kidd
The Hammer (formerly)
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)|
|Reach||67.0 in (170 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Los Angeles, California, United States
Pacific, Missouri, United States
21st Century Self Defense Alliance MMA
|Rank||Black belt in Kempo Karate|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|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. In kickboxing, Lawrence also was a six-time IKF International Kickboxing Federation National Kickboxing Champion, and a two-time Pan-American Kickboxing Champion. 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, and studied mime at the Hepolscheimer School of Mimery.
Mixed martial arts career
In 2007 Lawrence began his MMA career, taking his first amateur fight, winning in the first round via submission (rear-naked choke). He picked up four more amateur wins, accumulating a record of 5-0 before turning professional.
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).
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. 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.
The Ultimate Fighter
In February 2012, it was revealed that Lawrence was selected to be a participant on The Ultimate Fighter: Live. Lawrence defeated two-time WEC veteran James Krause via TKO to move into the Ultimate Fighter house, and become an official cast member.
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.
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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Though Lawrence did not win the show, UFC President Dana White decided to sign all 16 cast members to exclusive UFC contracts. Lawrence made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1, 2012 against fellow TUF cast member, John Cofer. 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. After two close rounds Lawrence lost the fight via TKO (body punches) at 4:49 of the second round.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance
Following his release from the UFC, Lawrence signed with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Lawrence faced Luis Saldana at RFA 10 on October 25, 2013. Lawrence won the fight via unanimous decision.
Championships and accomplishments
- 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)
- Resurrection Fighting Alliance
- RFA Featherweight Champion (One time)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|11 matches||8 wins||3 losses|
|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.|
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- "Meet the Fighters: Justin Lawrence". UltimateFighter.com. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "Justin Lawrence - Black House MMA". BlackHouseMMA.com. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "Strikeforce Results & Live Play-by-Play". Sherdog.com. December 4, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "Justin Lawrence Fight Finder". Sherdog.com. March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "'The Ultimate Fighter 15' cast unveiled with 32 lightweight fighters". MMAJunkie.com. February 27, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "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.
- "Episode No. 3 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. March 23, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- "Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
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- "TUF Live Finale adds Lawrence-Cofer". MMAJunkie.com. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- "Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway booked for UFC 150 in Denver". MMAJunkie.com. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Pineda-Lawrence set for TUF 17 Finale in April" Check
value (help). mmajunkie.com. February 11, 2013.
- "Duran, Holobaugh, Lawrence, Sicilia, Tamura among UFC fighter releases". mmajunkie.com. May 8, 2013.
- "Meet RFA's latest signings including Justin Lawrence, Chris Spang and Kevin Casey". kingdommma.co.uk.
- "RFA 10 results: Mike Rhodes cruises in title fight, Justin Lawrence victorious". mmajunkie.com. October 26, 2013.
- "Bellator 145 Fight Card". bellator.com. 2015-11-06.