Born and raised in Missouri, Justin has been engrossed in combat sports from a young age, training in kickboxing as early as six-years-old. Lawrence ultimately parlayed this into over 150 wins on the amateur kickboxing circuit and also earned the distinction of being a two-time St. Louis’ Golden Gloves boxing tournament champion.
Lawrence made his professional MMA debut in 2010 for Strikeforce and also went on to win under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner, a spectacular 19-second head kick knockout of John Cofer.
Most recently, the 24-year-old has impressed in Resurrection Fighting Alliance, winning three consecutive bouts, including an April 10th first-round technical knockout victory over Sam Toomer that earned him the promotion’s 145-pound title.
A member of Alliance MMA in San Diego, Calif., where he trains alongside Bellator stars like Phil Davis and Michael Chandler, “The American Kid” joins the promotion’s featherweight division, which is currently upheld by champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
“Its been a big week for Bellator, with Gleristone Santos, Phil Davis and now Justin Lawrence joining the ranks,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “We remain committed to not just signing proven stars, but also recruiting top prospects from regional promotions, evidenced by our recent signing of RFA featherweight champion and top young up and coming fighter Justin Lawrence. I said it before and I will continue to say it, we will build them from ground up and hit it from the top down.”
Bellator’s featherweight division is packed with stars like Champion Patricio “Pitbull,” Georgi Karakhanyan, Daniel Straus, Pat Curran, Goiti Yamauchi and Julio Cesar Neves.