Robbie Lawler outgunned Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 12. | Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa/UFC/Getty
It appears as though Robbie Lawler will get his rematch.
Clean power punches paired with punishing kicks to the body carried Lawler to a unanimous decision over Matt Brown in the UFC on Fox 12 headliner on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. All three cageside judges sided with Lawler, casting 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 scorecards in his direction.
Lawler (24-10, 9-4 UFC) countered beautifully throughout and landed in combination, often using Brown’s aggression against him. Both men were visibly hurt in the first round, setting the stage for a grueling showdown between two of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s premier welterweights. After a strong and busy round two from Brown, which involved some patented clinch work, Lawler seemed to find another gear. He doubled over the Ohioan with a body kick in the third round, secured a takedown and utilized his ground-and-pound in the fourth and weathered an admirable final surge from “The Immortal” in the fifth.
Afterward, Brown (19-12, 12-6 UFC) wore the scars of battle, having sustained multiple cuts to his face. His seven-fight winning streak was at its end.
“He’s a hell of a fighter,” Lawler said. “He went toe-to-toe with me. Not many people do that.”
The win likely vaults Lawler into a welterweight title bout against champion Johny Hendricks. “Bigg Rigg” defeated Lawler by unanimous decision at UFC 171 March, capturing the vacant 170-pound crown in the process.
Johnson Smashes Nogueira in 44 Seconds
In the light heavyweight co-main event, Anthony Johnson laid waste to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in horrifying fashion, as he wiped out the Brazilian with a series of savage right uppercuts in the first round. The oft-injured Nogueira (21-6, 4-3 UFC), who had not fought in more than a year, met his end 44 seconds into round one.
Johnson (18-4, 9-4 UFC) was cold and calculated. The Blackzilians representative staggered Nogueira with a short right hand, followed him as he backpedaled to the cage and unleashed with power and precision. An uppercut snapped back the Pride Fighting Championships head and left him vulnerable to Johnson’s follow-up attacks. “Rumble” then fired away with hooks and uppercuts until referee Herb Dean had seen enough.
Once released by the UFC due to his inability to make weight at 170 pounds, Johnson now finds himself on an eight-fight winning streak. He has the look of a future title contender in the 205-pound division.
Bermudez Choke Submits Guida
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 finalist Dennis Bermudez submitted Clay Guida with a second-round rear-naked choke in a featured featherweight scrap. Guida (31-15, 11-9 UFC) conceded defeat 2:57 into round two, losing for the fourth time in his past six fights.
Bermudez (14-3, 7-1 UFC) tore into “The Carpenter” with early punches and knees, one of which opened a cut under his right eye. The Long Island MMA representative moved to Guida’s back in the first round, foreshadowing what was to come. In the second, Bermudez struck for a takedown, transitioned to the back and set the hooks. The rear-naked choke came next, followed by the tapout.
The 27-year-old Bermudez has rattled off seven wins in a row.
Replacement Green Outduels Thomson
Bobby Green made the most of a great opportunity, as he took a split decision from former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson in a competitive lightweight showcase. All three judges scored it 29-28, two them siding with Green (23-5, 4-0 UFC), who replaced the injured Michael Johnson on short notice.
Thomson (20-7, 3-3 UFC) was largely reduced to a tentative counter fighter by the former King of the Cage titleholder. Green marched forward with quick hands and resolute purpose, consistently pushing the American Kickboxing Academy export away from the center of the cage. Thomson did his best work in the second round, where he secured a takedown, maintained a busy pace and found a consistent home for his right hand. Success, however, was short-lived.
Green utilized leg kicks, a strong jab and a steady diet of punching combinations during the 15-minute scrap. The 27-year-old opened a cut near Thomson’s right eye with a left hook in the third round and refused to allow “The Punk” to get comfortable, as he kept his back to the cage and pressed forward with punches and kicks. Green has now rattled off eight straight victories.
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