Robbie Lawler is once again the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s top contender at 170 pounds -- though, really, he never vacated the position.
In the four short months since his decision loss to champion Johny Hendricks, the “Ruthless” welterweight has already picked up a pair of wins. The first was in May against Jake Ellenberger, and the second came on July 26 against fellow heavy-handed veteran Matt Brown. Through five rounds with “The Immortal,” Lawler hit harder and fought smarter, using counterstrikes and effective takedowns to end Brown’s winning streak at seven. The unanimous decision puts Lawler in place for another go with Hendricks, though the rematch will likely have to wait until 2015, as the champion heals from bicep and shin surgeries.
Another man who inserted himself into his division’s title picture at UFC on Fox 12 was light heavyweight Anthony Johnson. “Rumble” looked like a force to be reckoned with in his 44-second dismantling of Brazilian veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Combined with his April win against Phil Davis, Johnson has quickly become one to watch at 205 pounds, though UFC President Dana White said after the bout that the Blackzilians representative is still a win away from being a true contender.
Elsewhere, Bobby Green makes his way into the lightweight top 10 with a short-notice victory against former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, and Dennis Bermudez joins the ranks of the elite featherweights after submitting Clay Guida with a second-round rear-naked choke.
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