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All year, we’re keeping track of our picks for most of the UFC main card fights. In addition to the FGB crew, included in our picks will be John LaRocca, president of Premier Wrestling, Heidi Fang from MMA Fight Corner, and Alex Goff from Online World Of Wrestling.
Here’s how we’re doing so far:
Duan continues to pace us, but Jim is catching up.
Josh Thomson vs Bobby Green
Duan: Josh Thomson
Alan: Josh Thomson
John: Josh Thomson
Heidi: Josh Thomson
Alex: Josh Thomson
Jim: Josh Thomson
GG: Josh Thomson
Clay Guida vs Dennis Bermudez
Duan: Clay Guida
Alan: Clay Guida
John: Dennis Bermudez
Heidi: Dennis Bermudez
Alex: Dennis Bermudez
Jim: Clay Guida
GG: Clay Guida
Anthony Johnson vs Antônio Rogério Nogueira
Duan: Anthony Johnson
Alan: Anthony Johnson
John: Anthony Johnson
Heidi: Anthony Johnson
Alex: Anthony Johnson
Jim: Anthony Johnson
GG: Anthony Johnson
Robbie Lawler vs Matt Brown
Duan: Robbie Lawler by way of 2nd round TKO
All things being equal, Lawler takes this one. Brown is fresher and he may be just as tough as him, but he’s a clear skill level below. Robbie is the superior striker, he’s the bigger hitter, and the defensively better fighter. When they slug it out – which they will do – he’s going to come out on top every-time. Brown eats shots in all his fights; it’s just part of his style and he does it exceptionally well, but neither he nor any other welterweight in UFC, can take Lawler’s best punches consistently. If this fight goes according to script, Lawler breaks him down and becomes the first man to ever knock out Matt Brown.
The question here is when does Lawler’s schedule start to catch up on him? This will be his fourth bout in an eight month spell, and they’ve all been really hard fights so far. It’s a tough run in a tough career. Now, he’s being asked to go back to the well one more time against another guy who is in red hot form and really up for the job. Brown is actually a year older than him and has had a comparable number of fights, but he’s taken nothing like the wear and tear Lawler has. I could see Matt still having several more good years left in the sport, while Lawler probably only has a handful of big fights left in him. Robbie will know that himself, and if he wants one last shot at the gold, this is a must win for him.
Heidi: Matt Brown
In a welterweight title eliminator with much on the line, it’s extremely difficult to choose between two of the most potent strikers and most aggressive brawlers in the division. Both have shown the ability to hold their own in their respective ground games, but don’t expect this fight to go there. Brown has a slight reach advantage, a vicious clinch game and will likely be the fresher fighter on the feet. This will be Lawler’s third fight in four months and the second 5-rounder. At some point, the wear and tear will likely take a toll on him in this fight.
Alex: Robbie Lawler by way of 2nd round TKO
Robbie Lawler was in a utility role in the last days of Strikeforce. What I mean by that is he’d be a nice name from the past who would fight a younger fighter and more than likely lose. His last fight for the company was a loss to Lorenz Larkin, a man who is currently on a two fight losing streak. Robbie returned the UFC and looked great against Josh Koscheck who is a shell of his former self, then a gusty performance against Rory McDonald. McDonald was expected to fill the vacuum after GSP retired. Instead the vacuum has been filled by Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler as the 170-pound division’s top two fighters. Matt Brown would like to insert himself into that conversation. He’s had a string of great performances which has produced great fights. What is not a question going into this fight is both men will go out and give everything they have. I’m picking Robbie based on his experience but I know this fight won’t disappoint.
Jim: Robbie Lawler by way of 3rd round TKO
Lawler versus Brown should be an incredible stand and slug-it-out affair. Both of these guys have made their name off their ability to finish guys with their striking (and Brown is no slouch in the submission department). The thing that makes this a difficult fight to call is that both guys tend to lead with their chin and are willing to take a shot or two to land a shot or two. With the power these guys possess, I believe either one of them can put the other one out and win this fight. While it may just be a matter of who lands the most crushing blow first, I’m leaning toward Lawler. I think Robbie’s single-punch power is superior to Brown’s, his movement is better, and his takedown defense will allow him to keep it on the feet if Brown decides he’d rather take his chances looking for a sub than risk taking Lawler’s power punches. Let’s keep out fingers crossed that this one lives up to its potential.
GG: Robbie Lawler by way of 3rd round TKO
For some reason, I think this ends on a body shot.
I love this fight for all the reasons that everyone else does. Matt Brown is a dandy to watch and I’ve been watching Robbie Lawler since I first started watching the UFC. It’s a fan favorites fight. And while I expect Brown to be game and throw the kind of shots that can end fights, I don’t think he’s quite ready for the kind of power that Lawler has.
This fight may make Brown more prepared to take it to the next level in losing. He’ll be able to judge where he’s at and figure out where he needs to improve. I think Lawler hits him with a body shot that stuns him like Lil’ Mac did King Hippo.
Alan: Matt Brown
John: Robbie Lawler