UFC on FOX 12 Play: Matt “The Immortal” Brown (+300) vs “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (-360)

Robbie LawlerUFC on FOX 12 Date: July 26, 2014 Arena: SAP Center City: San Jose, CA Welterweight bout: Matt “The Immortal” Brown (+300) vs “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (-360) Fight Breakdown: UFC on FOX 12 will be headlined by a five round main event in the form of Matt “The Immortal” Brown vs “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, and the winner will earn a shot at Johny Hendricks and his welterweight strap. Brown is a big underdog heading into this welterweight tilt at +300 ($100 to win $300), with Lawler being the heavy betting favorite at -360 ($360 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Matt “The Immortal” Brown (19-11 MMA, 12-5 UFC) is coming off a very impressive, come-from-behind third round TKO victory over Erick Silva just under three months ago, and will now be looking to extend his winning streak to eight in a row and earn a shot at Johny Hendricks and his welterweight gold. Six of the seven victories on his current winning streak have come by way of T/KO, so Brown is undoubtedly a finisher. He is an aggressive fighter who looks to move forward and constantly pressure his opponents. He possesses great power in both hands and a solid chin behind them. He is very durable and is the type of fighter who will always leave it all in the cage. “The Immortal” has nice head movement, good takedown defense, and a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, both on and off his back. His submission defense, however, is very questionable, as nine of his 11 professional mixed martial arts career losses have been due to tapout. The 33-year old has a powerful top game and works a heavy ground and pound. When off his back, he is capable of pulling off some excellent sweeps and reversals. On the feet, he likes to use his vicious knees and elbows, especially from inside the clinch, a position in which he is often dominant, due to his background in Muay Thai. He calls himself a “technical brawler” which I too is very appropriate for his style, as he loves to turn fights into brawls but is also accurate with his shots. Brown is very confident in his hands, and is always looking to end the fight with them. He owns solid uppercuts and works fantastic hooks, both to the head and body. The TUF season 17 veteran’s cardio usually differs from fight to fight but lately it has been excellent so I think he will have enough in the tank for five rounds of action, should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (23-10 MMA, 8-4 UFC) has made a splash in the UFC’s welterweight division in his second stint with the promotion, starting off with a pair of knockout victories over Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker, and then a decision over Rory MacDonald, which put him in position for a shot at the vacant UFC welterweight title, after Georges St. Pierre announced his (for-the-time-being) retirement. Johny Hendricks was the top contender for the title, having arguably beaten GSP in their bout just prior to the French-Canadian’s retirement. Lawler, on an impressive three fight winning streak at the time, made sense as the second opponent, so the fight was booked. “Ruthless” was a heavy underdog going into the five round title fight, but proved oddsmakers wrong, as he headed into the fifth round with two rounds already under his belt. Unfortunately, things took a turn when Hendricks went for a takedown and Lawler couldn’t get back to his feet and would go on to lose a decision. Lawler went back to the drawing board. A week later, he let the UFC know he was ready to go, and they immediately booked a match-up against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173. He defeated Ellenberger via TKO in the third round of action and put himself in position to earn another title shot. “Ruthless” trained out of the Pat Miletich camp (Miletich Fighting Systems) in his Iowa hometown throughout most of his career, with some time spent at Power MMA in Arizona, but since his return to the UFC with the Koscheck bout, he moved his training camp to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. He has made American Top Team his real home, eventually relocating his family down to Florida, so he could spend all of his time training there, and not just be there for his training camps. The improvements he has made since switching camps has been clear as day. Lawler is a heavy handed striker with a good chin, so he isn’t afraid to mix it up. He is also a great sprawler with tremendous takedown defense, often keeping the fight where he wants it. Much like Brown, I think Lawler is also a “technical brawler”. He can keep it technical and score points, or he could get dirty, trade shots and put you away that way. The Iowa native’s conditioning is also on point, and while Brown has shown solid cardio as of late, I would still give the edge to Lawler in that department. Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I don’t see this fight making it past two rounds. I think Lawler will manage to find a stoppage within 10 minutes of action, ultimately earning a rematch against Johny Hendricks and his title. I think the line on Lawler at -360 is just about right, so there’s really no value in it. However, I do see value in the total of Under 2.5 rounds at -145, as I think that line should be -230. Gabe’s Call: “Ruthless” by TKO (strikes, 4:08 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 2.5 rounds (-145) 2.9u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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