The quarterly UFC on FOX series returns to network television, this time headlined by a welterweight title eliminator bout between veterans Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown. The winner is allegedly guaranteed a title shot against champion Johnny Hendricks and, on paper, all indications are that the bout promises intense action between two excellent finishers at welterweight.
The card also features a host of lesser-known prospects on the pr
What: UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown
Where: SAP Center, San Jose, California
When: Saturday, the four-fight preliminary Fight Pass card starts at 4:15 p.m. ET and the four-fight Fox Sports 1 main card starts at 6 p.m. and the four-fight FOX card kicks off 8 p.m.
Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown
Here's the problem with picking Brown in this particular case. Lawler has been once-punch KO'd before, but not since. In fact, he's shown a tremendous ability to take a shot over the years against very heavy punchers as well as all-around strikers. If Brown is to win, he has to pour on offense in a steady blitz. Brown doesn't stop people cold, not usually. He typically overwhelms them by attacking positionally and with sensational ground and pound in virtually every phase of the game. He gets opposition to react poorly, typically with hard strikes, and then forces even more subsequent poor reactions, which allows him to feast. I have a very hard time seeing him do that against this version of Lawler. Worse, I would never say Brown can't handle body shots. He's been dropped, yes, but has found a way to crawl back. However, it's undeniable he's vulnerable there. With a heavy puncher and devastating finisher like Lawler, that's a deficiency hard to overlook.
Anthony Johnson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
You would think this is fairly straight forward, wouldn't you? Johnson is a sprawl n' brawl 2.0 prototype. His takedown defense isn't merely good, it's superb. And he doesn't merely hit hard, he has a full array of strikes (punches and kicks) that can wreak havoc. If Nogueira has a saving grace, it's his ability to drive forward and press the attack despite the most dire of circumstances. I also think his jab and steady boxing are going to cause problems, at least early. But if Johnson employs the wider array of his striking skill set and manages to keep himself out of the Brazilian's boxing range, this is his fight to lose.
Clay Guida vs. Dennis Bermudez
I'm not really ready to bury Guida just yet. Yes, he's older. Yes, he's had some tough fights where he hasn't looked his best. I don't think this version of Guida is by any means Peak Guida. However, I do think should have enough for Bermudez. First, Bermudez has undeniably looked good, but he's largely fought opposition who can't defensively wrestle. Against the one notable exception in Matt Grice, Bermudez didn't secure a single takedown. Guida can not only defensively wrestle, but scramble as well. Second, Guida's persistence in applying offense even in stall control position is still potent. It also still works, which is more or less how he beat a respectable wrestling talent in Tatsuya Kawajiri. This one will be close. I hardly expect a walkover, but I'm taking the upset and siding with Guida.
Josh Thomson vs. Bobby Green
Green is athletic and doesn't get the credit he deserves for being offensively creative (I'm not talking about groin kicks), but there's nothing you can point to where he demonstrably does it better than Thomson. Unless the AKA product is hobbling to the Octagon injured, which is not an indistinct possibility, then Green's going to have a very hard time. On the feet or on top with the takedown, Thomson should be able to cruise here.
From the preliminary card:
Jorge Masvidal def. Daron Cruickshank
Patrick Cummins def. Kyle Kingsbury
Tim Means def. Hernani Perpetuo
Mike De La Torre def. Brian Ortega
Akbarh Arreola def. Tiago Trator
Andreas Stahl def. Gilbert Burns
Joanna Jedrzejcyzk def. Juliana Lima
Steven Siler def. Noad Lahat