The Sunday Aftermath: UFC on FOX 12


Last night’s UFC on Fox 12 was one of the most eagerly anticipated fight cards of the year thanks, almost totally, to the main event between fan favourites Matt “The Immortal” Brown and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. The match-up was seen as a fight to figure out who will be next to challenge champion Johny Hendricks for his UFC welterweight title and one which couldn’t disappoint – and it didn’t.

Main Event

You can say what you like about who Matt Brown has faced in his most recent run, but seven consecutive wins in the dangerous UFC welterweight division is not to be underrated. Last night was a serious step up in class against the veteran Robbie Lawler who has found his best form late in his career following a return to the Octagon after the closure of Strikeforce.

Coming into the fight, the body of Brown was seen as a weakness and he clearly protected it early leading to Lawler having success when attacking the head. Brown was stunned with a handful of power punches but survived, clinched and did some damage of his own with sharp elbows and knees before Lawler escaped and landed again as the magnificent first round ended. Brown was a lot more cautious in the second and stayed outside of the power range of Lawler before getting a brief takedown. Lawler struggled badly to get inside as a cracking straight left and a pair body kicks late in the period were the only notable Lawler strikes in a round Brown clearly won.

Brown went straight for the takedown to start the third but didn’t get it and paid the price by consuming a flurry of kick and punches. Lawler opened up with his kicking game after that which was the answer to the range issue as he landed both close in and at arm’s length. By the last minute of the round Lawler was walking through the shots of Brown to land his own in a tremendous fight.

Lawler looked all business as the championship rounds began and beat Brown up from the half guard after a forced slip put the Ohio fighter on his back. Lawler showed excellent control on the deck before Brown wiggled free at the midpoint of the round. Lawler stalked Brown for the remainder of the round but was forced to eat a number of counter right hands from his always game opponent. It was all to play for in the final round and it turned into a free-for-all with both men going for the finish. Lawler opened with a series of straight lefts but Brown answered with a barrage of short elbows. After that, kicks and punches to the body and head from both were traded in a round which could have gone either way. Brown seemed to injure his right hand with a couple of minutes to go which curtailed his attacks as the undoubted fight of the year came to an end. The judges didn’t have an easy job but in the end decided to give Lawler the unanimous decision victory in an awesome twenty five minutes of mixed martial arts.

Next ahead for Lawler is probably a rematch for the UFC world 170 lbs strap with Champion Johny Hendricks after the first fight was nip and tuck all the way. Since that fight, Lawler has been extremely active and won both of his bouts in impressive and improving fashion while Hendricks hasn’t been able to compete through injury. That could be a huge factor in bridging the gap from the first meeting. For Brown, it’s back to the grind in search of a title shot again. He will probably be looking for another top-10 opponent in his next fight with the intriguing shadow of Nick Diaz hiding close by also.

Super Strawweight Start

The very first fight of the night saw the fighter most likely to be a future champion out of everyone who threw down in the famous fight city of San Jose last night. Joanna Jedrzejczk put on another impressive display of striking against Julianna Lima after decimating veteran Rosi Sexton in Cage Warriors last time out to earn her way into the Octagon. The unbeaten Polish national is a power puncher and kicker unlike any other in the division and has a ground game which is improving hugely with every outing. Experience is all she is lacking. A fight with the equally impressive Brazilian Claudia Gadelha is a possible next outing for Jedrzejczk which is a mouth-watering proposition in a division so young. If it is to happen, look for the winner to be the first challenger after TUF 20 decides the inaugural women’s strawweight champion of the UFC. Win or lose, though, Jedrzejczk is a future champion.

Three week calm before the storm

Due to the cancellation of UFC 176 (which was set to take place on August 2nd) last night’s UFC event will be the last for three weeks. It’s a break MMA fans needed after a hectic period of events and news. It’s also coming at a perfect time in the calender with some of the best MMA in recent times set for the four months ahead. On the same day as the UFC returns with OSP vs. Ryan Bader, Cage Warriors bring MMA back to Ireland with a fantastic card in the Helix Arena, Dublin featuring the likes of Philip Mulpeter, Paul Redmond and the returning Joseph Duffy.

Then, Michael Bisping fights Cung Le before TJ Dillashaw rematches Renan Barao and heavyweight powerhouses Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson trade bombs. All of that is even before we mention Conor McGregor’s fight in Las Vegas against Dustin Poirier on the same card as former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz returns and Jon Jones fights bitter rival Daniel Cormier. Top that off with Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort, a possible Ronda Rousey vs Gina Carano fight, Anthony Pettis vs Gilbert Melendez and the crowning of the first ever women’s strawweight champion. So enjoy the break from MMA for the next three weeks because the culmination of his year is packed with some of the best match ups in the short history of the sport.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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