Main Card Impresses in San Jose (UFC on FOX 12 Review)

ufc_on_fox12A lot of times in the UFC there are fighters who come into the promotion with plenty of hype and rise up to become contenders almost immediately. These fighters can win only a few fights and if they are impressive wins can get a title shot in almost no time. It has happened time and time again with fighters seemingly bolting up the rankings for a title shot. For some it is not fair as they need to prove themselves but many times they are the best fighters in the division. That causes them to get plenty of talk surrounding them which is how they earn their shots to begin with. That is not every fighters in the UFC, in fact it is the minority in the UFC. The majority of fighters fight for years and may never get a title shot even with lengthy winning streaks with impressive wins. Sometimes these fighters simply get overlooked for those fighters with a lot of hype surrounding them. These fighters grind their way to the top as they continue to fight and make little noise about who to fight instead concentrating on winning fights and getting better to ensure that when they get a shot it is not wasted. Two of these grinders would finally get to that point in their careers at UFC on FOX 12. Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler have seen their fair share of hype in their careers but neither has seen enough hype to raise them above anyone very quickly. Lawler began his career in the UFC in 2002 and despite a number of big wins in the welterweight division he would never earn a title shot. After a stretch of 3 wins in four fights Lawler’s career in the UFC seemed over when he lost two in a row. He would be cut from the UFC in 2004 and forced to fight in other promotions like Pride and Strikeforce. After a long time out of the UFC Lawler would make his way back, after an impressive time in Strikeforce, getting his first fight back in the UFC in 2012. A three fight win streak would follow and 12 years after making his UFC debut he would get a title shot against Johnny Hendricks for the vacated title. He put on one of the best fights of the year alongside Hendricks but would lose the fight via unanimous decision. Now he is looking to get back to the title fight he has been working for when he faced Matt Brown in a title eliminator fight at UFC on FOX 12. Brown has had his own long path to a title shot after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter in 2008. After winning three of his first four fights in the UFC Brown would seem to be falling off after three straight losses in 2010. One thing was for sure though, any fight that Matt Brown was in was going to be a brawl that anybody could win. Six years after he made his UFC debut Matt Brown is now running on a 7 fight win streak with plenty of bonuses. The fight against Lawler would be the first time that he has been this close to a title shot after years trying to grind out wins. Both fighters have had their ups and downs in their UFC careers but finally are at the top of the heap in the welterweight division and only one step away from earning a title shot against Johnny Hendricks giving them plenty to go all out for. Not that you would have to tell them to go all-out as Brown and Lawler are fighters who give everything they have for every round and love to get into a slugfest where they both think they have the advantage. The fight would have plenty of expectations as the fans were hoping for an all-out war but that is not exactly what everyone got. That is not to say that the fight was a bad fight but it was not the all-out striking war that many wanted to see. Instead it was a carefully calculated fight with plenty of action but both fighters were clearly looking to find their spots and not get caught by another heavy striker. The start of the fight saw Lawler look more comfortable in the octagon for the big fight and began picking his spots to hurt Brown. That is how the fight went for the rest of the five rounds as Lawler continued to find holes in the defence of Brown picking him apart and earning points. As the fight closed out Brown got more desperate and started to throw big shots hoping for the knockout win as the fight that everyone was expecting began to show up near the end of the fight. Although it was not the all-out brawl with both fighters swinging away to earn a knockout the fight ended with both fighters trying to do everything they could to earn the win in what became Fight of the Night but likely not a Fight of the Year candidate. The loss ended a long winning streak for Matt Brown but the fact that he stayed up and continued to fight for all five rounds means he will not fall too low in the rankings. The win for Lawler means he gets another date with Johnny Hendricks for the welterweight championship in a rematch of a very close fight.

Before two grinders faced off for their shot at a title a fighter heading towards being a grinder would take on a living legend. Anthony Johnson has had a very similar career to the two main eventers as he would look promising when he began his career in the UFC. With little experience in the larger circuit Johnson rose to the UFC quickly and his power made him an exciting prospect in the welterweight division. Yet he continued to show his inexperience after repeatedly missing weight. That unprofessionalism is something that the UFC does not tolerate and although they gave him plenty of chances to get on track he could not figure out the weight cut leading to him being cut from the UFC in 2012. That would act as a wake-up call for Johnson who realized that the welterweight division was simply too much of a weight cut for him and he began his journey back to the UFC at light heavyweight. After two years in other promotion Johnson would find his way back to the UFC in April this year where he took on Phil Davis in an important fight for both fighters. Johnson earned the win with a unanimous decision officially announcing that he was back and ready to make a title run at a new weight class. To continue his long road he would have to beat a living legend in Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of the infamous Nogueira brothers. Rogerio has been in and out of the division for the last few years after a long MMA career and with this fight he was looking to show that he still had what it took to be a title contender in the light heavyweight division. The fight proved a lot for both fighters but it did not take very long. Johnson came out early with great striking and put Nogueira in a dangerous spot immediately. The fight was over quickly as Johnson earned a TKO in another impressive win in his new division. Nogueira showed that he was not at the level he needs to be anymore and another appearance in the UFC is not very likely. Johnson proved that he is ready to move up as he showed that he is one of the more dangerous fighters in the division.

 

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
It was the main card that would impress this time around including Dennis Bermudez who took home a Performance of the Night Bonus after beating Clay Guida via Rear Naked Choke in an impressive win

Performance of the Night
Another main card fighter took home an extra $50,000 as Anthony Johnson continued to impress in his new division easily handling Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for a TKO win as he continues to rise in the light heavyweight division

Fight of the Night
The main event was not necessarily the all-out war that many were expecting but it was a great fight with both fighters continuing to swing away until the end of the fight as Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler took home some extra money for their efforts

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler def. Matt “The Immortal” Brown
(Unanimous Decision)

Main Card:
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson def. Antonio “Minotoro” Rogerio Nogueira
(KO; Rd. 1)

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez def. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

Bobby “King” Green def. Josh “The Punk” Thomson
(Split Decision)

Undercard:
Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal def. Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank
(Unanimous Decision)

Patrick “Durkin” Cummins def. Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury
(Unanimous Decision)

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means def. Hernani Perpétuo
(Unanimous Decision)

Brian “T-City” Ortega def. Mike “El Cucuy” De La Torre
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

Tiago “Trator” dos Santos def. Akbarh “El Caballero” Arreola
(Unanimous Decision)

Gilbert “Durinho” Burns def. Andreas “Real Steel” Stahl
(Unanimous Decision)

Joanna Jędrzejczyk def. Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima
(Unanimous Decision)

Noad “Neo” Lahat def. “Super” Steven Siler
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs. St. Preux (Saturday August 16th; 10:00 pm ET)
Bangor, Maine (Cross Insurance Center)
Main Event: Ryan “Darth” Bader vs. Ovince “OSP” St. Preux
Notable: Brad Tavares vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
Notable: Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy

UFC Fight Night 48: Le vs. Bisping (Saturday August 23rd; 5:45 pm ET)
Macau, China (CotaiArena)
Main Event: Cung Le vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping
Notable: Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Dong “Stun Gun” Hyun Kim
Notable: Jianping Zhang vs. Guangyou “Smasher” Ning [TUF China Featherweight Title]

UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. dos Anjos (Saturday August 23rd; 10:00 pm ET)
Tulsa, Oklahoma (BOK Center)
Main Event: “Smooth” Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Notable: Thales Leites vs. Francis “Limitless” Carmont
Notable: Demian Maia vs. Mike “Quicksand” Pyle

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