UFC might be in for a battle of epic proportions, as Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown will duke it out to see who will be challenging for the welterweight title next. There has been quite the jostling around in the division since Georges St. Pierre vacated his belt, and the movement continues to revolve like clockwork. Matt Brown gets the opportunity to hop guys in line like Rory MacDonald, Hector Lombard, and Tyrone Woodley, if he happens to topple Robbie Lawler of his number one contender mantle. The fight card will kick off on Fight Pass at 4:15 pm EST, switch over to FOX at 6 pm EST, and the main card will take over FOX at 8 pm EST. The welterweight title eliminator bout is not the only fight worth tuning into. The main card is stacked full of matches with intentions, while the prelim card showcases a few prospects on the horizon and a brand spanking new women’s division.
#1 Robbie Lawler (23-10) vs. #5 Matt Brown (21-11) – Welterweight Bout – If there was any fight this year that will make a fan’s skin crawl in excitement, this just might be the one. Both approach the fight with a “No Holds Barred” mentality, and just go out there and wing it. Earlier in their careers, you could almost consider both Lawler and Brown more on the brawling edge of things, but both have really fine tuned their skill sets into complete fighters. One really has to admire Brown’s career turnaround, a man once battling drug addiction has transformed into a budding superstar in the UFC in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Ohio native has defeated all comers since 2012, and is currently on a seven-fight win streak. During that seven-fight win streak though, he has only beat one fighter ranked in the top 15, and has never beaten a fighter ranked in the top ten. Lawler on the other hand, is the unquestioned No. 1 contender in the welterweight division, and is one win away from taking another shot at champion, Johny Hendricks. Lawler has beat the who’s who of top fighters in his division, and has recently added a very deadly kicking game to his boxing arsenal. A more well-rounded “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler is very bad news for any fighter in his path, especially the man he is fighting Saturday night. The two will meet in the center of the cage and throw down until someone wilts under lights, so who will fold first? The MMA Spotlight loves Brown’s aggressiveness and willingness to stand and trade with any welterweight, but Lawler is not the type of guy a fighter should continuously stand and slug it out with. Ask Johny Hendricks. Robbie Lawler via Technical Knockout.
#5 Anthony Johnson (17-4) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-5) – Light Heavyweight Bout – The emergence of Anthony Johnson is a surprising one in the weight division, but given the talent and power he possesses, it shouldn’t be. “Rumble” Johnson just could not find consistency making weight in his first stint with the UFC, and it became downright unhealthy for him to do so in the welterweight division. The Brazilian fighter made the move to light heavyweight in 2012, and has not lost a fight since, winning six in a row since his divisional debut. Nogueira has not had the luxury that Johnson has as of late. He has not fought in over year, and has only fought three times since 2011. Ring rust could be a big factor for the veteran light heavyweight. Father Time has taken a toll on Nogueira’s famed career, and a match up with Johnson surely is not going to help. Anthony Johnson via Knockout.
#7 Clay Guida (31-11) vs. #11 Dennis Bermudez (14-3) – Featherweight Bout – Talk about the definition of pure energy. Clay Guida certainly sets the bar high when scrapping inside the octagon. Guida has the cage experience when looking across to his opponent, but the same bullyish style Guida likes to implement on his opponents will not work here with a powerhouse like Bermudez. Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez is stocky 145 lb. fighter, who has imposed his will thoroughly during his six-fight win streak. Guida will look to stick and move on the outside, while occasionally searching for a double or single leg when the opportunity presents itself. Bermudez is a featherweight on the rise though, and it will take almost a perfect Guida to defeat this monster of a featherweight. Dennis Bermudez via Unanimous Decision.
#3 Josh Thomson (20-6) vs. #13 Bobby Green (22-5) – Lightweight Bout – It is quite strange on how a highly inconsistent Josh Thomson can continue to remain in the top five ranks. “The Punk” is a meager 4-4 in his last eight fights, with his most notable victory as of late over the inactive Nate Diaz. Bobby Green has certainly earned his top 15 ranking among the elite in the division. He has knocked off seven straight victories in a row, and is undefeated since being signed to the UFC roster. Mind you, Green has not fought the names of the lightweight division as Thomson has, but there is always a first time for everything, starting with Thomson. It is hard to look past Thomson’s resumé, but ignoring Bobby Green’s struggle in life as a foster child and the most recent loss of his brother is an almost impossible task. No matter the background of Green or the troubles he has gone through, he will find no remorse in a hungry Josh Thomson. Thomson was due for a title fight not long ago, and is pushing for another run at the lightweight title. Josh Thomson via Unanimous Decision.
In other notable fights being shown on the prelims, intriguing prospect Daron Cruickshank hopes to land another highlight reel KO against the ranked Jorge Masvidal and Patrick “Durkin” Cummings will make his third appearance inside the octagon when he takes on Kyle Kingsbury. For all the latest MMA and UFC news, tune into the Guardian Liberty Voice for the latest coverage.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer leading the coverage in MMA