Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler: An Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Tim McTiernan@tmt2393Correspondent IJune 5, 2014

Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler: An Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    In just over a month, Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler will face off with a shot at the welterweight title on the line. Both of these guys are outstanding fighters, and each has had a significant career resurgence in the past two years.

    Lawler came over from Strikeforce and dropped to the welterweight division. He fought for the title, and although he lost, he has quickly risen to No. 1 in the division. 

    In 2011, Matt Brown's UFC career was in trouble. He lost four out of five, all by submission and all around the middle of the fight.

    Then, Brown decided to just start knocking everyone out, and he has now won seven fights in a row, including six by (T)KO.

    These two are going to put on a show come July 26, so let's take a look at who has the edge.

Striking

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    Robbie Lawler has won three of his four fights by knockout since coming back to the UFC. Overall, he has won 19 out of 23 career fights by knockout. Robbie Lawler is ruthless.

    In recent years, Lawler's striking has become much more crisp and technical. He mixes up his punches, kicks and knees and uses them all very well.

    Matt Brown has won 12 of his 19 career fights by knockout, but what's really impressive is that he's won five fights in a row, all with knockouts. The UFC record is seven in a row.

    Brown describes himself as a "technical brawler," and there really is no better way to describe it. He punches a lot, and as soon as he gets in close, he throws punches, knees, elbows and the occasional foot sweep.

    These two are pretty close to even when it comes to striking, but Lawler's footwork and movement may give him an advantage.

    Edge: Lawler

Grappling

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    In May, Robbie Lawler faced Jake Ellenberger, a man known as a pretty solid wrestler. When Ellenberger took Lawler down, Lawler laughed, then immediately reversed and took top position.

    Lawler may get taken down, but he is comfortable on the ground and more than able to get back to his feet. 

    Matt Brown is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was able to handle himself on the ground when he faced black belt Erick Silva. 

    I wouldn't expect either fighter to be looking for takedowns, but if either of them gets knocked down, they'll have no issue getting back up.

    Edge: Even

Submissions

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    In Matt Brown's career, he has been submitted nine times in 11 career losses. At one point, he lost four of out five by submission.

    Brown has also won five out of 19 fights with submissions, although his last one was in 2008.

    Robbie Lawler has only won one fight with a submission, and it came all the way back in 2005. He has also been submitted four times, by Evan Tanner, Jason Miller, Jake Shields and Ronaldo Souza. You might have heard of them.

    As was said in the previous slide, I wouldn't be expecting either fighter to look for a takedown in this fight. That being said, a submission would also be rather unlikely. Although if it does happen, one fighter has the edge.

    Edge: Brown

Intangibles

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    There's one big intangible in this fight, and it applies to both fighters.

    They both have incredible chins.

    These are two guys who are known for their striking. Matt Brown has 30 fights, and Robbie Lawler has 34. Brown has never been knocked out, and Lawler was knocked out once, 10 years ago by Nick Diaz.

    I don't know if this will be the fight where someone's chin gives out, but winning this fight by knockout will be a tall order.

    The second intangible for Brown is his cardio. Brown never slows down. If he gets you hurt, he swarms on you, and he will keep punching until you go down.

    Finally, both have shown the ability to finish fights late, as they both scored third-round finishes in their last appearances. This is expected to be a five-round fight. Even in the fourth and fifth rounds, a finish will not be out of the question.

Prediction

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    This one is almost too close to call. These guys are evenly matched in almost every sense, which is going to make for an awesome fight.

    One big difference for these guys could be the experience. Both have had a lot of fights, but Lawler has had bigger and longer fights.

    Matt Brown has only been scheduled for one five-round fight in his career. He finished it in the third. In addition, Brown's best opponent has probably been Erick Silva.

    Robbie Lawler has been scheduled for five rounds at least five times, having gone to the championship rounds twice. His best opponent was the current champion, Johny Hendricks.

    While Brown is really good, I think Lawler may end up looking better.

    Prediction: Robbie Lawler wins by unanimous decision.