UFC on Fox 12: Main Card Staff Predictions for Lawler vs. Brown

Sean SmithAnalyst IJuly 24, 2014

UFC on Fox 12: Main Card Staff Predictions for Lawler vs. Brown

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    One bout removed from a narrow loss to Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler is back in the running for a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. With a 4-1 record since returning to the UFC roster, Lawler will earn a rematch with Hendricks should he defeat Matt Brown on Saturday.

    Although he is an underdog heading into UFC on Fox 12, Brown has been on a roll and is deserving of this big opportunity. The Immortal has won seven in a row, most recently stopping Erick Silva in May.

    In addition to the welterweight title shot eliminator, UFC on Fox 12 will feature a number of battles between contenders. Anthony Johnson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will meet in the light heavyweight division, Clay Guida and Dennis Bermudez will meet in the featherweight division, and Josh Thomson and Bobby Green will meet in the lightweight division.

    As always, Bleacher Report's own Riley Kontek, Craig Amos, Scott Harris, James MacDonald and Sean Smith are here to provide their predictions for the entire main card.

2014 Staff Records

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    Kontek is still at the top. I'm still at the bottom.

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

    1.Riley Kontek88-42-1
    2.Craig Amos86-44-1
    3.James MacDonald81-49-1
    3.Scott Harris79-51-1
    5.Sean Smith78-52-1

Josh Thomson vs. Bobby Green

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    Riley Kontek

    There are two questions about Green coming into this fight. Can he deliver against one of the best lightweights in the world on short notice, and can he do so while dealing with the unfortunate death of his brother? His life outside of the cage may work as a motivational tool, but the short-notice bout against a stud like Thomson may be too tough for him to handle. He fights valiantly but gets denied by a guy who could throw his hat in the title picture.

    Thomson, Unanimous decision

     

    Craig Amos

    Green has been given increasingly tough challenges with each passing fight in the UFC, and he has passed them all. However, Green's successes may stop with Thomson, who, despite losing a contestable decision to Benson Henderson last time out, has looked outstanding in his two fights since returning to the UFC.

    Thomson, Unanimous decision

     

    Scott Harris 

    It's hard not to be moved by Green's amazing backstory, but it's harder still not to be moved by Thomson's power wrestling game. Thomson may be crazy, but it's a good-MMA-fighter kind of crazy.

    Thomson, Unanimous decision

     

    James MacDonald 

    Everyone loves Green. I just don’t think he’s ready for a fighter like Thomson. The AKA veteran is among the most well-rounded martial artists on the planet, and I expect him to take this fight relatively comfortably, no matter where it goes.

    Thomson, Unanimous decision

     

    Sean Smith

    Green has looked very good in his first three UFC bouts, but Thomson will be a big step up in competition. The Punk has lost two of his past three, but those defeats were split decisions against elite lightweights Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez. Thomson is slightly better than Green in all areas and should cruise on Saturday.

    Thomson, Unanimous decision

Clay Guida vs. Dennis Bermudez

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    Riley Kontek

    Bermudez has grown leaps and bounds as a fighter, so it's tough to really pick against him. That being said, after watching Guida return to form against Tatsuya Kawajiri, it's nearly impossible for me not to go with him. Their wrestling may cancel out, but Guida's output and energy will eventually wear on Bermudez, giving the Greg Jackson pupil another win.

    Guida, Unanimous decision

     

    Craig Amos

    I suspect this one will be a grind but not necessarily the kind that's dull to watch. Guida's energy and Bermudez's fan-friendly style could make for a Fight of the Night performance. It is likely to be a close match, but I'll side with Bermudez, as I believe the judges will as well.

    Bermudez, Unanimous decision

     

    Scott Harris

    If Guida can't mash you up against the cage and run around like a headless chicken, well, he's pretty much out of ideas. So it will go against Bermudez, who is the bigger and more athletic fighter. Bermudez might get him in a compromising spot or two but won't be able to finish Guida, though he should be able to win handily.

    Bermudez, Unanimous decision

     

    James MacDonald

    This isn’t a good matchup for Guida. He’s unlikely to enjoy a speed advantage, and his wrestling will almost certainly be nullified. Bermudez has too many tools for the veteran. I won’t be surprised if Guida makes the fight competitive, but he will ultimately come out on the losing end.

    Bermudez, Unanimous decision

     

    Sean Smith

    Bermudez has been on quite the run, but he hasn't run into a wrestler during his current streak. Guida has the tools to avoid Bermudez's aggressive striking and prevent The Menace from working his ground-and-pound. Instead, I think Guida will win the wrestling battle and could even hand Bermudez his fourth career submission loss.

    Guida, Unanimous decision

Anthony Johnson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

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    Riley Kontek

    At the time of this writing, Nogueira has not pulled out of this fight. So there's that. After watching Johnson completely decimate Phil Davis for three rounds, there is no doubt in my mind that he can walk through a rusty Nogueira. If he uses his kicks effectively and uses his physical gifts properly, this bout should be a breeze.

    Johnson, Unanimous decision

     

    Craig Amos

    I found Johnson's rout of Davis to be a compelling argument that he is a legitimate threat in the 205-pound division. Though Nogueira has long been a solid light heavyweight, I fear for his chances in this one. If Johnson can put in a repeat performance, he'll take this one, and without much difficulty I might add.

    Johnson, TKO, Round 1

     

    Scott Harris 

    That whooshing sound is 100,000 MMA fans all sitting down simultaneously after giving Lil Nog a standing ovation for making it to this fight in one piece. Given that accomplishment, I feel bad that Johnson is just going to blow him apart in the co-main event. Nogueira said in a recent interview with Bleacher Report that "I'm going to submit Anthony Johnson." But I doubt it. I'm thinking an overhand right gets the job done.

    Johnson, KO, Round 1

     

    James MacDonald

    Fingers crossed Nogueira makes it to the cage. With his track record recently, I wouldn’t be confident about him showing up even at this stage. Either way, I can see Johnson dominating this fight for however long it lasts. He is too powerful and athletic for the relatively mechanical Brazilian.

    Johnson, TKO, Round 2

     

    Sean Smith

    With one appearance since December 2011, Nogueira is quite clearly wearing down. Johnson, on the other hand, appears to have finally hit his stride in the light heavyweight division, as he's won seven in a row. Rumble might be able to stop Nogueira, but he'd be wiser to mix in some takedowns to avoid Nogueira's underrated boxing.

    Johnson, Unanimous decision

Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown

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    Riley Kontek

    Brown is tough as nails and gritty to the very end. His run has been unlikely. But that run ends here. He was in trouble early and often against Silva and prevailed, but Lawler is a different type of animal. Lawler will finish him given the opportunity. That will happen.

    Lawler, TKO, Round 2

     

    Craig Amos

    I'm already grimacing just thinking about the damage these guys might inflict on each other. Both Brown and Lawler are happy to absorb strikes if it means a chance to dole them out, so it could come down to power, precision, durability and energy. I'll take Lawler, who has faced the better competition by miles.

    Lawler, TKO, Round 1

     

    Scott Harris 

    I have a funny feeling that this matchup is going to contain some striking exchanges. Nope, don't even try to dissuade me. I'm ambivalent on the winner, as I don't think Brown is as overmatched in real life as he seems on paper. But I'll still go with the more defensive-oriented (meaning he has some defense) fighter in Lawler, though I think both men will bang until the closing horn.

    Lawler, Unanimous decision 

     

    James MacDonald

    It’s hard to imagine this fight going the distance. However long it lasts, it’s bound to be riotous fun. The one concern I always have about Brown is his inability to absorb body shots that most fighters at his level can. Ever since his fight with Amir Sadollah on The Ultimate Fighter, he has consistently shown that body shots are the way to get to him. I can see Lawler eventually catching Brown with a body kick and ending the fight shortly thereafter.

    Lawler, TKO, Round 3

     

    Sean Smith

    This fight is likely to be wild, and both men's chins are going to be tested regularly. Brown's toughness has surprisingly carried him into 170-pound title contention. It won't be enough to carry him to another win in this matchup, but The Immortal might be able to force this fight to the scorecards.

    Lawler, Unanimous decision