Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown: What We Learned from the No. 1 Contender's Bout

Hunter Homistek@HunterAHomistekCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2014

Robbie Lawler celebrates his victory over Rory MacDonald, of Canada, following a UFC 167 mixed martial arts welterweight bout on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. Lawler won by split decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

The UFC on Fox 12 main event between "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler and Matt "The Immortal" Brown is over. We survived the devastation, and it was awesome. 

Two of the most violent 170-pound men on the planet stepped into the UFC Octagon to do battle, and the results were magnificent, leaving behind two bloodied combatants and a whole lot of satisfaction. 

Ultimately, Lawler, who recently challenged welterweight champion Johny Hendricks for UFC gold at UFC 171, continued his winning ways, notching a hard-earned unanimous decision over Brown in San Jose, California, on Saturday night.

The win was impressive, it showcased Lawler's full skill set, and it earned him another bid at Hendricks' title. 


What We'll Remember About This Fight

The Immortal was game, standing in front of Lawler and trading strikes for the better part of the five-round fight. Sometimes, he even got the better of these exchanges, most notably rocking Lawler in Round 1 and charging in for the finish. 

It was the back-and-forth scrap fans wanted, and it represents a rare moment of a high-profile main event completely living up to its astronomical hype. Fans wanted this fight since it was announced, and it totally delivered. 

That's special. 


What We Learned About Lawler

Amazing as the fight was, we really didn't learn anything new about Lawler

His takedown defense continues to impress, as it did against Hendricks and Jake Ellenberger, and his striking continues to look polished and sharp, as it has since rejoining the promotion at UFC 157. 

Lawler absolutely earned his second chance at Hendricks' title, but this fight was not particularly revealing for him (and that's not a bad thing!). 


What We Learned About Brown

Brown can hang with the big boys. 

Coming into this bout opposite Lawler, the biggest criticism against Brown was that he hadn't defeated anybody noteworthy during his stellar seven-fight winning streak that earned him a spot in the UFC on Fox 12 main event. 

Against Lawler, he didn't notch that signature victory over top competition, but he showed he belongs. He never looked lost or seriously outclassed, and he swung until the final bell, keeping the pressure on Ruthless in classic Matt Brown fashion. 

The dude is a savage, top-10 competition or not, and he's 100 percent deserving of his lofty spot in the UFC's official rankings.

While we didn't necessarily learn anything new about Brown—he was basically the same aggressive, swinging beast as alwayswe did learn that he's effective against elite, proven competition. 


What's Next for Lawler

Hendricks is next for Lawler. We already knew this fight was a No. 1 contender's bout, so this is a pretty obvious call. 


What's Next for Brown 

Unfortunately for The Immortal, he wasn't able to take the next step toward gold against Lawler. Because of this, I don't think he'll receive another top-five fight in his next outing, but he'll still get a solid opponent due to his brief periods of success in the bout and his overflowing heart and determination. 

Look for him to take on Ellenberger in a fight to determine who belongs in the Top 10 of the stacked welterweight division and who doesn't.