A fight that was supposed to be a shoo-in for fight of the year wasn’t really. To be completely honest, I was underwhelmed in the main event featuring Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler. I mean if you look at both guys’ records, their finishing percentages are outrageous. Not to mention, Brown has been on one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC, absolutely crushing his opponents along the way. Lawler went from losing a war to Johny Hendricks to throwing Rory McDonald a beating and knocking out Jake Ellenberger. Both of these guys came into this fight red hot, so I was expecting fireworks. Better yet, I was expecting the Fourth of July. I was wrong.
Now, I don’t want to say that this was a bad fight because it wasn’t. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. Lawler showed some real restraint in his striking. His punches found their marks and he busted up Brown’s face pretty good, but there were no wild combinations or improvised kicks. Everything that Lawler threw was calm, cool and calculated.
What does this say? I think it says that Lawler is improving. He is no longer fighting with crazy emotion, like he did in that first fight with Hendricks. Maybe he learned from his mistakes. Maybe he realized that the fifth round against Hendricks, where Hendricks scored a critical takedown, cost him the title. Maybe Lawler realizes that he needs to fight to win, not just fight because he likes to get into crazy brawls. Or maybe it was just an off night for Lawler and he just couldn’t get into his groove. All of these things are possible, but the bottom line is that in Lawler’s rematch with Hendricks, I believe we will see a different fighter.