POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 27, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. >> Robbie Lawler withstood a flurry of stinging punches by Matt Brown in the fifth round and held on for a unanimous decision Saturday night, setting up a rematch with UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
Lawler (24-10) led comfortably throughout the fight and was never hit very hard until Brown landed four straight punches with just over two minutes remaining. Lawler, the top-ranked contender, smiled then landed a kick to Brown's stomach. Lawler later absorbed a hard right from the bloodied Brown (21-12) before holding on for his fifth win in the last six fights.
Two judges scored it 49-46 and the third had it 48-47.
That puts Lawler in line for another shot at the welterweight championship. The 32-year-old lost a unanimous decision to Hendricks on May 15 when they fought for the vacant title.
"I'm very excited," Lawler said. "(Hendricks) is nursing some injuries, but I'm going to be the one that's waiting for him."
Lawler definitely earned the right after holding off the relentless Brown, who suffered a possible hand injury and had to be taken to a hospital for examination.
That the fight went the distance shocked White.
"I said yesterday that if this fight went five rounds, I'd walk back to Las Vegas," White said. "I'll see everyone in Vegas on Thursday."
On the undercard, light heavyweight Anthony Johnson won by TKO over Rogerio Nogueira 44 seconds into the first round. Featherweight Dennis Bermudez got veteran Clay Guida to tap out midway through the second round. Bobby Green won his eighth consecutive fight, earning a split decision over third-ranked Josh Thompson in a lightweight fight.