Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
In the third televised bout of the preliminary card at UFC 145, Matt Brown overcame cardio issues and some heavy strikes to defeat karate prodigy Stephen Thompson by unanimous decision. The welterweight bout swayed back and forth with each fighter gaining brief advantages at times, but it was the grinder that prevailed. The scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-27 in favor of the Ohio native.
Brown started off doing what he does best - grinding away against the cage and looking for a takedown. Thompson was never given the room to implement his strong kicking game, but his heavy hands had Brown staggering at times, but Brown generally controlled the fight on the ground and busted Thompson open with damaging elbows. They both gassed late which didn't help things, but it was still a spirited if sloppy bout.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Brown's standing elbow that dropped Thompson in the second round.
Where do these guys go from here?
Brown's not going much of anywhere. He's the mid-level welterweight gatekeeper, and he'll continue to play that role. This was a big win for him though, and might help people see that records can be a bit deceiving sometimes. I'd actually like to see him fight Che Mills next.
This was a major step back for Wonderboy, but it was only his seventh pro fight. He definitely has to work on his takedown defense though, or he'll never be a factor in the wrestler-heavy welterweight division. He could maybe face the loser of the upcoming Hardy/Ludwig fight.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. It was sloppy at times but a lot of fun.