The 25-minute featured bout of the evening ended with Lawler getting the judges’ nod with scores of 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47.
“There’s two champions in this ring tonight,” Lawler said, addressing the tough fight Brown gave him at the SAP Center.
Lawler struck first with a combination of punches, later countering each time Brown stepped forward with a strike. Brown then found his mark, wobbling Lawler with a combination, which led to a clinch against the cage. Lawler broke free and unloaded a flurry of punches to highlight the end of the first round.
The two fought more relaxed in the second round before Brown shot in for a takedown, briefly getting Lawler to the ground. Unable to keep Lawler on the canvas, Brown came back to the feet, but landed a combination that sent Lawler backpedaling.
The third round started with Brown almost immediately shooting in for a takedown. Lawler kept the fight from fully going to the ground and landed strikes in the clinch, later separating and landing a hard kick to Brown’s body. After a brief pause for a low blow, Lawler turned it up and began landing shots at higher accuracy.
Lawler opened up the fourth round with a knockdown of Brown, pursing to the floor and working from top position. Brown ate a number of strikes while trying to get back to his feet, and once there suffered another shot in the form of an uppercut from Lawler.
Brown entered the final round with a high volume of punches, as Lawler attempted bob his head out of the way. Both fighters began to throw a greater amount of punches, furiously trading shots through the end of the five-minute frame.
With the win in San Jose, Lawler improves his record to 24-10 with 1 no-contest, and puts himself in place for a rematch for the UFC welterweight title with current champion Johny Hendricks.
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