A card that already includes major bouts with the Lightweight championship title on the line, a former 2x champion taking on a rising Swedish MMA star, and a former two division champion taking on an explosive young Canadian star, two more interesting bouts have been confirmed for the lineup. The first is a Heavyweight bout pitting TUF10 runner-up Brendan Schaub against former Strikeforce stand-out Lavar Johnson, and the second pitting TUF1 alumni Mike Swick against TUF7 alumni Matt Brown in a Welterweight bout. Schaub will be coming into the bout off a two fight losing streak with two straight Rnd1 KO losses, and Johnson will come in off a Rnd1 Submission loss that snapped a two fight win streak. Swick will come into the bout off a Rnd2 KO victory in a triumphant return to action after 30 months away from fighting, and Brown will come in riding a three fight win streak that includes two Rnd2 TKO victories.
Schaub vs Johnson
Going through TUF10 as one of the more promising competitors making it to the finals, Schaub unfortunately fell short suffering his first professional loss to tournament winner Roy Nelson via Rnd1 KO. Bouncing back he racked up four straight wins with three via stoppage and the last two coming over Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro-Cop. Appearing to be on the verge of a title shot, Schaub fell short as he would lose two in a row via Rnd1 KO first against returning former PrideFC & UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and to IFL veteran Ben Rothwell at UFC 145 where he was caught while pushing the pace. Now riding a two fight losing streak with both losses coming via stoppage, Schaub’s place in the UFC could be in the chopping block should he lose in this upcoming bout against an opponent known for his amazing power.
With a record of 3-2 in Strikeforce ending his career in the promotion coming off of two straight losses via submission, Lavar Johnson clearly had to make a statement when he transitioned to the UFC. Bouncing back from two straight losses via stoppage, Johnson earned two straight victories first over Joey Beltran via Rnd1 KO, and next earning a Rnd1 TKO finish over kickboxer Pat Barry. Making a name for himself with two entertaining performances, Johnson agreed to step up to take on Stefan Struve on short notice as part of the UFC 146 all Heavyweight card. Pushing the pace to start the bout, Johnson aimed to earn yet another quick finish. Knowing Johnson was not a strong grappler, Struve pulled guard and worked for an Armbar that forced Johnson to submit marking his first UFC loss. Now looking to brush off a disappointing loss, Johnson will look to do what he does best aiming to add to Schaub’s losing streak.
Swick vs Brown
After 30 months away from competition tackling both a career and life threatening sickness, Mike Swick made the biggest statement of his career when he made his triumphant return in August. After going 5-1 as a professional that included losing to Chris Leben for the inaugural WEC Middleweight title, Swick joined the inaugural season of TUF where he lost in the semifinals to tournament runner-up Stephan Bonnar. Failing to make it to the finals Swick was given his shot to compete in the UFC going 5-1 as a Middleweight before dropping to Welterweight. After dropping to Welterweight he racked up four straight wins with the last two coming by way of TKO. After failing to acquire a shot at the title next losing to Dan Hardy via Unanimous Decision, Swick stepped up to take on Paulo Thiago in place of now former teammate Josh Koscheck where he suffered a Rnd2 Technical Submission loss. After going 0-2 in his last two bouts Sick was diagnosed with a stomach disease that threatened his career. After a bout with David Mitchell for January 2011 failed to come together with Mitchell injured and Swick’s condition reemerging, a bout with Erick Silva for August 2011 also failed to come together with Swick suffering a knee injury. Finally back on track Swick made his return in August 2012 as the opening bout on the UFC On FOX 4 main card against TUF9 runner-up DaMarques Johnson. After losing the first round being controlled for the latter part, Swick sent Johnson falling down which opened the opportunity to land a powerful flying punch in that knocked Johnson out immediately. Showcasing his exciting style and willingness to engage with opponents, Swick may be tested when he takes on the always exciting Matt Brown.
Entering the seventh season of TUF Matt Brown came in with an unimpressive record or 7-6 and advanced to the quarterfinals where he was eliminated by eventual tournament winner Amir Sadollah. Still given his shot at the UFC he went 4-1 in his first five bouts with the promotion with all those victories coming by way of stoppage and included a Rnd3 TKO over TUF9 winner James Wilks. Even after racking up a good record in the promotion Brown hit a skid losing three in a row all via Rnd3 Submission losing to Ricardo Almeida, Chris Lytle for a second time in a rematch, and to Brian Foster, which resulted in his release from the promotion. Before even getting another fight with another promotion following his release, the UFC brought him back to fill in against John Howard where he took a Unanimous Decision win to snap a three fight losing streak. Next losing via Rnd2 Submission to TUF11 alumni Seth Baczynski, Brown followed that with three straight wins first with a Rnd2 TKO over TUF13 alumni, a Unanimous Decision win over betting favorite Stephen Thompson, and most recently a Rnd2 TKO over Luis Ramos stepping in for fellow TUF7 alumni Matt Riddle. Proving to be one of the most entertaining and always game competitors in the Welterweight division, Matt Brown could prove to be a tough task for Swick to and make this bout a potential candidate for Fight of the Night.
Written by @MMAFANHQ