In a closely contested bout that many had build as a ‘loser leaves town’ fight, Matt Brown did just enough to outpoint John Howard on the judges scorecards.

The first round was competitive, but Howard appeared to get the better of it early, quickly finding his range with powerful leg kicks and then mixing things up later with takedowns. ‘Doomsday’ looked a little tired towards the end of the round though after his initial excertions and Brown was working well behind his jab as the bell sounded.

With Howard slowing down a little the second was very evenly contested. The best action came on the mat in the second half of the round after Brown produced a nice trip takedown. Fighting from his back Howard worked for a leg lock and then used it to reverse the position and get on top only to find himself caught in an omaplata submission from Brown as the round drew to a close.

It was anybody’s fight going into the third, and Brown looked to change things up with a takedown of his own, though Howard was quickly back up on his feet. It seemed ‘Doomsday’ had a similar strategy though and he too was soon looking to take the action to the floor. In the closing stages he did so and managed to lockdown Brown in top control and worked for a kimura as the bell sounds.

Not an easy one for the judges to call, but in the end they are unanimous in giving Brown the nod by 29-28.

The victory gives Brown a stay of execution after having lost his last three fights on the trot, while Howard’s job may now be on the line after losing three in a row himself.