UFC Fight Night: Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva preview and the prognostication

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Matt Brown takes on Erick Silva in a bout with possible title shot implications at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Are both men ready to take the next step in a post-GSP welterweight world?

Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva Welterweight

Is this the moment we've all been waiting for?

According to Bruce Buffer it is.

Let me guess. This fight is beneath you and the main event bores your hipster sensibilities.

Pedro Martinez versus An extra from a life alert infomercial wasn't beneath me. Neither is this one.

So why the long face?

Paper tigers.

Keep in mind I have absolutely nothing against either Silva or Brown. I think they're both excellent fighters. In fact, they're two of the most entertaining guys in the division. This bout would get my blood boiling even stuck on an undercard for the Versus channel.

Brown is on a 6 fight winning streak that includes Mike Pyle, Jordan Mein, and Mike Swick. And Silva is...well...he's, uhh..

3-3 in his last three?

You were supposed to give me time to spin this one.

So get on with it.

Ok, so I believe Silva is much better than his three losses indicate. The Prater fight is self explanatory. He showed real moxy against Jon Fitch in a matchup that couldn't be any tougher stylistically, and had Kim on the ropes before getting knocked out. Not a bad resume for a prospect.

He'll turn 30 this June.

Oh...right.

It's correct that Silva is not a prospect.

Seems unfair. Randy Couture was basically Don Cherry's age when he won the UFC belt.

There are exceptions, but that an athlete's physical prime is traditionally before they hit their 30's. For example, for a hockey player, peak production occurs at the age of 26. Now look at the age of our current crop of UFC champions from Cain Velasquez to Demetrious Johnson: 31, 26, 29, 30, 27, 27, 27, 27, and 27 (Ronda Rousey).

Basically, if you physically accessed Encarta during its inception, you're screwed.

Can we talk about this fight already?

Of course.

Listen, just because Silva isn't a prospect doesn't mean he isn't a worthwhile fighter. Just like with Brown, both men are very good fighters simply advertised wrong. Brown is not a perennial contender, and Silva is not the young upstart who deserves to be attached to Mike Goldberg's mind numbing "meteoric rise" catchphrase. But that doesn't mean this won't be a hell of a fight.

Brown is +190. Yay or nay?

Yay.

But a good bet does not an evaluation make.

First thing's first. Brown is an excellent jack of all trades type fighter. These days, being considered well rounded doesn't mean much. In fact, if it's the first thing described about you, it's probably just an insult. But what Brown lacks in specialty he makes up for in determination.

The Mein fight was a picture perfect example of what makes Brown so durable at this stage of his career: he's simply not gonna go quietly into the night. He has a real knack of psychological warfare. Just look at his bout with Mein. Brown knew full well that in order for Mein to be successful, he would have to settle into the fight. The more decisions you force your opponent to make, the more likely they are to make a mistake. By swarming Mein the way he did, the fight ended before it began.

Silva is gettable on the feet, so you better believe he's gonna do the same thing.

The x-factor is Silva's striking. He's prone to experimental, unorthodox behavior in the cage against fighters he doesn't have to worry about much. On top of that, his defense is pretty awful. He keeps his hands low, which is a common enough mistake for an MMA fighter, but the combination of keeping your hands low and gassing out is as bad as it gets, and Dong-Hyun Kim, who isn't a power puncher (despite getting a reputation for it with his last two fights), made him pay for it in brutal fashion.

For all of his faults, I could easily see him hurting Brown on the feet.

Brown hasn't changed much since his TUF days; a guy who got outworked and outhustled to a finish against Amir Sadollah, who I don't even think anyone remembers at this point.

The real question is whether or not Brown's 1-4 record from 2010 to 2011 is more indicative of who he is as a fighter than all of the fights since then. The truth is obviously somewhere in the middle, but I feel like this fight is a coin flip. However, I'm picking Silva because not only will he land given the speed advantage (Brown still gets hit a lot), but I think he's more than capable of submitting Brown on the ground.

Brown probably won't ever go 1-4 over 5 fights in the UFC ever again, but all of his losses were by submission. Even if that run is anomalous, his weakness to being submitted is not, and his recent opponents were too willing to play in his wheelhouse.

Erick Silva by Decision

I hear your mom is graduating college this weekend. Good for her!

Thanks.

Dear BE readers, please congratulate my awesome mother on a job well done. Live long and prosper this mother's day weekend!

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