Matt Brown showed Tyron Woodley, Robbie Lawler, Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald what they have to do if they want the next title shot. When Lawler and Ellenberger face off at UFC 173, the winner will almost need a finish if they want the next title shot. It is the same for Woodley and MacDonald at UFC 174. Even if they get the finish they will have trouble topping this FOTY.
Silva and Brown displayed tremendous heart, toughness and warrior spirit in this fight. It had all the elements of a great fight. Each fighter looked like they had the fight won only to have the other comeback. It was a great, gritty and gutty performance from Silva and a brilliant one from Brown.
The next shot at champion Johny Hendricks will go to one of those fighters and right now Brown has stated his case emphatically. This finish of Erick Silva was Brown’s seventh win in a row in the UFC with six of them being TKO/KO finishes.
The only non-finish came in his UD win over Stephen Thompson. It is the only loss in Thompson’s combat career which includes 9-1 in MMA, 4-1 in the UFC and a combined kickboxing record of 57-0 with 40 TKO/KO’s according to the UFC’s bio on him. Just getting the win against Thompson is impressive enough.
This win against Silva might just be the best of his career so far. It was a brilliant performance that included one of the best first rounds in MMA. The round had more action than some full five round fights. Time to take a closer look at it.
Right in the first 10 seconds Brown brought a head kick that was partially blocked and swarmed in behind it. After a couple of punches from Brown, Silva got a body lock around him. He lifted Brown up a couple of times trying to get the takedown and finally got him to the ground with Brown landing on his head and shoulder area. He used the momentum of the takedown to roll over and ended up on top.
They scrambled back to their feet and Brown threw a head kick as they separated. Silva blocked it, but just barely. It was an example of how Brown is always dangerous and will strike from anywhere.
Now back on their feet they started throwing again. Then Silva moved backwards to avoid a body punch and reset himself. Brown came forward and Silva landed a kick to the liver area of Brown and a right uppercut that just glanced off of him. They quickly returned to their stances and after two beats Silva stepped in with another liver kick; this time it was a ball kick that went deep into Brown’s body. It was like Silva was trying to push Brown’s liver out through his back with his foot.
Brown proved that he is at least partially human and crumpled over to the ground and desperately grabbed Silva’s right knee. At this point it looked like the fight was just about over. Travis Browne against Alistair Overeem and Arturo Gatti versus Micky Ward are the only two fighters that have gotten up from a liver shot like this one. Brown put himself in their club when he held on to Silva’s head and survived.
During the scramble Silva was able to take Brown’s back. We were not even one minute into the fight yet and already Brown had been dropped once and now had Silva hanging on his back. This could have been the point where Silva lost the fight.
At the press conference, Dana White informed everyone that Silva was on his way to the hospital to get checked out for a possible broken jaw and concussion. According to his manager, Wallid Ismail, in an interview with Guilherme Cruz on MMAFighting.com, Silva suffered neither. Ismail also said that Silva walked out of the hospital on his own. He said that Silva was just exhausted.
It was puzzling to him as Silva’s camp had been great and it was one of his easiest weight cuts. He did mention that Silva gassed in the Jon Fitch fight after another drawn out RNC attempt, and they need to figure out why he gassed. In both of those fights his opponents defended the choke well.
In this case Silva spent a little over two minutes trying to secure the choke. He had a nasty neck crank at one point and he locked in the body triangle as well. Brown did a great job defending the choke and making Silva work. A couple of times it looked like Silva might get the finish but Brown survived.
They scrambled back to their feet in a clinch and Brown immediately landed a right knee to the inside leg. Then a short right elbow to the face and a little left knee to the body. Silva broke scramble backwards and to left. Brown caught him with a lead step-in check right hook. Then a succession of knees from the clinch and Silva again broke free.
Brown followed him and missed with a right hook but then landed three straight right elbows. Again, Silva broke free and moved to his left. This time when he paused he also planted and landed another kick to the right side of Brown, who just ate it and kept coming forward.
Another left hand to the body from Silva and Brown responded with a hard knee to the body and another elbow to the head. Silva tried to answer but missed. Then Silva attempted a head kick that Brown blocked and countered with a head kick of his own that Silva blocked.
They moved along the outside of the octagon. Silva was trying to find space and Brown was trying to land big shots. After an exchange of punches that partially got through Brown just grabbed Silva and threw him to the ground. Silva landed hard on his back and just tried to get up. Brown landed two hard right hands and a vicious knee to the body.
There was now 54 seconds left in the round. On their way back to their feet, Brown landed a right uppercut, and a left knee to the head followed by two solid right elbows to the head and a left knee to the body from the clinch. Suddenly, Brown just rag dolled Silva and again just tossed him to the ground.
On the ground Silva tried to spin into guard but Brown just stayed back and landed a couple of good shots. Then Silva somersaulted and Brown landed another nasty knee to the body. Silva scrambled back to his feet and Brown came forward and landed two hard elbows and a knee to the head.
Silva responded with two jabs that missed and a right uppercut that found Brown’s iron chin. Then Silva employed the – casually walking away almost going to start a jog on the beach just causally looking over my shoulder sudden stop and pivot into another body kick to Brown’s liver – move. Classic.
The kick made Brown hop up and over a little and then he was back in predator mode stalking Silva. Quickly, Brown stepped in with a solid right hand followed by a right uppercut, left hook to the head, left hook to the body and then another one back to the head.
As they clapped the two pieces of wood together to indicate 10 seconds left in the round Silva attempted a spinning backfist. Brown saw it, ducked under and shot in for the takedown. On the ground he landed in Silva’s guard and dropped four elbows down before the round ended.
It was a back and forth round with Brown landing more strikes and being more aggressive. Silva had him in serious trouble twice with the body shot that dropped him. Then the RNC attempt. As it was there would be no reason for judges for this fight. There was no way that they could keep this up for five rounds. You could already see that Silva was tired at the end of the round.
The second round started out very similar to the first one. Brown came out aggressive and glided across the octagon in stance. He started out landing a right hand and then two knees to the face. From there he started to flurry and Silva would respond with a two left hooks to the head that backed Brown off a half step.
Silva threw a little kick towards the liver that Brown blocked. Then two feints from Silva and another hard kick to the liver. Brown bent over slightly and you could see him tense up for a beat and he covered up. Silva tried a spinning back kick that Brown read and stepped inside of its range. Then he ducked under and away from a spinning back fist.
That gave Brown time to recover and he landed a right hand that lead to a little flurry that ended with a high body kick. Silva countered with a right hand to the body straight down the middle. Brown countered with a knee to the body, then the head and two hard elbows to the face.
A trip attempt from Silva slowed Brown for a moment before he landed two more knees to the body. They separated from the clinch and Brown went twice to the head with left hooks that were blocked and then a left hook liver shot that landed. Silva tried to respond with a wide right hook that Brown easily saw and avoided.
Brown came in an initiated another clinch and started landing knees and elbows. After several of each they separated and Brown landed a head kick on the exit. Then another right hand from him and Jon Anik was wondering how much more Silva could take.
It was a valid question as he looked exhausted. His hands were down by his sides almost until he threw a strike. When he did land one Brown answered with four or five strikes of his own. It looked like the end for Silva was almost near.
Brown caught a kick and landed a left hook to the head. That flowed into a right knee to the face. Then they separated and a straight right to the head, left hook up top and right hook to the body combo. You could taste the end right there as Brown had him trouble.
Silva took a half step backwards and Brown followed landing a little left hook to the head. As he threw that one Silva threw another wicked left hook to the liver that again bent Brown over. Somehow he stayed on his feet as Silva swarmed forward. Brown blocked a knee to the body and they clinched up again.
From there Brown got a half trip takedown. He landed in side control and quickly slid into a crucifix position. He trapped the right side of Silva with his left shoulder and arm. Then he deftly pinned down the right arm with his right leg and started dropping right hands and a couple of elbows. Somehow, Silva wriggled his arms free but still had Brown on top of him.
From there, Brown attempted several submissions. First a mounted triangle, then a kimura, then a darce choke – that was the closest. While holding the choke Brown brought his left knee up and landed it to Silva’s body. It made Kenny Florian groan as he commentated.
The knee left Brown in the full mount. He held the choke for a few more beats and then switched to ground and pound. Brown rained down strikes while Silva somehow mounted a semblance of a defense. He was partially blocking some of the shots and trying to strike from the bottom.
Brown suddenly went for an armbar and Silva slid out into his guard for a half of a beat before Brown went for a triangle. He had it locked on pretty tight but Silva still had a little room. After trying a couple of times to isolate Silva’s right arm he then threw a couple of strikes one which seemed to knock him out of the triangle.
Silva was on top but could not do anything. Brown did a good job of holding him down and Silva was exhausted. Brown was also tired but looked fresh by comparison. The only thing remotely even in the round was control. Silva was awarded 1:14 of it to Brown’s 1:39. Most of Brown’s involved serious submission attempts and damage, while most of Silva’s came as he was essentially holding on and trying to survive.
The other numbers were all Brown. He landed 83 of 106 strikes in the round to Silva’s 8 of 20. In the significant category more domination from Brown as he landed 54 of 75 to 7 of 19. Silva did have the one body shot that really hurt Brown and one earlier that stung him. If he had been able to put those two together he might have had a chance in the round. Those were really his only two moments of the round. Brown also score a takedown and had 4 submission attempts.
To start the third round Silva landed a clean left hook to the head that had no affect on Brown. He just kept coming forward landing strikes. It was more Brown domination and it left you amazed that Silva was still upright. He would get Silva down again, almost bulldogging him to the ground. From there, Brown spent the next minute methodically pounding away until he forced Silva to turtle up and referee Herb Dean mercifully stopped the fight.
It was an electrifying performance from Matt Brown. He battled through several brutal body shots to take over the fight, dominating it at the end. It was a gritty and gutty performance from Silva who showed tremendous heart and toughness himself. It was a fight between two warriors. They did not come in looking to win on points. They came to fight, to find out who was the toughest and to finish. Brown may have to fight one time before he gets that title shot, but you never know how things will work out.