Matt Brown stunned Erick Silva in what some are calling UFC’s “Fight of the Year”, a brutal match of back and forth strikes that Brown finally put to an end in front of his hometown Cincinnati crowd with a ground and pound finish in the 3rd round.
The highly anticipated UFC Fight Night 40 contest — one of 13 on Saturday Night’s overflowing fight card — actually had Matt Brown as the underdog, the Brazilian Silva bringing his 16-4-0 record to face off with Brown’s 21-11-0.
But one of Brown’s listed skills is “tenacity,” something “The Immortal” brought with him in large doses Saturday night. The upset win over Silva paints an interesting picture for Brown’s future, with many options, putting his name on the short list of UFC welterweight title contenders.
From the opening bell, Brown and Silva both set a wicked pace of strikes and kicks, setting the stage for what makes the UFC one of the most popular athletic organizations in the world. One of those kicks was snapped by Silva, crumpling Brown to the mat and producing a collective sigh of disappointment from his hometown fans.
But that’s where Brown’s tenacity took over.
Silva, seeking to capitalize on his effective kick, attacked the grounded Matt Brown, leaping on him like a panther, temporarily verging on a rear-naked choke to put Brown to sleep before Brown fought to his feet and escaped being prey.
With both Silva and Brown back on their feet, any momentum the Brazilian had gained splattered like a water balloon on hot pavement. Brown let loose a barrage of elbows, knees, and fists, landing multiple strikes and punishing Silva with that same tenacity, bringing the round to a close and the crowd to its feet.
In the second round, Brown started where he left off, pummeling Silva repeatedly with combinations of kicks and punches that left Silva simply fighting for survival. But survive he did, the Brazilian showing his own tenacity and grit, withstanding Brown’s relentless attack despite looking ready to topple over several times. The end of the second round couldn’t come soon enough for Silva, but come it did, Brown unable to finish him off, and he’d lived to fight another round.
Which gave the favorite some precious time to regain his breath and focus for a chance to regain control of this hall of fame UFC battle, meeting Brown in the middle of the octagon to start the third round.
But Matt Brown again washed over Silva like a violent wave, his relentless attack taking the Brazilian to the ground where Brown’s rhythmic strikes finally forced referee, Herb Dean, to call a halt to the bout.
While Brown had been on a six-win roll going into the Silva fight, this pivotal 7th straight win obviously left the tenacious fighter in an optimistic mood as he shouted to the crowd: “Cincinnati, who do you want to see fight for a title next?”
Johny Hendricks is the current champion of the division, and after seeing the unbelievably tough Saturday night performances of both Brown and Silva, it would be surprising if he isn’t considering the role tenacity might play when he next defends his title.
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