Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
With Travis Browne getting stomped by a Brazilian Bigfoot, last week's big winner, Stefan Struve, immediately takes his place in line. How will the UFC heavyweight division unfold over the next few months?
Antonio Silva notched his first win under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, knocking out Travis Browne in the main event of UFC on FX 5, which took place earlier this evening (Oct. 5, 2012) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
So why is Stefan Struve celebrating?
"Hapa" was a roadblock on "Skyscraper's" highway to bigger and better opportunities inside the promotion's 265-pound division, having been knocked clean out by the Hawaiian when they went to battle in early 2011. Since then, Struve has compiled four straight wins -- all of them finishes -- over an impressive list of names.
But as far as getting into "the mix," he was still just an alternate.
That's because Browne had also done his share of winning, and all things considered, was higher up on the totem pole when it came to matchmaking. That is, until tonight, when his knee betrayed him and left him vulnerable to a Brazilian bumrush.
"Bigfoot" is back.
In victory, Silva snaps a two-fight losing streak and erases the memory of his bloodbath against Cain Velasquez. Pounding out the Hawaiian in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" doesn't vault him into the top five, but it certainly keeps his name in the discussion.
Who else is there?
In the past week, two of the division's top prospects, Browne and Stipe Miocic, were sent to the back of the line. Frank Mir is out of action due to injury, Daniel Cormier is stuck in Strikeforce and we won't know whether or not Shane Carwin or Roy Nelson are still on the radar until they try to eliminate one another at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 Finale in December.
Then again, I hear Alistair Overeem is looking to pick a fight when he gets re-licensed at year's end.
With Velasquez set to meet Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 for the division crown, the only other name that comes to mind is Fabricio Werdum. He might make a better opponent for Struve, since "Vai Cavalo" already holds a victory over Silva from 2009.
"Bigfoot" vs. "Demolition Man?"
Joe Silva has some work to do with his short list of Heavyweight contenders, but however the chips may fall, don't expect Struve and Silva to be that far from the pile. Anyone out there in fightville thinking they should butt heads? Or does another match-up, not previously mentioned, tickle your fancy?
For all the UFC on FX 5 results and live coverage, including fight recaps and blow-by-blow updates, click here.