Last night (Oct. 9, 2013) in the co-main event UFC Fight Night 29 from Barueri, Brazil, highly-touted welterweight prospect Erick Silva looked to notch the biggest win of his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career against standout grappler Dong Hyun Kim.
It turned out to be a war from the start, but the outcome may not have been quite what you expected.
Kim was the underdog in this fight. Most thought his best way to win was to grind Silva out by neutralizing the dynamic striker's Muay Thai game. While that looked to be the case early on, gameplans appeared to be thrown out the window in the second round of this exciting mixed martial arts (MMA) bout.
What transpired was a "Knockout of the Night"-winning performance from Kim that was undoubtedly the shining moment of last night's event. To watch full Dong Hyun Kim vs. Erick Silva fight highlights right now click here.
Let's break down how "Stun Gun" made every jaw drop to the ground in Jose Correa Gymnasium:
The fight kicked off rather predictably, with Kim going for an early takedown that was stymied. Kim looked to push the fight up against the cage. Silva went to work with his vicious kickboxing, and found a home for a few knees. Kim began to throw spinning backfists that were wildly off the mark.
He returned to his greatest skills by gaining Silva's back and switching into a slick transition to the mount. Kim scored some huge points with this sequence, but Silva fought back to look for an unsuccessful heel hook. The first round was a close battle, but Kim most likely had it in the books with his advantageous position on the ground.
Silva came out with guns blazing in the second round, throwing wild hooks and big knees to the body. For a moment, it looked like "Stun Gun" was hurt and ripe for the picking, but he persevered to wobble away. At this point, it both fighters were running out of steam in a big way.
Silva continued his striking pressure with looping punches and knees, but Kim blew the roof off the building with a vicious overhand left right on the button. Silva was out cold, and there was absolutely no need for the ground shot or two that he absorbed after the fact.
For Kim, the finish couldn't have come at a better time. He's been grinding out decisions over most of his UFC opponents but has been finished by top competition like Carlos Condit and Demian Maia. While Silva isn't necessarily on par with these names, he provided an excellent test of "Stun Gun's" chin. Kim passed the test, and should find himself with a top ten opponent in his next fight. Perhaps Kim could welcome Tarec Saffiedine to the UFC when he's finally healed up.
For Silva, it's a devastating loss. He needed this win to prove that he can deal with the high-level wrestlers who populate UFC's 170-pound division ... and he didn't get it. Silva was mounted in the first round, showing his mat deficiencies. But, the huge knockout where he was supposed to hold the edge is demoralizing. Kim hadn't finished an opponent since his Octagon debut way back in 2008.
Silva won't gain any footing in the division until he proves that he can hang with good wrestlers. A fight against Mike Pierce, who lost to Rousimar Palhares at tonight's card, would provide Silva another good challenge. If he fails in that fight, the promotion may have to re-evaluate his ceiling. It's unfortunate because he was touted as one of the best up-and-coming fighters before his losses to Jon Fitch and Kim.
Dong Hyun Kim silenced the critics who called his style boring with a surprising highlight-reel knockout of Erick Silva. Who should "Stun Gun" face off with next?