He meant to do that.
Fight fans were treated to a new defensive counter attack in the Erick Silva vs. Takenori Sato main card match up, which took place last Saturday night (Feb. 15, 2014) on FOX Sports 1 (watch it), thanks to the Brazilian's reverse heel kick designed to punish the Japanese import for his takedown attempt.
Sato clung to a leg to keep himself out of range, after the hometown hero landed a punishing kick to the body. But it looks like the Pancrase welterweight champion wasn't paying attention at the UFC Fight Night 36 open workouts, where his opponent was providing a sneak peek of his new skill set.
Silva breaks it down at the UFC Fight Night 36 post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie):
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that in a fight, that kick I did. That’s something we’ve done many times in camp, and I’d already seen myself in that situation where my opponent has his head down, holding my leg, and I have to find a way to hit him. So I gave him a back ankle. I’ve been able to do that in my camp. Whoever saw the open workouts saw I did it – I even did it in the open workout, a back kick with my heel. If it works in the workout, I was able to do it in the Octagon. I think he did feel it."
If he didn't feel that, he certainly felt the rest of the punches Silva delivered to end the fight.
With the emphatic first-round win, Silva (16-4) gets back into the win column but more importantly, establishes himself as a serious threat in the 170-pound division. Not because he used Sato as a punching bag, but rather because he took his training camp seriously, worked hard and performed professionally.
That's good news for Brazilian fight fans, bad news for the rest of the welterweight contenders.