Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Matt Brown was on the hunt for his seventh straight victory when he locked horns with Erick Silva in the main event of UFC Fight Night 40 last night (May 10, 2014) from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
To watch full fight video highlights for Brown vs. Silva right now click here.
Previously scheduled to face former interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 9, "The Immortal" was forced to wait for a fight against the lower ranked Silva after a back injury forced him out of the bout.
Last seen defeating Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013, Brown had some cobwebs to shake off against Silva, the Brazilian who has long been touted as one of the most dangerous up-and-coming prospects in mixed martial arts (MMA).
However, with a relatively inconsistent 4-3 record inside the Octagon, 29-year-old Silva had to prove he could rise to the occasion and best a truly top-level opponent.
Facing Brown provided the opportunity to do just that. In the end, however, "The Immortal" refused to go down in his first-ever UFC main event, scoring both "Fight of the Night" and "Performance of the Night" bonuses in the process.
The fought began with Brown aggressive, scoring a head kick. Silva went for a bodylock slam, but Brown reversed to take the fight back to the feet. Silva landed a kick to the body and an uppercut. Silva unleashed a vicious body shot that dropped Brown, and he looked for a finish on the ground. "Indio" took Brown's back and softened him up with ground shots.
"The Immortal" was in big trouble as Silva went for a rear naked choke. Silva's Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills were on full display throughout most of the first round, but Brown somehow got back to his feet to clinch on the cage.
He attacked with knees and punches, unloading a combo that had Silva running away. More knees and elbows found a home as the fighters slugged it out. Brown dropped Silva with a sweep, nailing him with knees and elbows again. He ragdolled Silva to the mat and followed up with a torrent of hard punches that ended with a takedown to close the insanely exciting first round.
Brown came out looking to finish in the second round as he nailed Silva with more shots. Silva responded with a strong body kick, and Brown fought back with more Muay Thai strikes. Brown's boxing was precise and his elbows didn't stop flowing.
A head kick landed as "The Immortal's" pace kept up. Somehow Silva stayed on his feet, landing a body shot to hurt Brown yet again. Brown took the fight to the mat and pounded Brown from side control. He locked in a reverse triangle and rained down more shots before locking on a D'arce choke.
He abandoned it to emerge in the mount, landing endless punches before going for an armbar that Silva reversed. Brown switched to a triangle choke, but Silva slipped out as the second round of this war came to an end.
The third round began with Brown landing more power punches and knees. Silva was taking a ton of damage. Brown landed in Silva's guard on the ground, blasting "Indio" with elbows to finally cut him. Brown was relentless with his attack, prompting Herb Dean to finally stop this high-paced, violent display of MMA.
Brown put on a rousing show for his hometown Ohio fans, scoring his seventh straight win and furthering what has become one of the most inspiring stories to ever arise from MMA.
He's knocking on the door of a title shot.
Fighting in what may be the most stacked division in the sport, he'll most likely need another quality win before he gets his coveted shot at gold.
While the winner of UFC 174's Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley bout will probably get the first crack at divisional champion Johny Hendricks upon his return from surgery, Brown should get the next one if he can win in the interim.
His next fight should be a against No. 6-ranked Hector Lombard, who most recently beat former Strikeforce champ Jake Shields in a one-sided (and many would say lackluster) affair at UFC 171 in March. Brown is ready for another step up in opponent and there aren't many better than Lombard.
Brown could also face the winner of UFC 173's Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger match-up.
Silva won't likely lose too much footing with the loss. He showed a ton of heart in weathering an insane storm from Brown, and he wasn't even cut for most of the fight. But he was carried out of U.S. Bank Arena on a stretcher, so he could be in for a lengthy stay on the sidelines.
Hopefully the ultra-athletic "Indio" can return sooner than later. If he does, he'd match up well with someone like Tarec Saffiedine.
Silva still has the talent to become a top-level contender, but until he wins a high-profile bout in UFC, he'll still be a level below the elite. He could use some help with his gameplans; he could have potentially finished Brown if he didn't go the ground so eagerly in the first round.
Time isn't necessarily running out on "Indio," but it may growing thin.
‘The Immortal' lived up to his nickname by surviving an early onslaught from Erick Silva to notch a wild finish in a "Fight of the Year" candidate at UFC Fight Night 40. Will Brown finally receive the recognition he's been campaigning for?