It's about that time for some barbarity.
UFC Fight Night 40: "Brown vs. Silva" takes place this Saturday night (May 10, 2014) at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event will be broadcast live and free on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while the "Prelims" take shape on FOX Sports 2 (FS2).
Matt Brown makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon as he takes on Erick Silva in what should be a ferocious welterweight scrap for the ages. "The Immortal" is currently riding a six-fight winning streak while "Indio" tries to rack up two straight for the first time in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career.
In the co-main event, Lorenz Larkin will be looking to rebound from his latest loss as he takes on Costas Philippou, who needs to snap a two-fight losing streak. "The Monsoon" is currently 1-2 in the promotion, while his opponent has the better Octagon record of 5-3.
With the majority of this card's excitement focused on these two bouts, let us look into the near future and map out what a victory might mean for these four featured fighters.
Here we go:
Not every fighter can have the type of resurgence in his career like Brown is having.
"The Immortal" has won six straight and if he can beat Silva for his seventh consecutive victory, the promotion has no choice but to match him up against a top-five opponent.
The Ohio native has won impressively over the likes of Mike Swick, Jordan Mein and Mike Pyle, yet those are his most impressive victories and he needs to topple a real title threat in order to become one.
Beating Erick Silva means Brown is ready to take the next step toward title contention, but he needs to prove he belongs there. Meetings against Tarec Saffiedine and Carlos Condit did not materialize; however, those opponents are the type of foes he needs to get past to prove he's ready for a shot at the welterweight title.
With that being said, you simply can't match him up against another mid-level talent if he wins. If he scores the finish, we're looking at a real Cinderella story (and people love those).
Therefore, market away.
Silva is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in all of the division, since his fighting style is one of an aggressive savage. He's been floating around the middle of the pack for awhile now, although almost everyone knows who he is.
He'll need to improve his UFC run of 4-3 and toppling Brown can get him closer to the top in no time. It's a golden opportunity for "Indio," who would cancel out his foe's recent run of impressive performances and insert himself into conversations observers would be having about the 170-pound division.
The Brazilian doesn't necessarily get a title shot or even a title eliminator bout if he wins, yet seeing he's competed against the likes of Jon Fitch and Dong Hyun Kim in the past, he should be rewarded with a dangerous opponent who has been making a lot of noise as of late in the division.
Maybe Silva hasn't shown the world he's ready for the really big fights, but now is his chance. This is his biggest fight yet and it's imperative he makes the difference.
At Strikeforce: "Rockhold vs. Kennedy" in 2012, Larkin was the bright prospect who had just scored a massive victory over Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision. He didn't look like the same guy who Muhammed Lawal beat up while "Mo" was using performance enhancing drugs six months prior, and it seemed like we were graced with the presence of another young standout.
Nine months later, "The Monsoon" was on the receiving end of a questionable decision when he lost to Francis Carmont, but he bounced back in a big way against Chris Camozzi last fall. Fast forward to earlier this year and his frustrating loss against underdog Brad Tavares pegged him back a notch.
The 27-year-old fighter still has a lot left to prove in his combat sports career and despite only winning two fights out of his past five (including the No Contest against "King Mo"), his UFC employment isn't in jeopardy.
Still, he needs to make some sort of a lasting impact if he wants his talent to be recognized sometime soon. He's not a big name, but he can get there if he starts winning the big fights. The scrap against Carmont was unfortunate, yet he needs to put stuff like that behind him and focus on getting the same type of bouts in the near future.
He's a bright prospect, but his bewitching hour is going to come sooner or later.
The hard-hitting Philippou is as tough as they come, fighting anybody who gets in the way of his goal of presumably contending for a championship.
It's unfortunate he couldn't build off his five straight wins spanning from 2011 to 2012 against more competitive opponents. At 34 years old, the New Yorker needs to make his next few fights count no matter who he's up against.
Larkin is going to be a difficult opponent, so Philippou needs to bring out his best. If he can't win this weekend, he drops three in a row and that's where the future becomes indeterminable. A win against the tough prospect keeps the ball rolling and depending on how he would get the job done, adds a little bit of gratuity to his cause.
He just can't afford to lose and become just another guy on a downswing.
To check out the finalized UFC Fight Night 40: "Brown vs. Silva" fight card and line up click here.