This main event ain't going the full five rounda.
Two of the most entertaining contenders in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division will lock horns this Saturday (May 10, 2014) when Matt Brown takes on Erick Silva in the main event of UFC Fight Night 40. The FOX Sports 1-televised main card, which will go down from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, will also feature a Middleweight bout between strikers Lorenz Larkin and Costas Philippou.
In addition, an entertaining Lightweight fight between Erik Koch and Daron Cruickshank is also scheduled.
That's not all.
We looked at the first three of seven "Prelims" yesterday that will stream online via Fight Pass right here. The remaining four under card bouts, which you can watch on FOX Sports 2 (formerly FUEL TV), are covered below.
185 lbs.: Ed Herman vs. Rafael Natal
Following a nearly two-year hiatus from the mixed martial arts (MMA) because of a knee injury, Ed Herman (21-10) immediately showed he was still a threat, scoring three straight finishes. Since then, though, he is 1-2 with one "No Contest," most recently dropping a decision to fellow grappling ace Thales Leites.
"Short Fuse" has finished 18 opponents in his career (13 via submission).
Rafael Natal (17-5-1) suffered a rough come-from-behind knockout loss to Andrew Craig in 2012, only to rebound with three straight wins in 2013. In Nov. 2013, he headlined the latest "Fight for the Troops" event opposite Tim Kennedy, only to suffer a knockout late in the first round.
"Sapo" will give up two inches of height to Herman.
I honestly think this is the end of the line for Herman. He’s slowed down considerably and -- perhaps because of his knee troubles -- his wrestling just isn’t there anymore. Natal figures to be the superior striker and have both the wrestling and grappling necessary to control the fight from any position.
Herman’s fun for a scrap -- his body just is not there for him anymore. Natal repeats Leites’ effort, outworking Herman on the feet and from top position.
Prediction: Natal via unanimous decision
125 lbs.: Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrell Montague
During his time in Shooto, Kyoji Horiguchi (12-1) established himself as the top prospect in Japan, losing only to the venerable Masakatsu Ueda in his first 12 fights. In his Octagondebut, he survived a round with Dustin Pague latched to his back to knockout The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 competitor in the second stanza.
Horiguchi was scheduled to make his Flyweight debut against Chris Cariaso at UFC 169 before injury forced him out.
Darrell Montague (13-3) earned the biggest win of his career late in 2012, defeating longtime division standout Mamoru Yamaguchi in the latter’s native Japan. The victory -- plus a finish the following May -- earned him a UFC opportunity, during which he suffered a knockout loss to John Dodson in his debut.
His only other losses have come to Ian McCall and current UFC Featherweight Robbie Peralta.
It remains to be seen whether Horiguchi’s hyperkinetic style will work as well at 125 pounds as at 135 pounds or if he’s sufficiently shored up his defensive grappling to handle the division elite, but I do think he wins this. He just packs a ridiculous amount of power for his size and controls distance extremely well.
Though Montague can box well, trading punches with Horiguchi is a losing proposition; plus, the latter excels at getting in and out of range quickly. We should get a quality striking battle for a few minutes, after which Horiguchi’s big right hand seals the deal late in the first.
Prediction: Horiguchi via first-round technical knockout
170 lbs.: Yan Cabral vs. Zak Cummings
Yan Cabral (11-0) was an early favorite to win TUF: "Brazil 2" before a hand injury forced him to withdraw from the competition. Undaunted, he excelled in his UFC debut, dominating David Mitchell in Oct. 2013.
Ten of his 11 wins have come via submission (all inside two rounds).
After an unsuccessful run on TUF 17, Zak Cummings (16-3) kicked off his UFC career successfully, choking out TUF: "Smashes" alum Benny Alloway in Aug. 2013. He was scheduled to face Alberto Mina at TUF: "China" Finale earlier this year, but missed weight by an embarrassing amount, prompting its cancellation.
He has won six of his last seven, the lone loss to Ryan Jimmo.
This really is, in my opinion, a case of decent submission fighter versus awesome submission fighter. Cabral is on another level from Cummings on the mat and, if his previous fights are any indication, he’s well-equipped to take it there.
There isn’t enough, if any, of a discrepancy on the feet to overcome this. Cabral is the superior grappler and -- unless Cummings is as huge as that failed weight cut suggests -- should be the one dictating position. Cabral wrangles him down early and locks in his signature arm-triangle soon after.
Prediction: Cabral via first-round submission
135 lbs.: Eddie Wineland vs. Johnny Eduardo
Following a knockout loss to division champion Renan Barao at UFC 165 in Sept. 2013, Eddie Wineland (21-9-1) returned against Canadian striker Yves Jabouin this past January. After an even first round, he caught Jabouin with a vicious counter right late in the second, pounding him out soon after.
Eleven of his wins, including four of his last five, have come by some form of knockout.
Johnny Eduardo (26-9) -- Nova Uniao’s Muay Thai coach -- was last seen in action two years ago, defeating Jeff Curran on the under card of UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier." Since then, he has been forced out of fights with the aforementioned Jabouin and Lucas Martins because of injuries.
He has been competing in MMA for almost 18 years and has won 12 of his last 13 fights.
This fight makes absolutely no sense from a rankings perspective. Stylistically, though, it’s got some potential. Wineland’s not likely to try to exploit Eduardo’s lacking ground game and Eduardo has no intention of going there himself. If all goes well, we’ll get an intriguing clash of Wineland’s sharpshooting punches against Eduardo’s Nova Uniao kicking game.
The deciding factor here may be that Eduardo is 35 years old and coming off a huge layoff. There’s a good chance he brutalizes Wineland’s lead leg, but I believe Wineland’s volume will carry the day for him. After a close opening round, Wineland starts to run away with it late and takes home the decision.
Prediction: Wineland via unanimous decision
There's no way the main event isn't something special.
Make sure you're watching, Maniacs.
Remember: MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 40 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 2 under card action at 8 p.m. ET and the the FOX Sports 1 main card at 10 p.m. ET.
Current UFC "Prelims" Prediction Record 2014: 59-27 (1 NC)