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UFC Fight Night 74 results recap: Neil Magny vs Erick Silva fight review and analysis

Last night (Sun., Aug. 23, 2015), Neil Magny and Erick Silva dueled at UFC Fight Night 74 inside SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In an impressive showing, Magny earned the decision win. Find out how below!

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights Neil Magny and Erick Silva clashed at UFC Fight Night 74 inside SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (video replay here).

Magny built up an impressive win streak over the last couple years, but Demian Maia's jiu-jitsu prowess halted his rise. Just a few weeks later, Magny was trying to put that disappointing loss behind him.

On the other hand, Silva was still trying to build that first win streak. He's suffered some tough losses in recent years that interrupted any momentum he had built up, but this was a big opportunity for the Brazilian to finally jump into the top 15.

Instead, he was pushed to the bottom of the ladder once more.

Magny's game plan quickly became clear, as he pressured his opponent, looked for the shot, and frequently ducked under wide shots. Before long, Silva gave up an easy takedown due to his wild attack, but Silva scrambled back up quickly.

Once back on their feet and in the clinch, Silva landed his own takedown and passed the guard with ease. From top position, Silva hunted for the north-south choke, which allowed Magny to reverse into top position. He landed some nice shots before Silva returned to his feet, but Magny threw him back down and finished the round in back mount.

There were definitely some hairy moments, but overall the first was a strong opening round for the American.

Magny hung around at range early, which did allow Silva to land some hard kicks and punches. However, Magny's jab and general range control allowed him to make his opponent miss more often than not, and he landed hard combinations of his own.

With about two minutes remaining in the round, Silva ducked under a punch and landed a takedown from the clinch. However, Magny once again managed to reverse into a takedown attempt. Though he didn't finish this shot, he did rough his opponent up in the clinch.

Heading into the final frame, Silva needed a finish.

Silva, to his credit, did start the round fairly strong. Using low kicks to mess with his opponent's rhythm, Silva was able to set up some nice punches and chop his opponent down a bit.

Unfortunately for the Brazilian, most of his gas tank was spent. Magny began to regain momentum at about the halfway point, again working a high volume attack at range and in the clinch. Overall, this was the closest round of the three, but Silva never came close to the finish he desperately needed.

Despite all of Magny's success, one of the judges managed to award Silva the decision. Luckily, the other two had some sense, and Magny earned the split decision win.

This bout really highlighted Magny's strengths, and there are quite a few. The most important one is likely his able to follow a game plan and avoid making silly mistakes. Silva is an extremely dangerous fighter who capitalizes on small opportunities, but Magny gave him very few.

On the feet, Magny looked better than ever. He used his jab wonderfully, drawing out looping counter punches and then punishing Silva for it. Additionally, his transitions into the takedown from his boxing were excellent. In one awesome example, Magny held onto his opponent's lead hand, waited for the overhand, then ducked the punch into a back clinch when it inevitably came.

Hopefully this also clears up some of the speculation about Magny's ground game, which came into question following his loss to Demian Maia. He defended very well on the mat, but Maia is one of very few men in the world that can dominate even skilled grapplers with ease.

After this win, a match with Rick Story would definitely make sense. That was Silva's original opponent and is always a tough fight, so it would surely be another solid challenge for the rising star.

While Magny continues to improve with each match, Silva is exactly the same. He's still very explosive with heavy punches, kicks, and slick submissions. The problem is that he throws them all one at a time and gets tired within a round or two. Furthermore, he doesn't handle pressure well at all, backing into the fence very often.

It's a shame, really. Silva has incredible physical tools, along with incredible durability and heart. At this point, it's obvious that he either doesn't listen to his coaches -- which I find unlikely, considering his jiu-jitsu black belt and excellence on the mat -- or is misguided when it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA).

Either way, something needs to change.

Last night, Neil Magny earned a short-notice victory over Erick Silva. Can Magny makes his way to a title shot?

For complete UFC Fight Night 74 "Holloway vs Oliveira" results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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