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UFC 212 fight card: Erick Silva vs Yancy Medeiros preview

MMA: UFC 203-Medeiros vs Spencer John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight sluggers Erick Silva and Yancy Medeiros will brawl this Saturday night (June 3, 2017) at UFC 212 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Silva is an inconsistent man. He’s found mixed results in the Octagon, sure, but that’s common enough. More unique to the Brazilian is his ability to look great in one fight and dreadful the next, with his physique being the best indicator of whether Silva will perform well or embarrassingly flat.

On the other hand, Medeiros is still finding his place in the UFC. The lanky Hawaiian recently moved up to Welterweight and put on a strong debut, but it’s still too early to tell if this move will really push him up the rankings.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for both men.

Erick Silva

Record: 19-7 (1)

Key Wins: Jason High (UFC on FUEL TV 10), Charlie Brenneman (UFC on FX 3), Mike Rhodes (UFC Fight Night 58)

Key Losses: Neil Magny (UFC Fight Night 74), Dong Hyun Kim (UFC Fight Night 29), Nordine Taleb (UFC 196)

Keys to Victory: At one point, Silva looked the part of a future title contender. A regional champ from Brazil with crazy athleticism, big power, and some tough takedown defense, Silva was favored to run through most of his foes.

Slowly, the wheels fell off.

Lately, Silva fights like a lesser version of his past highlights. He’s still durable, reasonably dangerous, and skilled in grappling exchanges, but he’s a bit slower in all of those areas. He’s simply not as scary as he once was.

All that said, Silva has some legitimately nasty jiu-jitsu, and that isn’t the type of thing to disappear overnight. Silva is a proven finisher on the mat, and that’s precisely where he should take this fight.

If Silva can time an early takedown, he may be able to strangle Yancy Medeiros before the fight really gets going.

Yancy Medeiros

Record: 14-4

Key Wins: Sean Spencer (UFC 203), John Makdessi (UFC 194), Joe Procter (TUF 20 Finale)

Key Losses: Francisco Trinaldo (UFC 198), Dustin Poirier (UFC Fight Night 68)

Keys to Victory: Medeiros is a rangy kickboxer with good natural power. He’s also deceptively tough to take down and has proven to possess some dangerous front chokes.

This is definitely a favorable match up for Medeiros, though it’s something of a step up in competition. Both men like to trade punches on the feet, but Medeiros is currently the more durable fighter and should actually have a speed advantage.

If Medeiros is focused on maintaining his range and kickboxing, Silva will have a hard time dragging him to the mat. Medeiros does well opposite wrestlers, he keeps his feet moving and has strong hips, meaning there are few easy takedowns available opposite the Hawaiian.

Another big advantage for Medeiros in this match up is conditioning. Silva slows down badly, whereas Medeiros could push a hard pace at 155 lbs. Without having to cut weight, he should be dangerous for all three rounds.

Bottom Line: It’s a brawl.

Silva has been struggling recently. He may have won his most recent battle, but it was a major step back in competition, and he still didn’t look all that great. To get any of his past hype back, Silva has to prove he can still produce highlight reel-worthy moments.

Medeiros is a willingly puncher, so it’s really now-or-never.

With a win, Silva is far from back in the mix, but at least his job is more secure. Plus, if he can reprove himself as an action fighter, he’ll get better match ups in the future. If he comes up short, Silva’s future is unclear, and he may even be released.

This is just Medeiros’ second fight at 170 lbs., so the field is still wide open for him. If he absolutely mauls Silva and proves this as his opportune weight class, he could receive a big jump in competition for his next bout.

On the other hand, a loss lowers expectations. Medeiros is definitely a fun fighter, but he cannot afford to lose fights like this if he aspires to climb the ranks in a deep division like Welterweight.

At UFC 212, Erick Silva and Yancy Medeiros will open the main card with a firefight. Who will remain standing when the dust settles?

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