Posted 05/12/2014 by Mike Fagan in Untethered MMA

UFC Fight Night 40: Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva Review

The UFC returned to Cincinnati with a successful if slow-paced Fight Night event. Let’s get on with it.


Matt Brown pushed his improbable win streak to seven with an exciting win over Erick Silva, another opponent who seemed to have more talent on paper. Silva hurt Brown early with a body shot which led to back control on the ground. A rear-naked choke attempt didn’t get fully under Brown’s chin, though Brown seemed in some danger of tapping to a crank. He didn’t, escaped instead, and the fight changed on a dime.

Silva looked mentally defeated in his inability to finish or physically exhausted from his efforts with the choke or a combination of both. Brown capitalized as Brown does, pushing forward with constant pressure and throwing damaging elbows and knees inside. Silva proved game, at least in the sense of not giving in, and even landed a couple more shots to the body that visibly had Brown wincing.

By the middle of round two, however, the finish was more a matter of when, not if. Brown’s gas tank is always impressive, and it proved even more so considering the early damage to the body. He landed 40 significant strikes in round one, despite Silva’s dominance in the first half of that round, followed that up with 54 significant strikes in round two, and accumulated 24 in the first 131 seconds of round three before referee Herb Dean stepped in to save a fetal-positioned Silva.

Brown demanded a title shot in his post-fight interview, and while the idea of Brown vs. Johny Hendricks makes the lizard brain tingle, our prospective title challenger has still yet to defeat a fighter in the top ten, let alone of the monsters ahead of him in the number-seven spot in the rankings.

And he needs to beat one of those guys first, because I’m still not buying Matt Brown as a legit title contender. He’s a good action fighter who has feasted on fighters with limited skills or obvious deficiencies. We knew Silva, for instance, was a bit of a head case. Talented, athletic, but with a propensity to take a proverbial dump on your grandma’s material rug. Mike Swick was one fight removed from a thirty-month layoff, and hasn’t fought since Brown tarred him. Jordan Mein is young; Mike Pyle is old; and Luis Ramos, Stephen Thompson, and Chris Cope unproven against anyone above Brown’s stature.

So before we start talking about Brown fighting for a title, how about we throw him in with…well, anyone ahead of him in the rankings. We can even do it lottery style with a press conference and ping pong balls.


Imagine a swiftly moving baseball game. Mark Buehrle’s probably involved. Imagine the TV producers were not happy that this game was moving so swiftly because of overruns or some shit, so they sent a message down to the umpires on the field: stretch out the time between half-innings. No one would put up with this. Baseball is already too long with games routinely clocking past the three-hour mark.

Yet, the UFC gets away with this all the time. Saturday’s card featured an unnecessary thirteen fights, and the first prelim got underway at 6:30 p.m. ET. Despite a split of six first-round finishes and six decisions, the main event didn’t get underway 12:30 a.m. ET. It was approaching 1 a.m. ET by the time the broadcast wrapped up with the post-fight shenanigans.

Dana White loves to boast about these “free” cards, which are anything but free. There are the obvious expenses for your cable package (which probably doesn’t even include Fox Sports 2) and Fight Pass, but there’s also the cost of sitting in front of your TV for seven hours for roughly two hours of actual action. That leaves five hours for Harley-Davidson is so American and patriotic and a death trap, KFC Double Down heart attack sandwich, and buy the next UFC PPV ads on loop.


-Greg Insco may be the greatest UFC fan of all time, and he may have surpassed “Just Bleed” guy for greatest UFC crowd GIF of all time.

-Erick Silva wasn’t the only former prospect to take a loss Saturday. Both Lorenz Larkin (27) and Erik Koch (25) suffered knockout losses. Larkin’s lost three out of his last four after beating Robbie Lawler, and Koch is now 1-1 since his move to lightweight.

-The event sold 6,103 tickets for a gate of $415,000. That’s not great.

Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. Follow him on Twitter


Mike Fagan