After last week's Fuel TV card, UFC returns to prime time on FX this weekend with a huge card, literally and figuratively, headlined by Travis Browne and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
Browne is slowly creeping up the heavyweight rankings in UFC. He has a 13-0-1 career record (4-0-1 in UFC). This will be the biggest challenge of his career, but he has a great equalizer with true knockout power in his strikes.
Silva is trying to do two things with this fight. First, he is trying to end a two-fight losing streak dating back to his last bout in Strikeforce against Daniel Cormier in the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Second, he wants to wash away the memory that fans have of the bloody pool that Cain Velasquez left him lying in at UFC 146 in May.
Where: Target Center in Minneapolis
When: Friday, Oct. 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Watch: Main card starts at 8:00 p.m. ET on FX; prelims air on Fuel at 5:00 p.m. ET; Facebook fights start at 4:15 p.m. ET
|UFC ON FX 5 FIGHT CARD|
|Heavyweight Bout: Travis Browne vs. Antonio Silva|
|Welterweight Bout: Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron|
|Flyweight Bout: John Dodson vs. Jussier de Silva|
|Welterweight Bout: Justin Edwards vs. Josh Neer|
|Lightweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens vs. Yves Edwards*|
|Lightweight Bout: Michael Johnson vs. Danny Castillo*|
|Lightweight Bout: Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares*|
|Lightweight Bout: Jacob Volkman vs. Shane Roller*|
|Featherweight Bout: Bart Palaszewski vs. Diego Nunes*|
|Flyweight Bout: Darren Uyenoyama vs. Phil Harris*|
|Lightweight Bout: Marcus LeVesseur vs. Carlo Prater**|
|Welterweight Bout: Aaron Simpson vs. Mike Pierce**|
*Indicates Fuel Preliminary Fight
**Indicates Facebook Preliminary Fight
Browne's Keys to Victory: Keep Fight Standing; Punch the Bigfoot Down
As mentioned before, Browne's best asset is his knockout power. He wants to keep this fight standing so he has a chance to use it, as going to the ground will just play right into what Silva wants.
If Browne is able to get Silva out of his comfort zone and stay away from clinches, this fight could end up looking a lot like Silva's last two bouts. Browne can't afford to take the fight down to the mat.
Silva's Keys to Victory: Get the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai Working
Silva does not have as much raw power as his huge frame would suggest. He can knock people out standing, but he is at his best when he is locking opponents up and controlling things on the ground.
We saw what he was able to do against Fedor Emelianenko on the ground. That is about as good as Silva can get. He just needs to find the right way to get back to that since it has been gone his last two fights.
Undercard Fight to Watch: Jeremy Stephens vs. Yves Edwards
This fight isn't going to do anything for the lightweight title picture, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't provide great theater.
Stephens is the rare lightweight fighter with serious power in his striking. He uses a precise, quick attack to dismantle his opponents, slowly grinding them down before going for the knockout.
Edwards is a grizzled veteran who has been around the block more than once. He uses an eclectic arsenal to wear his opponents down, which could ultimately be too much for Stephens to handle.
I like the dichotomy between Browne and Silva. I think Bigfoot is a more well-rounded fighter than Browne, though Browne has the power you need to succeed in the heavyweight division. This could be a bloody mess before it is over.
Browne wins via second-round TKO