Travis "Hapa" Browne has been on a tear since his Octagon debut back at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale. Since then he has won all his bouts, with the exception of a draw against Cheick Kongo.
Hapa has looked better and better in each of his fights, and the UFC has acknowledged that by giving him an elite opponent in the main event of the coming FX card.
Browne faces a high-level opponent in Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. But if Browne wins this bout convincingly, just how far is he from title contention and a possible shot at champion Junior dos Santos? And if he were to be granted a shot against JDS in the near future, does he possess a legitimate threat?
Yes and no.
At this point in time, I believe Browne isn't quite ready for the power and skill the champion brings to the table. Don't get me wrong, Browne has power and skill as well, but he needs more time to develop it.
If he defeats Silva in their main event bout, I would give him maybe one or two more fights against perennial heavyweight contenders. If he wins those fights, then I would give him a title shot, assuming JDS is still champion at that point.
Browne is a great fighter at the moment, and a win against Silva, plus some extra added time to hone his ever-improving skill set, will put him in an excellent position should the bout with JDS ever become a reality.
Browne is an extremely well-rounded fighter who moves well for a big man and also uses creativity and all the weapons he has at his ever-expanding disposal.
If he get's his Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling on par with his striking, and adds a few more big-name wins, Hapa will definitely be a big threat to the heavyweight champion.
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