Following an otherwise lackluster start to the main card of UFC Fight Night 29, welterweight contenders Erick Silva and Dong Hyun Kim put on an incredible fight with an ending that was as dramatic as they come.
Silva landed at will early, while Kim missed badly on several ill-advised spinning back elbows. But the Brazilian was taken down, and Kim managed to keep him there the rest of the first round.
The second round, however, was all Silva. That is, until the moment when the fight ended.
Silva battered Kim early, and a knockout seemed imminent. As he moved in for the kill, though, Kim slipped a strike and landed a brutal shot. Silva crumbled to the mat, and the fight was over in dramatic fashion.
Here's what we learned from the contest:
What We'll Remember About This Fight:
That comeback knockout. Kim was on the brink of getting stopped and was fading fast. That very well could've been the last chance for Kim to salvage the contest, and that's exactly what he did. Sign the Knockout of the Night check, Dana. Might as well sign the Fight of the Night checks as well.
What We Learned About Dong Hyun Kim
This fight appeared all but over for Kim. Silva was landing with ease, and the Brazilian appeared heavily fatigued. But Kim, who was tiring fast himself, displayed just how much of a threat he is at all times. Unfortunately, the larger sample size displays that his striking needs work. His only striking offense on the feet came with that crushing blow, and he'll need to improve in the stand-up if he wants to continue his climb.
What We Learned About Erick Silva
Silva could be a champion one day, or he could be the next Josh Grispi. Every time he seems to break through into contention, Silva gets smothered by a wrestler or—even worse—knocked out by one. The Brazilian has huge potential, and he is a very dangerous striker. We've known that for some time. But we've learned he has further adjustments to make before we can consider him a legitimate title threat.
What's Next For Dong Hyun Kim
The main event of UFC Fight Night 29 features Jake Shields and Demian Maia, and the winner of this fight could be the next top contender. But the winner would also be perfect for Kim. Maia defeated Kim via TKO (injury) a year ago, leaving them with some unfinished business. But if the UFC looks to go a different route, the winner of Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard at UFC 166 would be a nice matchup.
What's Next For Erick Silva
Silva is a tough fighter to place, considering that fight against Kim very well could've gone his way if that single punch hadn't landed. Tarec Saffiedine would be an interesting matchup if the former Strikeforce champ could ever get healthy, while Silva could also face the loser of Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley, assuming that fighter isn't released following UFC 167.