Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva: Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Sean SmithAnalyst IMay 4, 2014

Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva: Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Matt Brown might be the hottest fighter in the UFC welterweight division. 

    "The Immortal" has won six in a row and will look to make it seven when he meets Erick Silva on Saturday. Brown has scored knockouts in five of his past six fights, making him a dangerous opponent for Silva, who is only one bout removed from his first career knockout loss.

    In his most recent outing, Silva bounced back against UFC newcomer Takenori Sato. It was a victory that figured to get the Brazilian back into top-15 welterweight competition, but a matchup with a fighter riding as much momentum as Brown has seemed out of reach.

    Still, UFC matchmakers liked the stylistic clash between Brown and Silva, both aggressive 170-pounders whether standing or on the ground.

    Which fighter will take a step closer to a shot at the welterweight championship? Here is a closer look at how Brown and Silva match up in all areas.

Striking

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Brown won't be labeled the most technical striker in the welterweight division, but he must be doing something right, having scored knockouts in his past four appearances.

    He probably doesn't have the power to put Silva away with one punch, but Brown doesn't give his opponents a chance to breathe inside the Octagon. When he hurts adversaries, Brown stays on them until they are finished.

    That's not something Silva has had to deal with in his seven UFC outings. Grapplers have comprised all the ranked competition the Brazilian has faced. When he did find himself in a brawl with Dong Hyun Kim, Silva ended up unconscious.

    Although he might not be the athlete Silva is, Brown has a relentless style that could overwhelm his less experienced foe on Saturday. Considering he's never been knocked out, Brown also has a chin that will allow him to get away with some mistakes.

    Edge: Brown

Takedowns

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    Though he's scored multiple UFC wins via submission, Silva has only scored two takedowns in seven Octagon appearances.

    Both of those takedowns came in a loss to Jon Fitch, who answered with six takedowns of his own against the Brazilian. Outside his matchup with Fitch, Silva has not attempted a takedown since joining the UFC roster.

    However, that could change against Brown, who has suffered nine of his 11 MMA losses via submission. Silva won't be outclassed in the striking department, but his easiest path to victory appears to be on the ground.

    With multiple takedowns against Fitch, Silva should be able to take Brown to the canvas should he choose to do so. The Immortal has been taken down at least once in nine of his 16 UFC outings.

    Although Brown has many more takedowns than Silva inside the Octagon, he's only recorded one in his past four bouts. In his past seven appearances, Brown has only scored multiple takedowns against kickboxer Stephen Thompson.

    Brown might attempt more takedowns in this matchup, but Silva should be able to shut down most of the American's attempts. It also wouldn't be surprising to see Silva test Brown's grappling.

    Edge: Silva

Grappling

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    Should Silva come in with a game plan focused on taking this fight to the ground, he could make a big statement on Saturday. The Brazilian has a clear advantage on the ground.

    Brown has been submitted nine times in 11 losses, and not all of those defeats came against top-notch grapplers. In fact, none of the fighters with submission wins over Brown are currently ranked among the Top 15 in the UFC welterweight division.

    Conversely, Silva has picked up more than half of his 16 MMA wins via submission and hasn't been forced to tap. He has a strong ground game, having submitted Jason High and Charlie Brenneman, so it's surprising he so rarely attempts takedowns inside the Octagon.

    With a smart approach, Silva could very easily take this fight to the ground and end it quickly. 

    Edge: Silva

Intangibles

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    Nine months away from competition hasn't been ideal for Brown, but he won on an equally long hiatus leading into his UFC debut in June 2008.

    More noteworthy than ring rust in this matchup should be Brown's conditioning. Despite fighting at a ridiculous pace, Brown usually has the gas to keep pressuring his opponents in the later rounds. Although he hasn't seen a fourth round in his career, Brown should have a conditioning edge over Silva.

    Since joining the UFC roster, Silva has only had one fighter enter the third round. He also hasn't won a fight that has gone past the first stanza.

    In a clash of two aggressive fighters, Brown has the ability to survive bad situations and outlast Silva this weekend.

    Edge: Brown

Prediction

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    This might be Silva's last chance to prove his potential wasn't overstated. The Brazilian entered the UFC with nine straight wins, but setbacks against Fitch and Dong Hyun Kim have suggested Silva might not possess the ability many believed he had.

    Should he come into this fight with the right game plan, Silva could catch Brown on the ground. However, Silva has shown a preference to stand in almost all his UFC outings. All his submission wins have come in matchups where his opponents attempted to bring the fight to the ground.

    If Silva stands on Saturday, Brown will thrive in a brawl. He might not have better technique or speed, but Brown was made for dogfights. He'll break Silva's will and finish the fight in the second or third round.

     

    Prediction

    Brown defeats Silva by (T)KO in the second round.