UFC Fight Night 40 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Brown vs. Silva
There were no title fights on the UFC Fight Night 40 card, which went down Saturday night from Cincinnati. No top-contender bouts, either, for that matter. But what this card did deliver was a deep slate of eager and finish-happy fighters trying to translate good fortune into a roll, a rolls into a trend or a trend into a habit.
Matt Brown has of late been knocking them down as fast as the UFC can set them up (and as his body will allow), yet still found himself Saturday in the underdog's role. Erick Silva, once a presumed welterweight title challenger, has struggled to put it all together, belly-flopping into the nearest frigid pool any time he builds up any sign of heat.
In the co-main event, two middleweights continued their own quests for consistency. Costas Philippou reached elite status last year but was humbled twice on arrival. Lorenz Larkin, for all his talent, has not gained his footing since switching to the UFC from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion.
Plenty of underdogs, up-and-comers and fan favorites were laced throughout this six-hour, 13-fight affair, and the opportunities were plenty.
Who took advantage? Who was beaten back to the drawing board? The final stat lines only reveal so much. Here are the real winners and losers on the evening, from Fight Pass to finale.
Of the 13 fights on the UFC Fight Night 40 card, eight ended in favor of the lesser-regarded man.
At the top of that list is one Matt Brown. You remember him. From the intro slide? He defeated Erick Silva by TKO in the third round, and we'll get to that momentarily.
But first, follow me to the undercard, where Johnny Eduardo's knockout of Eddie Wineland was, according to at least one betting site, a record-setting giant-slaying.
That was one of three upsets on the seven-fight undercard. In the other two, Zak Cummings handed Nova Uniao jiu-jitsu ace Yan Cabral his first pro MMA loss and Ed Herman out-sludged Rafael Natal.
On the main card, Chris Cariaso edged young buck Louis Smolka by split decision, Neil Magny used his reach and wrestling to neutralize Tim Means and Daron Cruickshank once again put that signature high kick on his opponent's ear, rocking Erik Koch for a surprising TKO.
We also had a stunner in the co-main when Philippou knocked out Larkin in the opening round. We'll cover that one, too. But now, concerning that main event...
Winner: Matt Brown
People knew Matt Brown was tough. They knew he had finishing power. They knew he could beat Erick Silva, odds or no odds. But I don't know that anyone knew this masterpiece was coming.
Wild hyperbole is a common symptom in the moments immediately following a fight card, but it feels reasonably safe to assert that Brown and Silva waged a bona fide Fight of the Year at UFC Fight Night 40.
In the first round, an evil body shot from Silva put Brown on the mat, and the follow-up seemed an instant away from ending the proceedings. But Brown battled back. He landed uppercuts and knees from the clinch. He threw Silva to the mat. He pursued his foe across the cage.
Silva absorbed it all, through the first, through the second and into the third. In fact, both men took punishment that probably would have polished off a normal UFC fighter several times over.
Since February 2012, Brown has six consecutive wins. Five of them came by knockout. He had a date with perennial contender Carlos Condit last winter, but Brown's herniated discs prevented it. After Saturday's fight, Brown asked the arena, "Who do you want to get that next title shot?"
You know how Brown's hometown Cincinnati crowd reacted. And you know what else? It's hard to argue right now.
Winner: Erick Silva
Silva mounted plenty of his own offense, both on his feet and on the ground. He had Brown in trouble more than once. Those body kicks just about did the trick on the UFC's toughest welterweight.
However, the story of Silva's performance and perhaps this entire fight was the great spirit Silva showed in defense. He took enough punishment for a few average lifetimes.
Unfortunately Silva had to be removed from the cage on a stretcher. According to tweeted reports from cageside, Silva put up a fist as he was wheeled out. Hopefully that's a good sign, and hopefully he's OK.
It feels strange to call him a "winner" under those circumstances, but I do so out of respect for his courage and his toughness. He deserves a chance to return to the cage and ply his trade again at the highest level. Here's hoping he has that opportunity, and that he can do so at full health and without major time away. One can only hope.
Remaining crowded claps as he's lifted out of cage while this remix of Happy plays when it needs to not be. He held up a fist on way out.— Huge Mantis (@HugeMantis) May 11, 2014
Winner: Costas Philippou
Looks like Costas got his groove back.
By his own admission, Philippou had not looked great of late. After dropping a sludge fest to Francis Carmont, he fell to a Luke Rockhold liver kick.
But with his TKO win over Larkin Saturday night, Philippou reminded everyone that he's still a bull in the 185-pound division. As cliche as it sounds, he himself is at the top of the list of people who needed reminding.
"I lost, but I turned it around," Philippou told broadcaster Jon Anik in the cage immediately after the fight. "As soon as we started exchanging, he caught me with a couple of shots. But what I lost, I found tonight...I was doubting myself last time. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep fighting, and it showed. But the UFC gave me another shot."
Awwww. That is so nice!
Loser: Lorenz Larkin
It wasn't Larkin's fault, per se. Some of his early shots on Philippou were audible to the television audience.
But he back-pedaled, allowing Philippou to cut off the cage, and that was the beginning of the end. It gave Philippou good position for a big left hook, and then it was a right that finished the job.
Larkin is a very good fighter, but he is now 1-3 in the UFC Octagon (he's 14-3-1 overall). Maybe it's not over yet for "Monsoon," but it might be getting there.
Winner: Darrell Montague
But wait a minute, you ask. Kyoji Horiguchi dominated that fight! In only his second UFC bout and first as a flyweight, the 23-year-old Japanese prospect showed firepower beyond his weight class and speed to burn in completely outclassing a well-regarded fighter in Darrell Montague. So why does Montague have his hands up in this picture? Why is he being called a winner? What kind of Shakespearean tragedy is this?
Horiguchi is big brothering Montague like he stole the remote and won't give it back— Duane Finley (@DuaneFinleyMMA) May 11, 2014
Simmer down, is how I respond to these inquiries. Simmer down now. Montague is a winner because, like Silva later that night, he displayed admirable toughness in defeat, and us viewers were enriched by the effort.
After a massive pummeling in the second, Montague literally stumbled back to his corner, leaning on the top of the cage for support. It was bad enough that Montague's corner might have been justified in throwing in the towel, which is a perfectly appropriate and respectable thing to do in some cases. It should probably be done more.
But not here. Montague never stopped intelligently defending himself, as the saying goes, throughout the 15 minutes. The 26-year-old is now 0-2 in the UFC. But if you're at that point and you want to secure yourself a third chance with the action-happy Zuffa brass, you want to go out on your shield. That's what Montague did Saturday night.
Montague is tough as nails #UFCFightNight— Phillip zamora (@Diehardmma) May 11, 2014
Loser: Eddie Wineland
When the UFC announced Wineland would appear on the prelim card—and the deeper, darker end of the prelim card at that—fans and pundits rushed to his defense.
He deserved better, went the argument. Eduardo was a duck on the metaphorical pond. If Wineland paid attention to even an iota of the talk, it probably made him feel pretty good.
The great expectations—assumptions, if you like—followed Wineland into the cage, but they didn't follow him out. Despite being a -900 favorite on some betting sites, Wineland was knocked out by Eduardo in the first round.
Credit certainly goes to Eduardo, a fantastic stand-up fighter who proved hard to hit and powerful in his punches, despite a two-year injury layoff. But Wineland deserves some blame as well. He showed his usual crisp movement, but tempted fate with low hands and a salient chin. Eduardo cashed in with a couple of pinpoint right hooks.
Fans expected the UFC to give some higher billing to a guy who fought for the title less than a year ago. Wineland didn't follow through on his end of the equation.
Full Card Results
Matt Brown def. Erick Silva by TKO, 2:11, Rd. 3
Costas Philippou def. Lorenz Larkin by KO, 3:27, Rd. 1
Daron Cruickshank def. Erik Koch by TKO, 3:21, Rd. 1
Neil Magny def. Tim Means by unanimous decision
Soa Palelei def. Ruan Potts by KO, 2:20, Rd. 1
Chris Cariaso def. Louis Smolka by split decision
Ed Herman def. Rafael Natal by unanimous decision
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrell Montague by unanimous decision
Zak Cummings def. Yan Cabral by unanimous decision
Johnny Eduardo def. Eddie Wineland by TKO, 4:37, Rd. 1
Nik Lentz def. Manny Gamburyan by unanimous decision
Justin Salas def. Ben Wall by KO, 2:41, Rd. 1
Albert Tumenov def. Anthony Lapsley by KO, 3:56, Rd. 1
Scott Harris covers MMA and other things for Bleacher Report and other places. For more MMA nonsense, follow Scott on Twitter.