Preview by Anthony Springer Jr.
For the second time in as many weeks, the UFC returns to cable television with a free show. UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot lacks big name pay-per-view draws (but Browne vs. Bigfoot is a pretty cool headlining name), but more than makes up for that with quality match ups. If your first reaction to Travis Browne vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva is “Who the hell are Travis Browne and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva?” you’re probably not alone. I’ve used this boxing analogy before and it’s fitting again. If you really follow boxing (and many of you do since you follow FightNews) and you’ve gotten super excited about a card that didn’t feature a big name because you knew the fighters delivered, but all your friends looked at you like you had an extra forehead because it wasn’t Pacquiao or Mayweather – this is one of those mixed martial arts cards.
And it’s free? Let’s take a look at the main card matchups.
Travis Browne vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
With a win over the legendary Fedor on his resume, Antonio Silva would be the odds on favorite to win this fight – under normal circumstances. Silva’s ground game and massive frame is enough to give any fighter fits, but he’s had trouble getting bouts to the ground lately. In his final bout in Strikeforce, Daniel Cormier made “Bigfoot” look like a flat footed amateur, throttling the giant en route to a first round KO. That loss was followed by a UFC 146 mauling at the hands of Cain Velasquez that would’ve made any scene from the Silence of the Lambs franchise look like a Disney film. Browne is a heavy hitter and brings nine knockout wins to the fist fight. Browne will likely ride the Cormier blueprint to a victory.
Browne via first round knockout.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron
Much is made over fighters who have history fighting a second time. Hieron owns a victory over Ellenberger in the now-defunct International Fight League, the first blemish on the “Juggernaut’s” record. Hieron built up a nice head of steam, compiling a 16-3 record since his last stint in the Octagon. The “Thoroughbred” also got an up close and personal look at Ellenberger when he cornered and coached teammate Martin Kampmann to a knockout victory in June. The math behind this one is very simple: this is Ellenberger’s fight to lose. Hieron, like Kampmann, is a sharp shooter and will rely on some technical striking to keep the University of Nebraska alum at bay. Ellenberger’s gas tank is suspect and if Hieron can ride out the initial bull rush, he should cruise to victory. Unlike Kampmann, however, Hieron may not have the chin to hold up to the onslaught of punishment his teammate faced in the opening round. Odds are that Ellenberger will land something while he’s fresh – and that’ll likely be all he needs.
Ellenberger by TKO or KO, round one with the caveat that Hieron’s chances of victory go up exponentially as the clock winds.
John Dodson vs. Jussier da Silva
In a sport that needs more draws, there may be no brighter prospect than Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson. If there were rankings for personalities, Dodson would easily be in the sport’s top 5. During a Q&A session before his December, 2011 win over TJ Dillashaw in the TUF finale, I asked Dodson if there were any advantages to being the shorter fighter. His response: “My size works for me every time I give a tall girl a hug.” Outside of the personality, he can fight. And he hits. Hard. Da Silva boasts an amazing submission game, but the athleticism and punching power will allow the 5’3 fighter to dictate where the fight goes. Dodson should win this, setting up a fight with current flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson sometime next year.
Dodson via decision.
Justin Edwards vs. Josh Neer
All but one of Edward’s seven wins is by finish but all but four of Neer’s 33 victories are by stoppage. Despite a 7-2 mark, Edwards has struggled going 1-2 in the UFC. Both men are coming off recent defeats, but the experience of Neer will trump the youth of his opponent.
Neer via first round TKO.
. . .
Coming up next: UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot is live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN on Friday, Oct. 5. Click here for more info