FIGHT BLOG RECAP: Matt Brown destroys Erick Silva in classic comeback
May 10, 2014 at 10:00a ET
Matt Brown put on an all-time classic performance in front of his hometown fans.
Brown came back from nearly being finished in the opening moments of the first round to finish Erick Silva via TKO at 2:11 of the first Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati.
Silva hurt Brown badly with a liver kick early on and got his back on the ground, threatening with a neck crank. Somehow, Brown got out of it, came back and destroyed Silva for the next two rounds.
At the end, Brown was on top raining down ground and pound with Silva's face bloodied. Referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the action.
And there was nothing but action in the bout. The first round was one of the best in UFC history and the entire thing was a clear Fight of the Year candidate.
In the co-main event, Costas Philippou crushed Lorenz Larkin with a first-round knockout on a card with seven total knockouts. Daron Cruickshank also won via KO after a head kick of Erik Koch and some ground and pound.
Incredible night of fights.
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1)
Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva
Welp, this should be fun. These guys just don't have boring fights.
Referee for this welterweight bout is Herb Dean.
Silva goes for a head kick immediately. Brown blocked. The two go to the ground. This is a brawl already.
Silva wobbles Brown with a body kick and a punch.
Silva swarming! Brown is hanging in. That body kick crushed him.
Now Silva has his back. Brown is in a whole bunch of trouble.
Silva looking for a rear naked choke or a neck crank. There's still a lot of time left in the round. The crowd is trying to get behind Brown.
Brown spins out. And he's up. The crowd goes nuts.
Brown comes afer Silva now. He's delivering punches and knees! Silva is hurt. Elbows!
This round is nuts!
Brown with a foot sweep. Silv a is turtled. Knees from Brown. Brown is ragdolling him.
Silva looks exhausted or hurt. Or both.
Big combinations from Brown. Silva is barely standing. And now Brown takes him down. Crowd is going wild. That's how the round ends.
10-9 Brown -- The Ohio native was dead to rights -- hurt with Silva on his back looking for a choke. Somehow he performed a Hulk Hogan-like comeback and had Silva reeling the latter part of the round. One of the best rounds ever. Amazing.
All action from the start. Brown attacks with punches and knees.
Silva comes back and hurts Brown with a body kick. Brown responds with more offense.
This is wild and crazy stuff, guys.
Brown is teeing off on Silva's face with punches and elbows. Knees, too. Silva is a tough SOB.
Silva is moving very, very slowly. He's getting lit up.
Silva goes to the body and Brown looks hurt.
Brown takes him down and is mashing him in a sort of mounted crucifix.
Inverted triangle? Brown is going for an inverted triangle. Also beating on Silva's head. Non-stop action.
Brown looking for a choke. He's in mount and raining down punches.
Can Silva survive?
Armbar attempt and Silva is on top. Triangle by Brown. He has it in nicely!
Silva is out. Holy wow. Silva is on top. That is how this round ends. Unreal.
10-9 Brown -- Brown destroys Silva with a ton of offense and almost finishes on the ground. Silva is hurt and tired, but hanging in and actually hurt Brown twice to the body. Madness in Cincinnati.
Brown is throwing everything at Silva and Silva is eating it.
Brown takes him down and is in guard. Ground and pound. Big elbows!
Silva is gushing blood. This is close to being over.
That's it! Brown by TKO!!
Official result: Matt Brown def. Erick Silva by TKO at 2:11 of the third round
Analysis: Absolutely classic fight. This will be a Fight of the Year candidate for sure. Brown was dead to rights early in the first round only to come back and dominate Silva. This puts Brown up there among the welterweight elite if he wasn't there already. And it does nothing to drop Silva's stock.
Costas Philippou vs. Lorenz Larkin
Keith Peterson is the ref and he better pay attention, because these two are throwing.
Winner regains some relevancy in the middleweight division.
Philippou throwing more leg kicks than we're used to seeing. More versatility. That's necessary.
Philippou crushes Larkin with a right, but Larkin fires back with a combination.
Philippou hits Larkin again up against the cage. They're clinched now. Larkin lands a nice elbow on the separation.
Philippou just put Larkin to sleep. Combination and a right hand did it. Goodnight. Wow.
Official result: Costas Philippou def. Lorenz Larkin at 3:47 of the first round
Analysis: People forget that Philippou was a top-10 middleweight there for awhile. It's because of stuff like this. He still holds crazy power in his hands. And in this fight, he showed off more versatility. He's a boxer by trade, but he kicked more than ever in the first round. Larkin has now lost two in a row and you have to wonder where he goes from here at middleweight.
Erik Koch vs. Daron Cruickshank
This has all the makings of Fight of the Night. Both guys are extremely exciting. And not knock dudes out.
Referee for the lightweight bout is Gary Copeland.
Both men land body kicks. Cruickshank is super active. Always moving.
Cruickshank almost took Koch's head off. Koch looked to be out, but Copeland let it go.
Not anymore! Cruickshank finishes with ground and pound. Wow. That head kick was insane.
Really late stoppage by Copeland. Cruickshank, though, is a savage. And he celebrated with a backflip.
Official result: Daron Cruickshank def. Erik Koch by TKO at 3:21 of the first round.
Analysis: This was clearly the biggest win of Cruickshank's career and he has a knack for the spectacular. Expect to see the 28-year-old in big fights in the future. Put him against a striker and fireworks are almost guaranteed. This was a tough loss for Koch, who was moving up to 155. He has lost three of four, but is still only 25.
Jerry Kryz is your referee. Whoever that is.
Means is trying to cut off the cage. Magny is playing defense.
Magny takes Means down with a body lock. That doesn't last long. Means is up.
Means with a spinning back fist. It lands.
Magny nails Means with a left hand and Means is down. Wild sequence.
The round ends with them against the cage.
10-9 Magny -- He dropped Means with a punch and had a takedown. That's it, but that was enough.
Very similar start to this round. Means talking. Magny backpedaling.
Means hits an elbow.
Did Means just try to drive his knees into Magny's calves on the ground? Weird.
Means roughing Magny up and Magny has turtled up. Nearly finished, but he's OK now.
Both men are back standing. That was a very strange exchange. Means has some weird offense.
Magny slams Means down. But Means gets back up.
10-9 Means -- I give him this round for the calf stomps alone. Just kidding. Means almost finished Magny in the second. This an odd, awkward fight.
Big knee to the body crumples Magny. It looked like Means thought it was over. He stopped attacking against the cage. Why? He had Magny dead to rights.
Means takes Magny to the ground using a ninja choke. We're seeing a lot of those tonight.
Magny with a trip takedown and he's in side control. Means is getting back up again, though.
Magny gets Means down again. He's in back mount. Has the hooks in. Magny dropping some punches. He's keeping position nicely. Means achieves half guard.
That's it. Fight over. Nice rally there at the end by Magny. Super close round.
10-9 Magny, 29-28 Magny -- He was hurt early in the round with a knee to the body, but Magney came back and controlled almost the rest of the round. He had Means in big trouble on the ground, transitioning from the back to the mount. But it was close.
Official result: Neil Magney def. Tim Means by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Analysis: Magny has won two in a row in the UFC now. He's not close to the top 15 in the welterweight division, but he's only 26. He could get there if he continues to improve. This was Means' UFC debut. He performed fairly well and it'll be interesting to see if the 30-year-old can put together a few wins in the organization.
Potts, a South African, is making his UFC debut. Palelei is 2-0 in the UFC so far.
Keith Peterson is the referee for this heavyweight fight.
Palelei shoots in for a takedown and gets it. He's in side control.
Potts counters into a choke, but Palelei is fine. Potts also goes for a guillotine. No dice there either. Palelei is on top, which is exactly where Potts does not want him.
Potts still working for submissions, which is good.
Palelei just dropped a serious bomb on Potts from mount and this one is over. Goodness. What kind of power is that? Scary stuff.
Official result: Soa Palelei def. Ruan Potts by knockout at 2:20 of the first round
Analysis: Palelei has won 11 in a row, including three in the UFC. It might be time to elevate his competition level. There's a dearth of elite heavyweights right now. I'm not sure if Palelei will get there and he's 36. But there's only one way to find out. Potts didn't look bad in the short time he was in there, but he's going to need to show a better chin that that if he wants to stay in the UFC's heavyweight division. Those guys crack.
Smolka is a big-time flyweight prospect. Cariaso isn't too bad either.
Herb Dean is your referee.
Smolka has a big size and reach advantage. He's not really utilizing it, pushing Cariaso up against the cage. Smolka might have position, but he can't do anything dynamic in close quarters like this. Favors Cariaso.
Smolka has not been able to use his range at all. Cariaso is getting inside nicely. Neither guy has really done any damage though.
Smolka looking for a takedown, doesn't get it. Cariaso goes for a ninja choke, but doesn't get it. Smolka is out and the two end the round swinging away.
10-9 Smolka -- Yeah, he won the round, but didn't do anything too impressively. Cariaso was able to hold onto a clnch, negating Smolka's reach advantage. But Smolka held better position the whole way.
Cariaso gets Smolka down and takes his back. Smolka slips out the back door and now he's on top. The crowd isn't into this fight and it's easy to see why. It had all the makings of an exciting bout, but that hasn't happened.
Cariaso goes belly down for an armbar. Smolka counters. They're both up in a clinch.
Cariaso gets a takedown from the clinch with a trip. He's in Smolka's guard. He's also winning this round as of now.
Smolka makes it back to his feet, but not before eating a knee to the body.
Cariaso snaps Smolka's head back with a punch. Smolka rushes in and takes another right hand.
Now, Smolka lands a takedown, which is huge for him right now. I stand corrected. Cariaso has a ninja choke and Smolka is saved by the bell.
10-9 Cariaso -- Clear, clear round by Cariaso. He threatened with two different submissions and held top control. He also landed two takedowns. He's fighting a smart, more veteran fight.
Cariaso getting inside again and landing combinations. Smolka doesn't look like he has an adjustment ready.
Smolka gets a takedown. Cariaso looking for an omaplata, Smolka jumps to mount and drops some ground and pound. Huge sequence from Smolka in this chess match.
They're both up. Smolka tries a Thai clinch. Nothing really doing there.
Smolka landing some knees in the clinch. Smolka throws Cariaso, but Cariaso counters. They're both back up.
Cariaso lands a combination. This will be very hard to score.
Big leg kick by Cariaso drops Smolka. Cariaso is crushing Smolka's lead leg. This is a great round in what has been a so-so fight.
Cariaso takes Smolka down. Smolka is up. Another choke attempt by Cariaso.
Whew. Who won that fight? That was close.
10-9 Cariaso, 29-28 Cariaso -- Smolka certainly had his moments in the third round, but Cariaso did everything better throughout the fight. When the two were standing in the third, Cariaso landed more punches and kicks. He did more damage. He was simply more effective.
Official result: Chris Cariaso def. Louis Smolka by split decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28)
Analysis: Smolka's prospect status is derailed a little bit. Cariaso isn't very highly touted, though this is his third straight win. And any time you win three straight at 125, you're close to a title shot. So take that for what it's worth. Cariaso was impressive, played to his strengths and fought a smart fight. His Muay Thai also looked pretty sharp.
PRELIMS (FOX Sports 2)
Rafael Natal, as you might remember, was the guy Tim Kennedy starched in front of thousands of rowdy troops at Fort Campbell last year.
Natal is abusing Herman's leg right now. And then he gets a takedown off a catched Herman kick.
Herman trying to do stuff from the bottom, but he's basically getting suffocated. Natal isn't doing a whole lot of damage, but he's holding his position strong. There's some hard punches and hammer fists.
Herman wall walks up, using the cage. Herman lands the takedown now. Natal working from guard.
Herman is dropping some huge elbows from guard now. Natal is bloodied. The round ends as Natal gets to his feet.
10-9 Herman -- Natal spent more time on top, but when Herman got himself there, he did far more damage, opening up a cut with elbows. Very close round, though. Could have gone either way.
Herman continuing his momentum, landing some punches early.
Natal wants a takedown and gets it.
The two get stood up. Natal did nothing with top position.
They clinch, essentially for the rest of the round. Herman completely blew the chance he opened up early in the round, but he still won it.
10-9 Herman -- Herman landed big punches early. Then they clinched and clinched some more. Ho hum.
Natal is juicing pretty nicely here. Blood all over his face. And it has made him fight harder. He lands a hard right on Herman's chin.
Herman with a flurry against the cage. Both guys are covered in blood. This might be thr worst bloodiest fight ever.
Front kick to the face by Natal. Anderson Silva style. Herman no-sells it.
Herman walking Natal down. Remember when Natal was landing leg kicks? Whatever happened to that?
More clinching. Lots of clinching. Did I mention they're clinching?
That's it. Mercifully.
10-9 Herman, 30-27 Herman -- Herman did stuff. Natal didn't. OK, he did hit Herman early, but "Short Fuse" controlled the cage and landed a nice flurry. Nice by this fight's standards. Thank goodness it's time for the main card.
Official result: Ed Herman def. Rafael Natal by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Analysis: Both guys are tough, hard-nosed veterans that aren't really fun to watch nor are they athletic. Herman is a little better. But he's nothing more than a low-end gatekeeper in the middleweight division.
Gary Copeland is the referee for this very interesting flyweight encounter. Both men are borderline prospects. Horiguchi is only 23.
Some nice exchanges. Horiguchi is throwing more, but not landing everything. Montague has been more efficient.
Not a ton happening in this round, which is out of character for 125-pounders. Both guys are pretty fast.
Montague gets a takedown right at the end of the round. Crowd is booking. Lots of inactivity there.
Montague 10-9 -- Pretty close, mainly because neither guy did much. Montague stayed out of Horiguch's range and countered well.
Montague has a standing arm triangle and now jumps for a guillotine. Horiguchi pops his head out. Nice exchange.
Horiguchi is playing the counter game now, landing as Montague comes in to attack. Shoe is on the other foot in this round.
Horiguchi with a huge flurry and he hurts Montague against the cage. Montague shoots for a takedown. He doesn't want to be standing up an anymore.
Horiguchi lands a knee in the clinch and it folds up Montague. Horiguchi is smashing away at Montague, who is turtled up. Horiguchi is giving him way too much time to recover.
Big slam by Horiguchi! Really fun round.
Hard left by Montague jumping in. And now he's landing punches.
Hard body kick by Horiguchi! This is going back and forth. Montague is hurt, man. Wow. This is crazy.
Montague can barely stand as the round ends! Unbelievable.
10-9 Horiguchi -- Big comeback from the first round and the first part of the second round. Montague was in a world of trouble, nearly finished late in the second. Horiguchi is a beast.
Montague looks like he's collected himself after barely making it back to his corner.
Horiguchi has Montague down and he's landing some ground and pound.
The crazy thing is this is still a fight. Montague can still win. And he lands some hard punches.
That's it. Awesome fight. Best of the night so far, no doubt.
10-9 Horiguchi, 29-28 Horiguchi -- Nice performance from a speedy, tough-as-nails prospect. Horiguchi looked a little baffled early on, but came back in a big way and nearly finished Montague on multiple occasions. Dude hits hard.
Official result: Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrell Montague by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Analysis: Horiguchi is a legitimate prospect in the flyweight division now. He needed this win to prove it. I'd really like to see him get one a top-10 guy next. At 23, he has a very bright future. Maybe he'll be on the Japan card in September. Montague is 0-2 in the UFC, but he's lost to John Dodson and Horiguchi. No shame there.
Cabral is an undefeated TUF Brazil alum. Zak Cummings is a TUF 17 alum.
Keith Peterson is the referee for this welterweight bout.
Cummings lands a counter and wobbles Cabral. They go to the mat. Cabral is super dangerous there. Not good for Cummings. He has a triangle from the bottom and he's landing some vicious elbows.
The triangle is actually opposite of how a triangle is applied, but now Cabral is switching. Cummings gets out of it. That was big. Cabral had a chance to finish there while the two weren't very sweaty.
Both guys are trying to gain an advantage in the clinch. No one gets on. But Cabral lands a takedown against the cage.
Cabral has Cummings mounted with Cummings sitting against the cage. This Cabral guy is pretty slick on the ground. The round will end with him on top.
29-28 Cabral -- Nice grappling from Cabral. Cummings had the best punch of the round early, but from there Cabral had his way on the canvas. Cummings needs to adjust his strategy a bit.
Cummings lands and throws Cabral down. He doesn't jump into his guard, smartly.
Cabral back up and Cummings is throwing bombs with some landing. This is what he needed to do all along.
Cabral goes for the takedown and instead of getting up desperately, Cummings ends up on the ground, albeit on top. He still shouldn't want to be in Cabral's guard.
Good elbow from the top by Cummings. Cummings gets up. Good idea.
Cummings lands a big combination that backs Cabral up. Cummings takes Cabral down as the round ends.
10-9 Cummings -- Cummings must have gotten some good advice in the corner, because his adjustments worked perfectly. Instead of being content to grapple and clinch, he got separation and landed some punches on the feet. He also spent some of the round in top position.
Cummings pushes Cabral against the cage. Cabral goes for two spinning back elbows. Does he think he's Jon Jones or something?
The two go to the mat and Cabral is searching for submissions. Cummings defending well. Cummings ends up in mount. Now he has his back. Could Cummings submit the Brazilian jiu-jitsu stud? He's going for a rear naked choke.
Cabral needs to bust out of this and he does. He's in side control. Cabral looking for a kimura. This is close. Cummings is holding on. And he's out. This is going to be a crazy close round.
Cummings dropping some ground and pound on him now. That might be enough to win the round. And this fight is over. Interesting little scrap there.
10-9 Cummings, 29-28 Cummings -- Cummings had mount, had Cabral's back and was working for a rear naked choke. Cabral came close to a kimura, but Cummings finished the round on top with ground and pound. That's enough for me.
Official result: Zak Cummings def. Yan Cabral by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Analysis: Cummings stays undefeated in the UFC. He's unorthodox, but a smart fighter. This was a pretty big upset. The former Team Sonnen middleweight has now won three straight and is someone to watch in the welterweight division. Cabral was hit with his first loss. He really needs to get back into the gym at Nova Uniao and drill his stand up hard.
Wineland is a former No. 1 contender and one of the most exciting guys in the bantamweight division. Johnny Eduardo is a Muay Thai master. This one is going to be fun.
Herb Dean is the referee. Wineland's tattoo game is pretty impressive.
Nice kickboxing exchanges early. Eduardo nails a nice inside leg kick. And another. Wineland is going to have to start checking those.
Wineland is stopped in his tracks by an Eduardo right hand.
Eduardo has Wineland hurt with a combination and he is out! Eduardo wins by KO. Huge upset.
It was a wide right hook that connected and sent Wineland crashing to the canvas. Dude has some really nice striking. Impressive stuff.
Official result: Johnny Eduardo def. Eddie Wineland by KO at 4:37 of the first round
Analysis: Who is Johnny Eduardo? Good question. He trains and coaches at Nova Uniao, the Brazil team that has produced both Jose Aldo and Renan Barao. He has not fought since beating Jeff Curran in 2012. And now he has defeated the No. 4 bantamweight contender in the UFC. He's 35. Is he a legit contender in the division? Could be. Wineland is still only 29 with three wins in his last five fights. He'll be fine.
EARLY PRELIMS (UFC Fight Pass)
Manny Gamburyan vs. Nik Lentz
No Ronda Rousey in Gamburyan's corner, but she is in the building.
A pair of good grapplers going at it here at featherweight.
Lentz lands a hard combination.
Lentz is grinding on Gamburyan here and Manny doesn't seem to have an answer just yet.
Looks like Lentz hit a hard knee to the groin and Gamburyan topples over. He looks hurt. Nope. It was actually a right hand below the belt. Ouch. Gamburyan will have five minutes now to recover if he needs it.
Gamburyan is back and now he's landing. Maybe all he needed was a swift punch in the you-know-what to get him into a solid rhythm. Or, you know, maybe not.
Now, Lentz gets back to being Lentz. Up against the cage. Grind, grind, grind. Landing some dirty boxing. Gamburyan looking for a kimura, but no dice. Round ends with Lentz pushing him against the cage.
29-28 Lentz -- Just a round of Lentz doing Lentz things. He spent most of the first five minutes pushing Gamburyan against the cage in a crouching position and landing some dirty boxing. A clear round for him.
Gamburyan comes out firing and lands some hard punches. Gamburyan takes Lentz down. Didn't see that coming.
Lentz sweeps and is up. Now he's back to his strategy. He has Gamburyan's back up against the cage. Leaning, grinding. Lentz fights ugly. But he is rather effective.
Lentz with a pair of nice knees to the sternum with Gamburyan in a sitting position.
Gamburyan has a nice shiner on his right eye.
Lentz finishes the round with Gamburyan pushed up against the cage.
29-28 Lentz -- Another round for Lentz. Gamburyan started out so well, but then wanted to wrestle for some inexplicable reason. That wasn't a smart choice. He played right into Lentz's game plan.
Lentz pushing forward and Gamburyan counters with some big shots. Lentz walks through them and, once again, pushes Manny against the cage. Gamburyan looking for a standing kimura. Trying to turn it into an armbar. This is a big opportunity for him here.
Nope. Lentz slips out and has Gamburyan up against the cage. Gamburyan with a switch and he's on top. Solid grappling.
The two are stood up. Way too quick there.
Lentz has Gamburyan down again and landing some forearms on the ground.
Gamburyan is punishing Lentz with elbows and punches as Lentz tries to take him down on the cage. That's the end of the round, though. And the end of the fight.
10-9 Lentz, 30-27 Lentz -- Pretty much a textbook Lentz fight. Gamburyan landed some nice combinations, but couldn't keep Lentz off him.
Official result: Nik Lentz def. Manny Gamburyan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Analysis: Lentz is just no fun to fight. He wins quite a bit -- four of his last five, by the way -- but it isn't pretty and most people don't enjoy watching his wrestling, grinding style. At 29, he remains a fringe contender at 145, but won't get a big fight, because he's not exciting. Gamburyan is little more than a gatekeeper at this point, but one that can end a fight at any moment. He just didn't get the chance here.
The UFC has added Instagram names to its graphics when fighters walk out. Now everyone is going to get hacked.
Keith Peterson is the referee in this welterweight bout.
Tumenov's left hook puts Lapsley down, but he's quickly back to his feet.
It's pretty clear Lapsley wants to wrestle and Tumenov wants to box. Tumenov controlling the cage, walking Lapsley down. Lapsley's two takedown attempts have failed.
Lapsley is shooting in for takedowns without setting anything up. Sloppy. Keep in mind he came in four pounds over weight yesterday.
Short left hand and Lapsley is out! Wow. Albert Tumenov lands three big lefts in the first round and the third one was the charm. Lapsley went to sleep.
Official result: Albert Tumenov def. Anthony Lapsley by knockout at 3:56 of the first round
Analysis: Tumenov looked pretty good and he's only 22. He lost a split decision to Ildemar Alcantara in his UFC debut in February, but many people thought he won. "Einstein" looked a class above Lapsley for sure and it's not crazy to call him an interesting prospect. You have to wonder where Lapsley goes from here after missing weight initially yesterday.
With that beard, Wall looks like he fell out of a Lord of the Rings movie.
Gary Copeland is the ref for this lightweight fight.
Salas is trying desperately to get Wall to the mat. It's not really working.
Wow, a right hook and a straight left sent Wall down to the canvas. Salas finishes on the ground. That was fast and came absolutely out of nowhere.
Wall comes to and tries to take down Copeland, pulling a Sam Stout. It gets kind of scary when that happens now.
Official result: Justin Salas def. Ben Wall by TKO at 2:41 of the first round
Analysis: Salas was going for takedowns the entire time until he absolutely flattened Wall. At 32, I have no idea where he's going in the loaded 155-pound division, but if he keeps knocking guys out like this, well, he'll be OK. Wall is now 0-2 in the UFC. His days as an Australian prospect are pretty much over, even though he's only 25.