My review of UFC on FX 5, which was a rather quick night of fights.
Antonio Silva def. Travis Browne: For some reason Silva was the underdog, even though he’s fought and beaten better competition. I guess he took offense to that because he added an extra tattoo to Browne’s face in this one. In fairness to Browne, he blew out his knee on the first kick he threw, but that doesn’t excuse him from showing no striking defense against the huge hands of Silva. Browne tried to use his speed to his advantage, but Silva has clearly been working on keeping his hands up, especially against overhand rights, and was able to thwart the attacks. Eventually Silva ended the fight with a big uppercut followed by an overhand right that ended Browne’s night. I don’t know what people saw in Browne. He moves well for a heavyweight and I guess because he can throw spinning back kicks that makes him different, but until you’ve beaten or fought legit competition, I have a hard time favoring you at heavyweight. Maybe the knee issue was the reason Browne lost and he’ll come back with a vengeance, but until then he’s just another mediocre heavyweight who will sometimes deliver and quick KO and other times put on a stinker. As for Silva, beating Browne doesn’t mean a lot to me, but it was a much needed win and, as mentioned, his defense looked improved. I still think he struggles against the top guys, but I see no reason why he couldn’t beat a guy like Stefan Struve.
Jake Ellenberger def. Jay Hieron This was not your typical Ellenberger fight. He was a lot more reserved and it made for a pretty lackluster contest. Both guys just kind of threw punches, a lot of them missed, Ellenberger got a takedown or two, and that’s about it. Ellenberger landed the cleaner and harder shots, but they were few and far between. Neither fighter really did themselves any favors in this fight, but Ellenberger got the victory, so at least he moves up a bit. Hieron is definitely a UFC-caliber fighter, especially since they let everyone in the UFC nowadays, but he’s not as great as a lot of people think he is. He’s well-rounded and will be a tough out for anyone, but he’s at the bottom of the higher level guys. This version of Ellenberger may not have been as exciting, but at least he didn’t gas himself out this time. A more composed Ellenberger might lead to extra gas left in the tank, but it could also leave a lot more fights into the hands of the judges, which is rarely a good thing. I still think Ellenberger has the talent to compete with and beat a lot of guys at welterweight though.
John Dodson def. Jussier Da Silva: This wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but the finish was pretty spectacular. Both guys didn’t do a whole lot in the first round, but in the second Dodson started to find a home for his left hand. He dropped Da Silva once, failed to finish, but when he dropped him again, he put him away. With this win, Dodson is now the number one contender for the flyweight title. Dodson vs. Demetrious Johnson will definitely be a fast paced fight, and while Dodson has a clear power advantage, Johnson still has his speed and continues to improve every time he’s in the cage. It should be a great fight and while it’s not a PPV headliner, because it would absolutely bomb, it’s still a great co-main event for another title fight. Da Silva was better than he showed in this fight. We’ll just blame it on the OCTAGON JITTERS. He’s still one of the more talented flyweights out there and I expect a better performance from him the next time he fights.
Justin Edwards def. Josh Neer: After a promising start to his return, Neer now faces unemployment. In this fight, he shot in for a sloppy takedown, got caught in a guillotine, and went out cold. This fight really says a lot about where Neer is, because Edwards is a mediocre fighter at best. I give Edwards a lot of credit for jumping on that guillotine and not letting go, but Neer is clearly past it and made a mistake that no veteran should make. Maybe Neer’s ties with the Diaz brothers keeps him around for one more fight, but he’s been finished in his last two and is 2-4 in his last six UFC fights. So even if he sticks around, don’t expect to see him on the main card again. This is by far the biggest win of Edwards’ career and we’ll see if he can build off it. He’s a guy who comes to fight and is talented on the ground, but it’ll definitely be an uphill battle for him.