Tomorrow night the UFC will put on their third event in three weeks as they present UFC on FX 5: Silva vs. Browne from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.
The four bout main card will be headlined by a heavyweight match-up pitting Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne. In the co-main event Jake Ellenberger will battle Jay Hieron. The last two bouts consist of a flyweight contest
featurning John Dodson and Jussier da Silva and last, but not least Josh Neer will take on Justin Edwards.
Let’s move on to my predictions.
Travis Browne vs. Antonio Silva- Heavyweights: The last time we saw Silva he was bleeding luck a stuck pig after being taken down and busted wide open by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 146. It wasn’t the impression Silva was looking to make in his UFC debut, but to be honest I fully expected him to get dominated. Silva’s biggest win came against a physically undersized and mentally beaten Fedor Emlianenko in February of 2011. He possesses good jiu-jitsu, but has a weak chin and poor wrestling.
Browne is coming off a dominating win over another undersized heavyweight in Chad Griggs at UFC 145. He knocked out Stefan Struve at UFC 130 and is 4-0-1 in the UFC. He’s got very good hands and devastating power which will be a nightmare for Silva. Bigfoot has four career losses and has been beaten by strikes on three of them. I think it’ll only be a matter of time before Browne connects with a big shot and puts the giant to sleep. Winner: Browne via 1st round TKO.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron- Welterweights: Ellenberger has heavy hands, good wrestling and excellent takedown defense. The one big hole I see in his game is his stamina as he tends to fade after starting fast. He lost to Martin Kampmann via 2nd round TKO in June after almost finishing the Dane in the first round. He mixed his strikes well as he utilizes his hands and knees to hurt his opponents.
Hieron is a what I like to call a poor man’s Jon Fitch. He basically fights the same style, but isn’t quite as good as the AKA welterweight. He’s making his UFC return after a seven year abscence and has had stops in the IFL, Strikeforce, Bellator and Legacy FC along the way. He has excellent wrestling, but Ellenberger is no slouch in that department and as long as this fight stays upright, Hieron doesn’t have much of a chance. Hieron isn’t easy to finish though so I see this one going to the judges. Winner: Ellenberger via unanimous decision.
John Dodson vs. Jussier da Silva (Formiga)- Flyweight Title Eliminator: The winner of this contest will more than likely be the first man to challenge Demetrious Johnson for the UFC Flyweight Championship he won just two weeks ago. Dodson is the bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 14, but immediately dropped down to the 125lb. division. He has a pretty good all-around game and utilizes the gameplans of coach Greg jackson to perfection.
Formiga aka da Silva was the number one ranked flyweight in the world before losing to Ian McCall February of 2011. He was undefeated before then and has won all five of his bouts since then. This will be his UFC debut and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the added pressure of a potential title shot along with the customary Octagon jitters. A member of Nova Uniao where he is a teammate of current UFC champions Renan Barao and Jose Aldo, Formiga has a very good submission game, but possesses very little power having no knockouts to his credit. I like Dodson, but my heart is telling me to go with the Brazilian. Winner: Formiga via split decision.
Josh Neer vs. Justin Edwards- Welterweights: The biggest buzz surrounding this bout is the fact that these two were placed on the main card over fights between Jeremy Stephens and Yves Edwards, Aaron Simpson vs. Mike Pierce, Michael Johnson vs. Danny Castillo and just about every other contest on this card. Neer is a veteran having fought a lot of top guys and can beat you by knockout or submission. With 45 career bouts he will definitelty have the edge in experience.
Edwards is coming off a loss to John Maguire at UFC 138 and is 1-2 with the UFC. He has a solid ground game, but if he can’t get Neer down that won’t do him any good. With just 9 career bouts at 29-years-old he isn’t considered a prospect any longer. For me it’s easier to go with the devil I know (Neer) over the devil I don’t (Edwards). Winner: Neer via 2nd round submission.Tags: antonio "bigfoot" silva, Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall, jake ellenberger, Jay Hieron, Jeremy Stephens, john dodson, Josh Neer, jussier da silva, jussier formiga, justin edwards, martin kampmann, travis browne, ufc on fx 5, Yves Edwards