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Uncaged: Brown and Silva are unlikely headliners - but there's plenty of reason to watch Fight Night 40

Resident corner man Brian Kirk takes us inside the octagon for a look at this weekend’s Ohio card.

If Brown can beat Silva tonight, he may be hard to ignore.
If Brown can beat Silva tonight, he may be hard to ignore.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

MATT BROWN AND Erick Silva might not stand out as two of the biggest names in the UFC at the minute but they have the honour of headlining this weekend’s card in Ohio.

Erick Silva has always been earmarked for top billing at some stage in his career but he hasn’t lived up to expectations at all since making his UFC debut back in 2011.

Matt Brown’s early career form suggested that a headline slot would be a pipe-dream for him but six wins in a row, including five KOs, obviously makes people sit up and take notice.

The lack of star names throughout the card fails to make it any less exciting as there are some good match-ups on paper. Costas Philippou and Lorenz Larkin will look to engage in a stand-up war while Daron Cruickshank and Erik Koch’s bout looks nailed on to produce a KO finish for someone.

The likes of Ed Herman, Eddie Wineland and Yan Cabral should provide the entertainment on the undercard.

Can Brown remain “Immortal” against erratic Silva?

Matt Brown lost all three of his UFC fights in 2010 and when he rebounded with a decision win over John Howard, he seemed to be back on track.

A subsequent loss to Seth Baczynski looked to have condemned “The Immortal” to mediocrity before a KO win over Chris Cope at UFC 143 sparked a resurgence and an almost unthinkable run.

His call-out of GSP after his last win, a 29-second demolition of Mike Pyle, may have been laughable just a year or two earlier but since he has taken up ending fights very decisively, was not beyond the realms of possibility.

While he may have been a tad premature on calling for a title shot then — he still hasn’t beaten anyone inside the top 10 — if he produces one of those comprehensive victories we have got used to seeing against Erick Silva, then he may be hard to ignore.

Silva on the other hand has flattered to deceive on more than one occasion in his UFC tenure. Having once been touted for a possible contender in the division, the Brazilian has stumbled to a 4-3 record since joining the organisation.

Silva has suffered losses against Jon Fitch and Dong Hyon Kim. Brown is very much from this ilk, a high-intensity pressure fighter, so Silva could struggle again here.

Brown has also shown a much-improved stand-up game in recent fights so he now possesses the added weapon of legitimate KO power in his arsenal.

This might just tip the balance of favour towards Brown in this bout.

Source: UpriseGraphics/YouTube

Best of the rest

Having previously been hindered by the cut to featherweight, Erick Koch has decided to return to lightweight, a move which served him well as he defeated Rafaello Oliveira in the first round of his last fight.

He faces the versatile Daron Cruickshank who has shown he has the ability to spring a spectacular KO but has struggled to string performances together in his UFC career.

Koch will have noticed that Cruickshank underperforms when he is unable to establish a rhythm so expect Koch to lead with the jab before trying to set up that big KO punch.

Source: christian kistler/YouTube

Elsewhere Costas Philippou is smarting from back-to-back defeats and may have his work cut out to stop the rot as he faces Lorenz Larkin who is known for his aggressive fighting style.

Bar surprises, this fight will more than likely remain standing which will probably suit Philippou more as he has a background in boxing, but he will need to always be on his guard as Larkin is dangerous on the inside.

The rest of the bouts on the main card are more about fighters who are looking to establish themselves with the unbeaten Louis Smolka the pick of the bunch.

Katie Taylor looking forward to taking part in ‘big competitions’ again

About the author:

Brian Kirk

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