UFC FIGHT NIGHT 40: BROWN VS. SILVA Date: May 10, 2014 Location: Cincinnati, Ohio Venue: US Bank Arena Broadcast: FOX Sports 1 UFC Welterweight Erick Silva (-170) The violent golden-child of the UFC welterweight division, Erick Silva (16-4, 1 NC) has yet to string together two wins in a row, mostly because of a DQ after knocking out Carlo Prater with shots to the back of the head, but his hype train refuses to be derailed. He lost a “Fight of the Night” effort against Jon Fitch at UFC 153, but followed it up with a “Submission of the Night” win over Jason High in his next outing. He then lost by KO in a wild fight against Dong Hyun Kim, but then won the “Performance of the Night” in his win over Takenori Sato at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi. Silva has slick BJJ technique, although he struggles slightly against wrestlers, but he has fast hands and a dynamic fighting style which leads to finishes that you just don’t see coming. Silva creates his own angles and it’s beautiful to watch. UFC Welterweight Matt Brown (+130) After UFC 139, Matt Brown (18-11) had fallen to 12-11 and had lost four out of his last five fights. Many wondered what exactly the UFC was keeping him around for outside of his fan-friendly fighting style. We all learned exactly why Zuffa stood by Brown in the coming months, as Brown would go on a six-fight winning streak (including five T/KO finishes) and beat up a who’s who of the welterweight division. He derailed the Stephen Thompson hype train, knocked out Mike Swick, KOed the resurgent and ageless Mike Pyle, and stopped the up-and-coming Jordan Mein. Brown is simply a bite down on the mouthpiece and move forward swinging type of fighter whose heart has absolutely won over UFC fans across the world. While the vast majority of his losses have come via submission, he’s improved his ground game greatly in recent years, and he was set to fight Carlos Condit at the end of 2013 until a back injury forced him to pull out of that fight. Now healthy, he has been placed him against the violent Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 40, and it’s a matchup which should lead to sparks flying. Opening UFC Fight Night 40 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Silva a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Brown opened as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. This is an excellent fight between two highly-aggressive welterweight fighters on the rise and it should provide fireworks for five rounds or less for the fans. Although Brown has missed time with a back injury, I do expect him to come back strong and don’t think the layoff should hinder him too badly. That being said, it helps Silva’s case that he has fought recently, and with that recent finish over Sato he should be very confident heading into this fight. It’s a tough one to call because both men have clear weaknesses and advantages, but based on their total body of work I can see why Silva is the favorite heading into UFC Fight Night 40, although I don’t think he’s a lock to win by any stretch of the imagination. Profiles by Jason Nawara.