UFC Fight Night 40 Undercard Preview for ‘Brown vs Silva’ Prelims on Fox Sports 2

Rafael NatalThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Cincinnati for the first time in nearly seven years tonight (May 10, 2014) with Fight Night 40: Silva vs. Brown, and from top to bottom it’s a fun card. We’ll take a look at the prelims on FOX Sports 2, which broadcasts after the Fight Pass prelims. In the FOX Sports 2 ‘main event’ we have one of the few remaining fighters from The Ultimate Fighter season three, middleweight Ed Herman (21-10-1) will be looking to get off the losing path against Rafael Natal (17-5-1). Herman has slowed down in recent years, he had a devastating knee injury in 2009 that kept him out of the cage for two years. While he came back strong, winning three in a row, since he lost to Jake Shields at UFC 150 (which was overturned to a NC after Shields tested positive for banned substances) he hasn’t been the same. He went to Strikeforce for a fight, but lost to Jacare Souza, came back to the UFC, beat Trevor Smith by a split-decision in a sloppy brawl, then lost to Thales Leites. Rafael Natal has a little more tread on his tires still, and while he isn’t a world-beater, he has the tools that could lead to a Herman defeat. Both men are damn solid grapplers, but that may not be used in this fight. Herman and Natal have no issues standing up and throwing leather, but in this case, Natal has the edge. Herman, in my opinion at least, has the better chin, but he hasn’t finished anyone by strikes in three years. This has a Natal unanimous decision written all over it, as Herman is game for a battle, but Natal is the fresher fighter that can get it done in this matchup on the ground or the feet. Flyweights are up next, as Shooto champ Kyoji Horiguchi (12-1) will try to extend his winning streak to seven against ex-Tachi Palace Fights champ Darrell Montague (13-3). This should be a fun fight. Horiguchi is a fantastic prospect for the shallow flyweight division. He’s got strong hands for his size (8 KOs) and is a loose firecracker on the ground, but this is his flyweight debut, so we don’t know how well he was able to take that weight cut. Montague is no pushover, he’s coming off a knockout loss to John Dodson at UFC 166, but the 26-year-old has a diverse toolset to match up well with Horiguchi. On the ground, Montague may have the advantage if he can maintain top position, but that’s easier said than done against Horiguchi. On the feet, it’s the Shooto champ’s fight. Horiguchi has good size in this division, and even at bantamweight he used it well. If Montague can’t close the distance as quickly as possible, Horiguchi can pick him apart en route to a knockout fairly easily. Now we go to the welterweights, where TUF Brazil: 2 standout Yan Cabral (11-0) takes on Zak Cummings (16-3). Cummings is on a three-fight winning streak, and received the Submission of the Night in his promotional and welterweight debut, when he choked out Ben Alloway at Condit vs. Kampmann 2. This could be brilliant fun on the mat, as both of these men know what they’re doing, but it’s closer on paper than in the cage. Cabral, simply put, is on another level. He has 10 submission wins, all within the first 10 minutes or so of the fight, and went to the judges for the first time in his career when he made his UFC debut against David Mitchell at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Maia. This isn’t to say Cummings is 100 percent in trouble, he is absolutely huge for a welterweight. His last loss was to Ryan Jimmo at light heavyweight, but Cabral is someone who can create his own angles to work a submission however and whenever he wants. On the feet, the fight is evenly-matched. This should be an interesting chess match. Will Cummings test his prowess against Cabral on the ground? The 30-year-old Brazilian probably hopes so. Opening the show is a couple of fun bantamweights in contender Eddie Wineland (21-9-1) and Nova Uniao Muay Thai coach Johnny Eduardo (26-9). This is Eduardo’s first fight since he beat Jeff Curran over two years ago at Fight Night: Poirier vs. Korean Zombie, as he’s had to pull out of multiple fights with injuries over the years. Wineland bounced back from his Knockout of the Night loss to champ Renan Barao (a student of Eduardo) with a brilliant knockout of his own against Yves Jabouin at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Thomson. If I could sum up this fight in four words, it would be: Leg kicks, counter punches. There’s no reason why this fight really should be happening, considering Wineland is a ranked bantamweight and Eduardo is nowhere near a list that he hasn’t made himself, but that doesn’t mean this won’t deliver some very fun action. At 35-years-old and after a two-year layoff, you have to wonder what Eduardo has left in the tank. Wineland is a very dangerous striker and has solid all-around skills to boot. Eduardo has every tool to make this a fight, but will Wineland let him?

Written by Jason Nawara

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