Underdogs Shine in Cincinnati (UFC Fight Night 40 Review)


Photo Credit: UFC.com

The Middleweight division would once again take the centre stage in the UFC when two middleweights looking for the spotlight to shine their way. The main event of UFC Fight Night 40 would express the complete difference between two fighters that were both looking for the same thing. On one end was the mostly quiet although ultra-confident Matt Brown who has spent his entire career looking to get some respect without making a lot of noise. Brown would come into the UFC from The Ultimate Fighter and although he did not win the TV show he would still earn a contract and begin his career with middling results. Then he would earn a six fight winning streak that would include 5 Kos. Still Brown would remain a relative unheard of when it came time to talk about the best in the division and although he had a cult fan following he was nowhere near the fan favourite in his fights most of the time. On the other end of the octagon was Erick Silva who would come into the UFC as a highly touted prospect. He was considered the best welterweight not in the UFC and came in with a sort of legend around him. He was almost considered a true contender before even fighting in the UFC as he was about two good wins away from the title conversation. He would show why the legend had built around him as he earned a KO win but followed it up with a loss. His time as a top contender would not last too long as he would continue to put together a win and a loss and could never get any traction. Coming into the fight with a win, Silva was looking to try to find that traction to match the legend that was built around him before he entered the UFC. The matchup would be a perfect expression of the type of people who are in the UFC. There is no one attitude of a fighter and no one personality as they are as different as every other person in the world. The idea of a fighter being this one personality and a little off is not entirely true. The only thing similar with the best fighters in the world is that all are willing to sacrifice a lot to get to the gold belt that they work toward their entire careers. These two personalities facing off in the main event at UFC Fight Night were both looking for exactly that as a win in this fight would put them in the spotlight and on the path to a title shot as the two very different fighters were both looking for the same thing. As both fighters faced off it was also a matchup of slightly different styles. While both fighters like to stand Erick Silva is very comfortable on the ground while Matt Brown is not. With a black belt in BJJ and Judo Silva would look to take the fight to the ground while Matt Brown was looking to get into a slugfest where he is the most comfortable. Brown thrives in crazy fights while Silva likes to be more in control and that would be the key to this fight as Brown looked to create chaos and Silva looked to create control. Despite that there were some similarities as both fighters do love to come forward and press the pace but when both fighters don’t mind a rapid pace it is hard to say that one has the advantage over the other. Brown would come into the fight as the underdog which seemed to be boding well for him on a night full of upsets but he would have to actually get into the fight first to continue the pattern right to the end of the night. He would seem to end the trend in the first round as Brown would take a massive body shot from Silva that would drop him and put him into a dangerous spot for a submission. After spending most of the round with Silva on his back looking for the choke Brown would get out and start unleashing shots on Silva showing that he was still ready to fight on. The second round would see a continuation of the end of the first round with Brown throwing big shots at Silva. Meanwhile Silva would continue to find the body on Brown hurting him and making him delay every now and then. Both fighter wouldn’t give an inch though, and that would continue until the third round when Matt Brown got the top position and began reigning down bombs. Eventually it was too much for Silva to take and he would turtle up forcing the ref to end the fight. The loss for Silva will be a continuation of his pattern of winning one and losing one but the toughness to last that long at that pace would not send him that far down the rankings. Brown would take the win and did it in impressive fashion as he is sure to enter the title conversation. He will need to face a top-tier fighter first and when that happens a win could mean a title shot or a #1 contender shot for The Immortal.

The middleweight division would see a similar fight between two fighters looking to gain some respect in the division. A matchup between Lorenz Larkin and Costas Philippou was a fight to try to gain a little bit more focus on their rise to the title. Neither fighter had been on much of a promising run in their most recent fights. Both were coming off of losses and this fight meant a turnaround for whoever won. Lorenz Larkin had just lost to Brad Tavares on the losing end of a unanimous decision. For Philippou it was slightly worse coming off of two straight losses after looking so promising at the beginning of his career. Losses to Francis Carmont and Luke Rockhold had put Philippou’s career in jeopardy as he seemed to fall further away from a title shot and closer to finding himself without a job. For both fighters this was a chance to get back on track and take a win to try to gain some momentum to begin their year of fighting. It would be a matchup of two strikers with different thoughts on how to strike. Philippou was the technical striker who liked to pick his opponents apart and had the power to end the fight. Larkin on the other hand loved to throw kicks first and swing away in trying to earn the KO as fast as possible. The fight was thought to be a striking war between the two fighters and the fighters would not disappoint. After catching Philippou early it seemed like Larking was on his way to finishing the fight putting Costas on his heels immediately. Philippou would not go away though as he would stay on his feet and unleash his own big blows. Costas would eventually land a big shot that would drop Larkin and end the fight handing Larkin his second straight loss.  Larkin is still young and still has a lot of potential though as he will be back and better by learning from the loss. Meanwhile Philippou would reveal just how important this fight was for him as he would claim that retirement was a real possibility if he had lost. After two straight losses Philippou would claim that he just wasn’t in it anymore. The win would give him new lie though as he would say retirement isn’t even on his mind after the win. That will mean that Philippou has at least one run at the title left and if he can use this win as the start of the momentum that he might need to get a title shot. The fight would also be just one of the multiple underdog wins on the night. UFC Fight Night 40 would express perfectly how great fighting is as plenty of underdogs would win including Philippou with anything possible on a night of upsets.


Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
On a night where underdogs took over the card Johnny Eduardo stood out as he would earn a TKO win over Eddie Wineland that would also earn him an extra payday earning a $50,000 bonus for the knockout

Performance of the Night
Matt Brown came in to the fight as an underdog but with his home state crowd behind him he would earn the win in a big way getting a TKO victory over Erick Silva and breaking his opponent’s will to earn an extra $50,000

Fight of the Night
The main event was an instant nominee for Fight of the Year and despite Erick Silva turtling up in the third round he would give everything he had to try to end the fight earlier and that would help him and Matt Brown earn the Fight of the Night bonus


Fight Results

Main Event:
Matt “The Immortal” Brown def. Erick Silva
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Main Card:
Costas Philippou def. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin
(KO; Rd. 1)

Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank def. Erik “New Breed” Koch
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Neil Magny def. Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means
(Unanimous Decision)

Soa “The Hulk” Palelei def. Ruan “Fangzz” Potts
(KO; Rd. 1)

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso def. Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka
(Split Decision)

Ed “Short Fuse” Herman def. Rafael “Sapo” Natal
(Unanimous Decision)

Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrell “The Mongoose” Montague
(Unanimous Decision)

Zak Cummings def. Yan Cabral
(Unanimous Decision)

Johnny Eduardo def. Eddie Wineland
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Nik “The Carny” Lentz def. Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan
(Unanimous Decision)

Justin “J-Bomb” Salas def. Ben “Manimal” Wall
(KO; Rd. 1)

Albert “Einstein” Tumenov def. Anthony “The Recipe” Lapsley
(KO; Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events

UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw (Saturday May 24th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Renan “The Baron” Barão vs. TJ Dillashaw [Bantamweight Title]
Notable: Daniel “DC” Cormier vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson
Notable: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger

UFC Fight Night 41: Munoz vs. Mousasi (Saturday May 31st; 3:00 pm ET)
Berlin, Germany (O2 World)
Main Event: Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz vs. Gegard Mousasi
Notable: Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs. CB “The Doberman” Dolloway
Notable: Luke “The Bigslow” Barnatt vs. Sean “Tarzan” Strickland

TUF Brazil 3 Finale: dos Santos vs. Miocic (Saturday May 31st; 10:00 pm ET)
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Ginásio do Ibirapuera)
Main Event: Junior “Cigano” dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Notable: TUF Brazil 3 Middleweight Championship [Matchup TBD]
Notable: TUF Brazil 3 Heavyweight Championship [Matchup TBD]

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