Welterweights Make Their Mark in Rio (UFC Fight Night 62 Review)

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Maia vs LaFlareThe UFC is a promotion made up of the best fighters in the world as it is the toughest promotion for mixed martial artists.

It is the end goal of every fighter as they all look to earn a UFC title in whatever other promotion they fight.

To get there though, it is a tough rad as not every fighter is allowed to enter the roster that is constantly seeing change with fighters leaving and fighters making their debut.

Only the best fighters are allowed in and the fighters that the UFC believes can truly have an impact in the promotion.

So when many of these fighters enter the UFC they have a story behind them and a certain level of hype that makes them worthy of being a UFC fighter.

Having that hype is an important part to becoming a UFC fighter but keeping that hype around you is a surefire way to move up the rankings and into the title conversation.

Two fighters on the card at UFC Fight Night 62 know all about that hype with Erick Silva being an example of the hype dying down and Ryan LaFlare an example of the hype continuing.

Erick Silva came into the UFC as one of the top prospects in world and one of the most exciting fighters.

Making the rounds throughout Brazil, Silva had shown an ability to finish fights early going 12-1 in the Brazilian circuit with nine of his wins coming by knockout or submission.

He made his way as a well-rounded fighter that could finish a fight on his feet or on the ground and for that ability he found his way to the UFC.

He made his debut in a big way earning a KO win over Luis Ramos and announcing his arrival in the sport’s top promotion.

The win had made many notice the young fighter and he immediately began seeing some talk about moving up to eventually earn a title shot. Then everything started to fall far short of the hype that surrounded him.

In his next fight he lost to Carlo Prater due to a disqualification and followed that up with another win and another loss. It has been that way since he entered the UFC picking up a win only to lose his next fight.

After all of the hype Silva has become a regular fighter that has dropped into the almost unknown.

Now he entered UFC Fight Night 62 outside of the top 15 in the division and set to fight Ben Saunders in an attempt to string together two wins for the first time in the UFC. Then Saunders was forced to drop out and in his place was Josh Koscheck.

Koscheck has himself dealt with hype after entering the UFC as a member of the original Ultimate Fighter house but had dropped four fights in a row heading into Rio de Janeiro on short notice.

Both fighters had their chance to get what they wanted in the co-main event and if they came through it was sure to gain some notice.

For Koscheck it was simply to get back to winning after four straight losses while for Silva it was to start a streak that could be carried into the title conversation in the welterweight division.

As the fight began both fighters were aggressive with Koscheck trying to take the fight o the ground and Silva happy to stand-up and trade.

Silva gained the early advantage on the feet and when the fight went to the ground he was in control.

As the first round came to an end, Koscheck was caught looking at the clock multiple times, once resulting in a big left hand that sent him back, which made it seem like he was wanting to go back to his corner.

Silva continued the onslaught though and pressed Koscheck against the cage unloading on him and forcing Koscheck to attempt the takedown.

That was the undoing though as Koscheck attempted the takedown while Silva locked in a guillotine choke and brought the fight to the ground where Koscheck tapped.

For Koscheck, the loss could be the end of a long career as he has now lost five straight fights and if the UFC doesn’t cut him, the only reason being his place in UFC history as an original TUF cast member, he might decide to step away.

For Silva it was his first time winning back to back fights in the UFC as his road to the title may just be beginning.

If he can continue that pattern and keep winning his path to the title could be a quick one as he continues to finish fights and can be one of the most exciting welterweights if he finds his consistency.

What Silva had gone through is exactly what LaFlare is going through right now as a new exciting prospect in the welterweight division.

He had walked through the lower ranks, going undefeated in Ring of Combat and never letting a fight go to the judges.

He had consistently performed and for that he gained the attention of the UFC carrying a seven fight win streak into the UFC and looking to show that the hype was real.

So far it has been as, unlike Silva, he has extended his win streak well into his UFC career winning his first four UFC fights.

There has been a difference though as the talent in the UFC has taken its toll on the young New Yorker.

Unlike before LaFlare has been unable to finish a fight in the UFC as the talent has gone up and finishing fights has become that much more difficult.

All four of his UFC fights have gone to decision and although he has won every fight he ha not been as dominant as he has hoped.

That hype that followed him into the UFC is not as big as it once was but heading into UFC Fight Night 62 he had the chance to show everyone why people were starting to talk about him a lot more.

In his first main event he had been matched with a legend of the sport and for LaFlar it was the perfect opportunity to show that the talk surrounding him was worthwhile.

Demian Maia stepped into another big fight against LaFlare with hopes of moving up the rankings as the #7 fighter in the welterweight division.

Although most of the talk surrounded the young LaFlare, Maia was looking to take the opportunity to show that he was still able to compete with the best in the division and that he belonged in the title conversation along with Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley.

If he could end the 11 fight win streak of LaFlare he was sure to gain more traction in the battle to get to the title. Meanwhile if LaFlare could beat a legend like Maia he was sure to finally get noticed and move up the rankings from the #14 spot.mma-sidebar.fw

The hype will always end eventually for fighters and with the writing on the wall for LaFlare, no longer being able to finish, it was time for his hype to end.

The fight was simply a master class in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu put on by one of the greatest BJJ practitioners in the UFC.

Maia had made his career by using that BJJ superiority to beat fighters and this fight was no different despite the fact that everyone was watching LaFlare heading into the fight.

From start to finish the fight was on the ground and Maia had complete control of the ground game from start to finish.

The fifth round saw the only real scary moments for the Brazilian as LaFlare came on but it was too little too late for the American. The work had been done and Maia had proven that experience in the octagon can trump hype.

With the loss LaFlare will likely fall out of the top 15 in the division but he could be back soon if he can learn from the loss and start winning again.

For Maia the win was proof that he is still around the welterweight division and that he is ready to make another run at the title.

Another fight or two could put him there in the crowded welterweight division and if he can be as dominant as he was against LaFlare he will have a good shot at the title.



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