- UFC on FX 5 preview
UFC on FX 5 : Monstrous heavyweight bout arrives
"Enormous" is the only word that describes Friday's UFC on FX 5 main event, and for once we are not talking strictly in terms of the importance of the fight.
Don't get us wrong, Travis Browne v Antonio Bigfoot Silva is important - in the sense that the winner moves towards the heavyweight division's top five, but the enormity of the fight is all based in the fighters themselves. Two monsters, one 6ft 7in tall, the other hitting the maximum heavyweight limit... You have to fear for the Octagon itself.
Throw in the return of welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger against a man in Jay Hieron who has beaten him in the past, and you've got an intriguing card on the agenda...
Travis Browne v Antonio Silva
Where the fight could be won or lost: This one is pretty tailor-made for Travis Browne. His athleticism is always a factor, and against the lumbering Antonio Silva it's going to be huge. Not to underestimate Silva here, he's got an underrated guard, his boxing is fairly technical and he's a maniac from top position, but he lacks hand speed and he should struggle getting Browne to the ground. Plus, he gets hit too much.
Silva's best shot is getting Browne on his back, but his double-leg isn't explosive enough to keep up with the athleticism of Browne and, surprisingly, he'll be the weaker of the two in the clinch. Leg kicks, right hands, takedowns, ground-and-pound - all for Browne. If you watched Travis Browne's last fight against Chad Griggs, you saw him attempt (and land) a flying knee, Jose Aldo style. That's the type of athlete this 255lb guy is. Athletes in the heavyweight division are tough to deal with, especially if you can't slow them with takedowns.
The pick: Travis Browne - TKO
Jake Ellenberger v Jay Hieron
Where the fight could be won or lost: Jay Hieron might win this by circling and striking from the outside, but that's risky. It can be difficult winning scorecards like that and at some point, Jake Ellenberger will catch him. Hieron actually needs to be the aggressor, but that's risky, too. Ellenberger is just nasty to deal with on the feet. Terrific footwork and heavy, heavy hands. He's fearless moving forward and can just as easily knock out guys moving backward (not easy to do).
Hieron is technical, but to overcome Ellenberger's power, he might want to make this ugly. Slow Ellenberger however he can, keep things contained along the fence and use pressure to wear on that suspect gas tank. Boos may actually be a good thing for Hieron in this fight. Jake Ellenberger throws bombs. It wears him out quickly, but it also wins him fights. Jay Hieron is durable, knows how to weather a storm and extremely familiar with his opponent here. An Ellenberger knockout seems like the dumb, rookie call on paper, but it's what you keep seeing when you close your eyes.
The pick: Jake Ellenberger - KO