Now almost a week removed from my very first time cage side, I have had the time to give my perspective unbiased from the after fight hype that I would have had writing this hours after coming back from the event (Ok, actually I just got kinda lazy about it and came up with a good excuse, but you don't mind right?). I can say without reservation that UFC Fight Night: Brown vs Silva was easily the most fun I have had at a live event in years. It had it's quirks mind (We'll get to that in a bit..) but by the end of it all, as me and my newly minted fan of MMA cousin walked out of the U.S. Bank Arena into a dark May night (and got shouted at thanks to being mistaken for two bottle tossing lowlife drunkards, thanks guys~). We knew we had witnessed something special.
As a bit of set dressing as it were, I feel the need to break down how I felt coming into the event. I didn't really know many of the fighters, (which by the way didn't stop me from being right on almost every pick I made to win, except Johnny Eduardo thoroughly blowing my mind) so I didn't go into the event quite as hyped as some. I had taken the initiative to learn about the main event of course, finding something all to familiar in the story of Matt Brown. Maybe it was the fact the man had literally died no more than a few hours away from me. From something I had seen friends of mine fall into before, but had I known of the performance he was about to put on, I think I would have cheered even louder.
The card itself seemed a little underwhelming at first sight, but was permeated by electricity all the same. In a way it really did start with a bang, the tremendous thud of body hitting canvas that was to be the song on repeat the whole night long. It was a night of a little of everything, of knockouts, stall outs, submission attempts that came down to unbelievable escapes, titanic takedowns, and unexpected turns. We as fans ran the gambit, from sitting silently in seats with bated breath, to rising in riotous applause. I could have had no better seat, looking straight down at the walkway where fighter after fighter entered, with a view so clear of the action that I could see even the smallest of movements. Very few moments were silent, as everything from jeers to jokes and even calls for fighters to try certain things came from everywhere. I spent much of the undercard breaking down the fights for my guest, and conversating with my fellow fans. There were of course more than a few among the crowd who were not quite pleasant (my row consisted of several wasted women, and guys who whined at any inactivity to the point of booing takedowns which was circumvented a bit by a couple behind me, who were very nice to talk to), but no amount of any interruption on Earth would dampen my enthusiasm.
But by the time the main event had come there would be no rest, both men entered the arena to an entire spectrum of noise. Cheering, booing, shouts in more than one language, the mad cacophony had begun and would last well into the night. All present sprung to their feet as the bout began. Things looked grim for Brown in the early onset as he was utterly rocked with a kick to the liver, and nearly choked out for most of the round. Round two was the showing of why we as fans loved Matt Brown, as he battered Silva pillar to post, the young Brazilian only being kept alive by his sheer tenacity. The third round, which I couldn't even believe it came to, was the two battered men clashing together once more, fading with their every strike until Erick Silva was declared no more in the middle of the five minute time limit. By the time Matt Brown was giving his interview, we fans were as battered as the men who had come out of the fight. Throats sore from the thunder of thousands of voices, legs tired from standing in the aisles, and we didn't just like it, we LOVED it. All fans became one wonderful, belligerent mass of sheer excitement, no matter who we were cheering for. And whether you liked or even knew who any fighter was, the language of sport was universal, knocking down all boundaries between those in the stands. Everyone, fighter, or fan left that arena with a night that they would remember. And that is a truly glorious night, well spent.