It was expected to be a tough fight for both Matt Brown and Erick Silva, but few people would have thought it would be that tough. For the three-and-a-half rounds that their UFC Fight Night 40 main event lasted, somebody was in danger of being finished. And the one who ended up talking the most damage in Cincinnati was the Brazilian, Silva.
For a tense few moments after Brown finally ended what many are considering the fight of the year so far in 2014, Silva lay prone on the canvas while medics attended him. The 29-year old fighter was eventually immobilized and taken out of the Octagon on a stretcher after having enduring punishment from Brown for the bulk of three rounds.
Asked at the post-fight press conference at the U.S. Bank Arena for an update on Silva's condition, UFC president Dana White said he was on his way to an area hospital for evaluation.
"Yeah, they are taking him in for a possible concussion and for a fractured jaw," White said. "How tough is he? The shots he took tonight were unbelievable."
Silva took the fight to the Brown early, landing a hard body shot that keeled the hometown fighter early. For the next couple of minutes Brown was in survival mode, trying to fend off submission attempts while gathering back his wits. Midway through the round, Brown was able to get back to his feet to a thunderous ovation. And from that point on, Brown was the aggressor, pursuing Silva across the cage throwing combinations and dropping him several times.
Though Brown was changing levels and bringing immense pressure to Silva -- Fight Metric had Brown out-landing Silva in significant strikes 161-39 -- the Brazilian kept standing in and returning fire, landing several more body shots that momentarily kept Brown at bay,
Asked about Silva's toughness in the presser, Brown paid his respect to Silva's chin and heart.
"I can't say nothing but good things about him man," he said. "That was a pretty amazing performance on his part too, at leas in terms of being able to catch me cold and put me down, and then be able to withstand more punishment than anybody else ever withstood from me before."