Every time UFC puts on an event, speculation, questions, and theories arise about which fighters will perform, or under perform. Will new contenders emerge? Will established ones fall? Where will the winners go? Which losers will still have a job on Monday? Who is healthy? Who is fighting injured? Anytime the UFC athletes are set to enter the octagon, questions follow.
That being said, here are four burning questions going into UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot.
4. Can Antonio Silva Get Back On Track?
The career of Antonio Silva hasn’t exactly gone as planned lately. After consecutively beating Andre Arlovski, Mike Kyle and Fedor Emelianenko under the Strikeforce banner, “Bigfoot” was ranked around the top-5 in the division and was building momentum until he ran into Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals where he was knocked out in the first round. The Brazilian then moved to the UFC where he was on the receiving end of a hellacious beatdown from former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The skid marked the first time in Silva’s career he had suffered back-to-back losses and now he is in a corner, desperate for a victory.
Even after being handed a one-sided loss in his UFC debut, Silva was placed in the UFC on FX 5 main event opposite the undefeated Travis Browne. “Bigfoot” is in for another tough match up once again as Browne is one quickest and most powerful big men in the UFC. The Campina Grande native needs a win badly or he will find himself in a spot where one more loss could mean the end of his UFC teneur.
3. Is Jay Hieron Going To Repeat History In His UFC Return?
When Jay Hieron and Jake Ellenberger meet in the co-main event of UFC on FX 5, it will be a rematch of their 2006 encounter at IFL Championship, which saw Hieron walk away the winner by unanimous decision. Over 6 years later, “The Thoroughbred” and “The Juggernaut” are set to do battle for the second time.
The fight will be Hieron’s first in the UFC since October 2005. The 36-year-old has spend the last seven years fight around the globe and has picked up wins over the likes of Jason High, Joe Riggs and Rick Hawn. Hieron was finally resigned to the organization early this year and was immediately matched up with the highly ranked Ellenberger.
Speaking of highly ranked, Ellenberger was very close to a title fight earlier this year before seeing his six-fight win streak was snapped by Martin Kampmann. If the 27-year-old wasn’t motivated enough by his first loss since Sept. 2009, the fact redemption is on the line for Ellenberger should mean he is going to show up in fantastic shape.
Will Hieron be able to repeat history and hand Ellenberger another loss? Or is “The Juggernaut” going to earn revenge and redeem his loss to Hieron over six years later?
2. How Will Travis Browne Handle The Leap In Competition?
Travis Browne may be 4-0-1 in the UFC, but the 30-year-old hasn’t exactly fought the cream of the crop in the UFC heavyweight division. Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo, two fighters Browne holds UFC wins over, are not exactly top-10 talent. The rest of the men Browne has fought have either changed weight classes or are no longer with the UFC, which makes you question the quality of opposition Browne has been facing.
Browne brings his undefeated 13-0-1 professional MMA record back to the octagon to Antonio Silva in the main event of UFC on FX 5. Training out of Team Jackson in Albuquerque alongside great fighters such as UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, “Hapa” is a highly talented competitor who can both knock out and submit his opponents.
For this fight, Browne goes from fighting middle-of-the-pack heavyweights to Silva, a man that holds a win over MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. Facing Silva is certainly a step up in competition for Browne, but one he appears to be more than ready for. However, appearing ready is one thing – performing on the fight night is an entirely different animal.
1. Who Will Become The Number One Contender In The Flyweight Division?
An opportunity to fight UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is on the line when two of the world’s top flyweights do battle on the main card of UFC on FX 5. Brazilian grappling specialist Jussier Formiga makes his Octagon debut against “The Ultimate Fighter” season 14 winner John Dodson in a fight that should be loaded with action.
After winning the reality show as a bantamweight, Dodson dropped down to flyweight last May and beat Tim Elliot in his debut in the division. “The Magician” has been pegged as a potential title contender since the inception of the flyweight division earlier this year and has his chance to solidify his position as a title threat in the high stakes bout on Oct. 5
Da Silva has been a top-ranked flyweight for some time now and in his first fight with the UFC is being thrown right into the deep end. A majority of North American fans are probably unfamiliar with the work of “Formiga”, but he extremely dangerous and has only lost one time in his career to fellow UFC flyweight Ian McCall. The 27-year-old is being granted a tremendous opportunity and his character will be unveiled in a pressure filled UFC debut.
Only one can walk away from the bout as the number one contender at 125-pounds, who will it be?