UFC Fight Night 40 – Brown/Silva: The Afterglow

Among all of the words and praise being tossed about regarding The Immortal Matt Brown and his incomparable performance this weekend at UFC Fight Night 40, there’s very little to be said that hasn’t already been said.  Still, I keep returning to the words of The Stranger, the narrator in The Big Lebowski.

“Sometimes, there’s a man… Well, he’s the man for his time and place.”

Matt Brown is the man. Time and place.

The smart money going into the main event on Saturday was that Matt Brown and Erick Silva would likely take home Fight of the Night honors. They delivered just that to an audience that waited well into the wee hours of the morning for the clash at the top of the card.

Brown demonstrated that dwelling inside of his liver is a tiny Cabbage Correira. So many times in the past in hundreds of fights, the UFC has proven that a liver shot means one thing: game over.  The mighty of the UFC have fallen to it. From Brock Lesnar to Donald Cerrone to Sara McMann, few things outside of a well-placed kick to the groin can fall a fighter faster than a liver shot.  So, it’s no surprise that early in the first as Silva dropped Brown with a liver shot and then worked to secure a rear-naked choke, it seemed like the fight was a wrap. And then Brown stood back up and began to land big shots, backing Silva up and cutting off his escape.

In the second, Brown was again hit in the liver and stumbled. Silva again attempted to capitalize with offense, but Brown did not fold. Instead, he uncorked a series of knees and standing elbows that left Silva stunned, with the ref looking closely at stopping the fight.  In the third, Silva again popped Brown’s liver but could not create any offense with the brief bad position in which Silva placed The Immortal. Instead, Brown secured the takedown, put Silva against the cage, and unloaded on him from inside of the guard with stiff elbows until Silva had to turn away to Herb Dean.  Despite being hit thrice in a spot that all fighters dread being hit, Matt Brown continued to push forward, and each time he did, pieces of Silva’s will to win began to erode like ice sheeting off a glacier.

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A glacier is actually more connotative of the label Brown’s performance should be given: glacial.  There is so much more happening under the surface with Matt Brown that other fighters lack and that many don’t see.  That drive, that absolute refusal to give in is what’s pushed him to now seven straight wins with six of those wins ending by way of finish.

His critics will argue that he hasn’t beaten enough ranked fighters to warrant a title shot.  However, what do the rankings really mean anyway?  Rattling off seven wins in the UFC should get you more than just noticed or in the mix. To beat seven opponents in a row, in the manner and frequency in which Brown has, should get you a title shot.

Is Matt Brown ready for a title shot?  Tyron Woodley, Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler, and Dong Hyun Kim may like to believe otherwise, but name the metric and compare, and Matt Brown still stands apart, even from the champion, Johny Hendricks. Just take a look over the last seven fights of the top fighters in the welterweight division.

  Wins Losses Finishing Wins Decision Wins
Matt Brown 7 0 6 1
Johny Hendricks 6 1 2 4
Rory MacDonald 6 1 2 4
Tryon Woodley 5 2 3* 2
Dong Hyun Kim 5 2* 2 3
Robbie Lawler 4 3 3 1
*result of an injury sustained

For right now, at this time and this place, no one in the welterweight division has done more to set himself apart from the murder’s row at 170 pounds the way Matt Brown has.  In a division that’s still looking for an identity in the post-GSP world, Matt Brown just tagged his name over everyone else’s name.  If coffee is for closers, give Matt Brown the Glengarry leads. Whether it’s now or six months from now, Matt Brown will continue to be the glacier the rest of the division breaks itself upon because competitors cannot see what’s happening under the surface.

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