The winners circle: What a win means for the UFC on FX 5 headliners

UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot goes down this Friday from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. The event is headlined by a heavyweight fight between Travis Browne and Antonio Silva and also features an undercard full of interesting match ups including a welterweight rematch between Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron as well as a flyweight contenders elimination bout between John Dodson and UFC debutant Jussier Da Silva.

With the top two bouts of Browne vs. Silva, Ellenberger vs. Hieron and Dodson vs. Da Silva coming at significant points in each man’s career, we break down what a win on Oct. 5 means for the six men carrying the UFC on FX 5 fight card.

Travis Browne
Undefeated Travis Browne benefitted from being pulled off the UFC on FOX 4 card in August as he now headlines a UFC event for the first time in his career. A win over Antonio Silva does a lot for a fighter’s career, or at least it has for Silva’s last two opponents. Daniel Cormier’s first round knockout of the Brazilian advanced him to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals while Cain Velasquez went on to earn a heavyweight title shot after his destruction of Silva in May. Now Browne has the chance to elevate himself at the expense of Silva.

To date, the best win in the career of “Hapa” is over Stefan Struve. A win for the American would push him very close to the top-10 rankings in the heavyweight division and line him up for big fights down the road.

Antonio Silva
Former EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva has his back against the wall at UFC on FX 5 and is desperate need of a victory against Travis Browne.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that “Bigfoot” was on top of the heavyweight division after defeating former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce. Silva is now on a two-fight skid with the chance of another loss coming his way Friday night. The Brazilian was dominated by Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut earlier this year and needs a much, much stronger performance if wishes to remain among the elite in the heavyweight division. Silva had zero offensive output in his last two bouts and needs to show the world he is still the same fighter that beat down Emelianenko a few years ago.

Three-straight losses would be disastrous for Silva’s career. A win, though, would mean renewed confidence for “Bigfoot” as well as make a statement the 33-year-old has finally arrived in the UFC.

Jake Ellenberger
It was just a few months ago that Jake Ellenberger was a win or two away from challenging for the UFC welterweight championship. “The Juggernaut” was on a six-fight win streak but was derailed at The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale in June when Martin Kampmann knocked him out. The loss didn’t drop Ellenberger too far down the rankings, but it did put him in a situation where he absolutely needs to win his next fight.

The next challenge in front of the 27-year-old is Jay Hieron, a fighter Ellenberger has once fought and lost to once before. Whether the previous loss to Hieron is going to motivate or intimate Ellenberger is unknown, but if it motivates him it could be bad news for “The Thoroughbred”.

A win for Ellenberger in the co-main event of UFC on FX 5 means avoiding a second consecutive defet for the first time in his career, he redeems the loss to Hieron from earlier in his career and jumps back near the top of the welterweight ranks after his temporary stumble against Kampmann.

Jay Hieron
“The Thoroughbred” Jay Hieron has pretty much done it all in his MMA career. The 36-year-old welterweight veteran has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, Affliction, IFL and the list of organizations goes on and on. Hieron holds 23 professional fights to his name but has never won a fight under the UFC banner in his nearly 10-year career. Hieron’s last octagon appearance was nearly seven years ago to the day when he lost to Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night on Oct. 3, 2005. Prior to that, Georges St-Pierre beat Hieron in his UFC debut.

Years later, the New York native is back with the organization and badly wants his first UFC win. Moreover, Hieron has already fought and beat his opponent Jake Ellenberger once before, granted it was years ago in a different organization.

Ellenberger is currently one of the top contenders in the welterweight division and a win over him wouldn’t just mark Hieron’s first UFC win, but it would also mean he is immediately “in the mix” as UFC president Dana White would say.

John Dodson and Jussier Da Silva
An opportunity to fight UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is on the line when Brazilian grappling specialist Jussier Da Silva makes his Octagon debut against “The Ultimate Fighter” season 14 winner John Dodson.

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?


Follow @MikeBohnMMA on Twitter and keep up with the latest news by following @MMASucka on Twitter and on Facebook


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here