COMMENTARY | Erick Silva suffered his first legitimate loss in the Ultimate Fighting Championship against Jon Fitch at UFC 153, but it wasn't due to lack of effort.
Silva and Fitch put on an entertaining back and forth battle on Oct. 13, with both men coming close to finishing the fight on several occasions. At the end of the day, Fitch's experience and relentless style proved to be too much for Silva, and he walked away with the unanimous decision.
Silva's cardio seemed to be an issue during the latter rounds of his UFC 153 encounter against Fitch, and the Brazilian attributes it to the tough weight cut he had to make. Apparently, Silva cut 7 kilos (15.4 pounds) a day before weigh-ins, and he claims it affected his gas tank at UFC 153, per Fightersonlymag.com.
Erick claims he won't repeat the same mistake again, and he plans to take the weight-cutting process more seriously for his next fight. He's currently scheduled to take on Jay Hieron at UFC 156.
"I won't permit it to happen again," Silva said. "I will be attentive to the weight, I will work it well. I won't have much on me by the end of the year. In the last fight, I thought that it would be better to get heavier in the final stages of training but afterwards I realized that it ended up making me more slow and tired. Now this is going to be a whole new ball game."
I'm not really a fan of fighters making excuses after a loss, but Silva's story is completely feasible.
Generally speaking, cutting 15 pounds the day before weigh-ins is not unheard of in MMA or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments, but it's enough to significantly affect the contestant's cardio -- especially when the fighter isn't used to cutting that much weight.
At the same time, Silva's first three fights in the UFC ended in the first round, and it's reasonable to assume that had a detrimental effect on his cardio as well.
Silva doesn't really have any reason to make excuses about his performance against Fitch, considering the fact he represented himself well inside the Octagon at UFC 153, walking away with the "Fight of the Night" award. He held his own against one of the toughest fighters in the welterweight division, so it's safe to say the Brazilian is just giving an honest assessment of his preparations for the event.
Silva lost his fight against Fitch, but he didn't lose his standing as one of the most dangerous up and comers in the welterweight division. Fitch might have slowed down Silva's momentum, by defeating him at UFC 153, but "Indio" did enough to prove that he deserves all the hype he gets.
The 28 year-old will be in for another tough fight when he faces Hieron on at UFC 156, and I wouldn't be surprised if he walks away with Fight of the Night honors once again.
Hieron is a competent MMA veteran, and he'll be motivated to get back on the winning side of things, considering the fact he lost his first fight back with the UFC in over seven years to Jake Ellenberger. Another loss, and Hieron might very well find himself fighting in the minors once again.
If Silva emerges victorious against Hieron at UFC 156, putting him inside the cage against Rory MacDonald (who'll face BJ Penn at "UFC on Fox 5") wouldn't be a bad idea. They're two of the most promising rising stars in the UFC's welterweight division right now, and it's only a matter of time before their paths eventually collide.
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