UFC on FX 5 Friday, October 5 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota UFC Heavyweight Contender Travis Browne (-215) Profile: The powerful Hawaiian Travis Browne (13-0-1) has run through his opponents like a freight train during his short three-year career. With 13 wins already under his belt, including 11 finishes (nine by knockout and two via submission), Browne has turned some heads in the one-time stagnant UFC heavyweight division. Making his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, the 30-year-old unbeaten fighter knocked out James McSweeney with an impressive barrage of fists in the first round. Since then, he has followed his heavy hands to the top of the heavyweight division with impressive wins over Stefan Struve (Knockout of the Night), Chad Griggs (Submission of the Night) and Rob Broughton (unanimous decision) along with a controversial draw against Cheick Kongo. Browne was expected to face Ben Rothwell at UFC on FOX 4 in August, but his opponent withdrew due to injury. UFC Heavyweight Contender Antonio Silva (+175) Profile: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-4) is coming off a disappointing loss in his UFC debut against Cain Velasquez via first-round TKO after losing to eventual Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier by first-round KO in the tournament semifinals last September 10. The 32-year-old Brazilian previously competed at super heavyweight early on in his career and won titles with Cage Rage and the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship in England. Silva handed MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko one of three consecutive losses in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals by TKO and won the EliteXC heavyweight title against former UFC fighter Justin Eilers back in 2007 before testing positive for steroids. Opening UFC on FX 5 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Browne a solid -215 favorite (bet $215 to win $100) while Silva opened as a +175 underdog (bet $175 to win $100) according to the MMA odds. Browne will be putting his perfect 4-0-1 UFC mark on the line against Silva, who looked lost in his devastating loss to Velasquez at UFC 146. Silva will be looking for redemption here and has proven he can beat top-level fighters, but he will have his hands full against an equally imposing figure. While Browne will give up four inches in reach to Silva, he will have a three-inch height advantage and needs to use that to bully his opponent. Browne’s most impressive win actually came against a taller foe in Struve, so the size of “Bigfoot” will not bother him at all. It will be very important for Browne to maintain his focus and realize a title shot could be on deck if he turns in another dominating performance. In fact, a matchup with Strikeforce champ Daniel Cormier makes sense in a title eliminator bout if they both win their next fights. Silva was hoping for the same opportunity before losing to Velasquez and desperately needs a victory as well to show he belongs in the organization.
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