You can certainly understand why the UFC is so excited about the potential of welterweight Erick Silva. He comes to fight from the opening bell and is a tremendous finisher. Silva also likes to take care of business as quickly as possible. When you look at the average length of his fights, they don’t tend to last very long.
Silva gets an intriguing challenge against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil. While Silva has 12 finishes by way of submission or knockout in his 15 wins, Kim is a grinding, decision machine. The South Korean fighter does have six career knockouts to his credit, however, he hasn’t stopped anyone since 2008.
In his UFC career, he’s compiled a record of 8-2-and-1, with seven of those victories by decision. He’s had triumphs against the likes of Matt Brown, T.J. Grant and Nate Diaz. Kim’s only defeats inside the Octagon have come against top-10 welterweights Demian Maia and Carlos Condit.
He’s currently riding a two fight win streak, thanks to decision victories over Paulo Thiago and Siyar Bahadurzada. Kim’s tremendous wrestling skills were on full display in that fight as he kept “The Great” on the mat with his grappling skills, thus nullifying the Afghan slugger’s tremendous power.
Silva, since joining the organization, has compiled a record of 2-and-3. One of those losses was of a controversial nature against Carlo Prater, when Silva was disqualified for punches to the back of the head. His stiffest test was against veteran Jon Fitch at UFC 153, with Fitch grinding out a decision victory in what was the Fight of the Night. Silva is fresh off a Submission of the Night performance in a first round victory over Jason High. All three of his UFC wins have come in the very first round. Silva has never been knocked out or submitted in his career.
If Kim has studied Silva’s fight against Fitch, he certainly has a blueprint as to how to try and keep his explosive opponent at bay. Kim will have to rely on his grappling skills to try and keep Silva’s offense stifled. While Silva has strong submission skills, the tough South Korean has never been finished by submission.
If Silva is able to pass this stiff test and notch a victory against Kim, it would likely catapult him into a matchup against a top 10 opponent next. Kim, for his part, will be looking to grind out another victory and prove he’s up to the challenge of derailing all the hype surrounding his talented opponent.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports