Dong Hyun Kim hadn’t stopped a UFC opponent in five years, and Erick Silva had never been knocked out before. That all changed in dramatic fashion in what was a welterweight thriller at UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil.
Most observers believed that “Stun Gun” would try to employ a grinding type approach, much like Jon Fitch had done in his victory over Silva at UFC 153. Kim tried to utilize that strategy in the opening round against his explosive opponent, but in the middle frame, it turned into a firefight. Silva rocked the tough South Korean early in the second stanza and seemed to be building momentum towards a possible finish when he was knocked senseless by an overhand left hand from Kim. The result shocked the Brazilian faithful.
The finish earned Kim a Knockout of the Night bonus, and it was just his second stoppage win amongst his nine UFC victories. Kim is now riding a three fight win streak as he also had his hand raised against Siyar Bahadurzada and Paulo Thiago. His only two losses have come against Carlos Condit and Demian Maia. The unexpected brutal finish from Kim has no doubt raised his stock in the 170 pound weight class and put him into position for a high profile test in his next fight.
Silva is a very talented fighter, but this is the second time he’s fallen short in facing strong competition on his home turf. The last thing anyone was anticipating was seeing him get knocked cold by an opponent who had not recorded a stoppage since 2008. Silva will obviously have to go back to the drawing board and work on the areas of his game that need to be shored up. Silva remains an exciting fighter and hopefully this result won’t set him too far back in his career goals.
The UFC’s welterweight division is stacked with outstanding talent and some very dangerous fighters. At UFC Fight Night 29, Kim showed he can be one of them, and that he doesn’t always have to play the role of the ultimate grinder.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports