By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on May 11, 2014
UFC fans were treated to a rousing event in Cincinnati with a number of brutal finishes. None more violent than Ohio native Matt Brown continuing his win streak with a third-round stoppage of Erick Silva. There were a number of impressive efforts on a card that delivered major entertainment value. Here are, in my opinion, the top five fights to make in the wake of UFC Fight Night 40.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.
Eduardo made a highly-impressive return in his first fight since 2012 by stopping top-five contender Eddie Wineland. The Brazilian showed why he's won 13 of his last 14 fights. After such a stunning victory, the 35-year-old needs to maintain momentum. Facing the winner of the UFC 173 clash between Mizugaki and Rivera would give Eduardo a chance to shine against another top-10 opponent.
Palelei extended his win streak to 11 with a first-round finish of promotional newcomer Ruan Potts. Palelei is 3-0 in his second stint in the UFC and it’s time for a step up in competition. Rothwell would foot that bill as he also has a strong ability to finish fights. The veteran is about to finish up a recent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone levels. Rothwell knocked out Brandon Vera in his last Octagon appearance.
Cruickshank looked outstanding in finishing Erik Koch in the opening round. It was a second-straight highlight-reel finish for “The Detroit Superstar,” who is deserving of a major test moving forward. Green has been on a solid run of his own with seven-straight victories, including three inside the Octagon. He’s run into some injury issues since a victory over Pat Healy in December. A fight against Cruickshank would be a very fan-friendly affair.
Philippou snapped a two-fight skid with an impressive first-round knockout of Lorenz Larkin. He showcased his immense striking skills during the one-round firefight. Philippou is a fighter who enjoys a good test in the stand-up game because of his boxing skills. A matchup against the winner of next month's Marquardt-Te Huna clash in New Zealand would be a solid next step. Both of those fighters possess formidable power as well.
Brown has been a remarkable story as a seven-fight win streak has taken him from journeyman status to welterweight title contender. After his impressive stoppage of Silva, he is clearly on the cusp of a title shot. An opportunity against the winner of the Robbie Lawler/Jake Ellenberger clash at UFC 173 would be a fight that “The Immortal” deserves. It would also have the makings of the type of war that Brown has become known for.
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