Labeled underdog fodder against rising heavyweight prospect Travis Browne in the UFC on FX 5 main event on Friday night in Minneappolis, “Bigfoot” showed how dangerous his killer instinct can truly be. Taking advantage of an apparent injury to Browne’s left leg, the massive Brazilian rocked his foe with a big right hand against the fence. The 6-foot-7 Hawaiian toppled to the mat, where Silva (17-4, 1-1 UFC) unloaded with more punches before referee Herb Dean intervened 3:27 into the opening frame.
With that, the man who rose to prominence on the strength of a victory of pound-for-pound legend Fedor Emelianenko in 2011 had achieved his first UFC victory.
“I trained (so) much for this fight. My first [UFC bout] with Cain Velasquez, I lost too fast,” Silva said. “I want to say thanks to everyone at [American Top Team].”
Browne, who suffered his first loss in 15 professional appearances, looked to take advantage of his athleticism in the early moments of the fight, as he showcased footwork and flashy kicks while remaining outside of Silva’s grasp. When the former EliteXC champion attempted to narrow the gap, “Hapa” responded with a knee to the gut.
After the two big men exited the clinch, Browne’s (13-1-1, 4-1-1 UFC) left leg appeared to buckle after he threw a punch, and from there, the Jackson’s MMA product was never the same. With Browne’s movement clearly hampered by the injury, Silva attacked for the finish to earn the 12th knockout victory of his career.