Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva needs a win after back-to-back losses. | Photo: Sherdog.com
With an unbeaten record in 14 professional appearances -- including five inside the Octagon -- Travis Browne is one of the UFC’s unsung performers.
The majority of participants in Sherdog.com’s MMA Pick’Em fantasy game like the 6-foot-7 Hawaiian to take a starring role in his first main event appearance, as 71 percent have selected Browne to defeat Antonio Silva at UFC on FX 5 on Friday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Anchored at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Browne owns victories over James McSweeney, Stefan Struve, Rob Broughton and Chad Griggs during his UFC tenure. A draw against Cheick Kongo at UFC 120 remains the only blemish on his record.
Silva earned the most significant victory of his 20-fight career in February 2011, when he defeated Fedor Emelianenko via technical knockout in the first round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. “Bigfoot” has struggled since, suffering first-round setbacks to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez in his last two appearances.
UFC on FX 5 also features a co-headliner between Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron that was originally scheduled to take place at the canceled UfC 151 event in September.
Players overwhelmingly favor Ellenberger: 91 percent like the Nebraskan to defeat Hieron in the welterweight matchup. Ellenberger recently had a six-fight winning streak snapped by Martin Kampmann at “The Ultimate Fighter 15” Finale -- his first loss in the UFC since he dropped a split verdict to Carlos Condit in his Octagon debut. “The Juggernaut” lost a decision to Hieron in a 2006 International Fight League bout.
A veteran of the IFL, Strikeforce and Bellator Fighting Championships promotions, Hieron will be looking for his first UFC victory. “The Thoroughbred” fell to Georges St. Pierre and Jonathan Goulet in two previous outings with the promotion.
Other Pick’Em Trends for UFC on FX 5:
• A solid 78 percent of users like “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner John Dodson to get the better of Jussier da Silva in a flyweight contest. The winner of the bout is expected to receive a shot at reigning 125-pound king Demetrious Johnson;
• A whopping 96 percent of competitors are siding with Josh Neer against Justin Edwards in a welterweight clash. Neer is looking to rebound from a knockout loss to Mike Pyle at UFC on FX 4, while Edwards lost a unanimous decision to John Maguire in his last bout at UFC 138;
• In preliminary bouts, players favor Jeremy Stephens (80 percent) over Yves Edwards, Michael Johnson (66 percent) over Danny Castillo, Jacob Volkmann (82 percent) over Shane Roller, Diego Nunes (77 percent) over Bart Palaszewski, Darren Uyenoyama (83 percent) over Phil Harris, Carlo Prater (82 percent) over Marcus LeVesseur and Mike Pierce (73 percent) over Aaron Simpson.