Erick Silva (13-2) vs. Charlie Brenneman (15-3)
An intriguing welterweight war will serve as the co-feature when the Brazilian wrecking machine Silva meets the American wrestling standout Brenneman.
Silva, 27, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo black belt, was disqualified in his most recent outing for punches to the back of the head, even though Carlo Prater was on the verge of defeat. The controversial call can be likened to Jon Jones' disqualification setback against Matt Hamill, a fight few think he legitimately lost.
Silva debuted at UFC 134 last August, dismantling compatriot Luis Ramos in just 40 seconds. Armed with a well-rounded skill set and devastating finishing power, the Team Nogueira prodigy is one of the best prospects in the promotion.
Stylistically, he's in for his toughest test to date against Brenneman, a grinding wrestler who nullifies his opponents' strengths by smothering them with top control.
Brenneman, 31, earned a hard-fought decision over Daniel Roberts this past January. The Pennsylvania native is 4-2 since joining the UFC, earning key wins over Jason High and Rick Story, while dropping fights to Johny Hendricks and Anthony Johnson.
The AMA Fight Club product under Mike Constantino played the role of a spoiler last June, earning a decision over the highly touted Story after accepting the fight on just a day's notice.
Brenneman's wrestling credentials are vast, but his striking will be no match for the hard-hitting Silva. On the mat, Silva will also threaten with a slick submission game as he's won seven of his 16 career bouts by form of tapout.
The American will find success early by pursuing key takedowns, but a furious flurry from Silva will put an end to his night once the Brazilian finds his range and connects with a combination.
Verdict: Silva via KO, Round 2