Some might call this a card of “leftovers” in the wake of UFC 151, but UFC will be bringing yet another night of great free fights to FX. Its fifth presentation on the popular network, UFC has now moved past the cancellation of its UFC 151 event and has shifted some of the bouts scheduled for that event to this FX showdown.

Headlining the event is rising heavyweight challenger Travis Browne, who will go toe-to-toe with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. But even before that tops off the night, UFC and MMA fans will be provided a welterweight matchup between Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron.

UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot takes place on Oct. 5 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The main card will start at 8:00 p.m. ET with prelims on Fuel TV at 5 p.m. ET and on Facebook at 4 p.m. ET.

The MMA Corner’s Gregory Chase, David Massey and Eric Reinert will be the ones breaking down this night of fights in our Round Table for UFC on FX 5.

WW: Josh Neer (33-11-1) vs. Justin Edwards (7-2)

Massey: Josh Neer was on a six-fight tear up until his loss to Mike Pyle. All it took was a moment’s lapse of judgment and a right hand from Pyle to spoil his run, and that will be fresh in Neer’s mind coming in. His upcoming opponent, Justin Edwards, is 1-2 in the UFC, with all decisions, and will probably be fighting for his job here.

Neer (R) (Heavy MMA)

Neer has a well-rounded game and a wealth of experience over his opponent. This is his third tenure back in the Octagon, and he knows what it takes to stay in the UFC. For the fans that like violence, Neer is your guy, win or lose. That hard-nosed approach will make the difference in this fight.

Edwards has a competent ground game, but his UFC fights have seen that offense negated. He’s had success with standing combinations and throws unexpected kicks, which will make for an exciting fight, but I don’t see him getting an edge in any one area.

Neer will be willing to walk through punches and kicks to get into the position he wants or will eat a few shots just to land a good counter. That approach leaves openings in his defense that can be exploited, but I see it paying off to put Edwards in bad spots. Neer will put the pressure on Edwards and find a way to finish the fight.

Reinert: For reasons that I’m not even really able to articulate, Neer used to be one of those fighters I would always root against. During this most recent run in the UFC, however, I’ve found myself actually pulling for “The Dentist” to succeed. The guy just knows how to bring the action and, like the Diaz brothers, never backs down from the action even when a fight isn’t necessarily going his way. I expect nothing different from Neer as he looks to rebound after his loss to Pyle back in June.

Edwards is similarly looking to right the ship after a loss to John Maguire back in November. Edwards is certainly out to prove that he belongs among the ranks of the UFC’s welterweights after earning his way into the promotion with six straight wins.

Edwards (Sherdog)

Edwards’ five submission wins (out of seven total victories) might make Neer hesitant to take this one to the ground, and if it does end up primarily on the feet, look for the Des Moines native to notch another TKO win on his belt. On the ground, Neer’s equally proficient grappling will negate any advantage Edwards might have with other opponents, and the fight will end in a decision.

Either way, Neer exits the cage with a win.

Chase: Have to agree with my fellow panelists and go with Neer walking away with a victory. Neer’s experience inside the cage and the caliber of opponents he has faced give him an edge in my book.

While both are coming off losses, Edwards does have the fortune of losing a decision; Neer was knocked out. Mentally, the momentum goes to Edwards. Skill-wise, I still go with Neer. Edwards has a shot if this fight goes to the ground, but I think Neer is much better-rounded and has more tools to help him get a finish.

Like David, I think Neer will find a way to finish the fight and get back on the right path. This is an important fight for both men in regards to the next step in their careers, but I have to go with the veteran in Neer.

FlyW: John Dodson (13-5) vs. Jussier “Formiga” da Silva (14-1)

Reinert: With the winner of this fight establishing himself as the presumptive No. 1 flyweight contender, both Dodson and Formiga will be at their best on Saturday night.

Da Silva (L) applies an armbar (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

Dodson blasted his way into the consciousness of MMA fans by winning the bantamweight portion of The Ultimate Fighter 14, easily dispatching of fellow finalist T.J. Dillashaw by knockout in December. Since that time, he’s dropped back to his more natural 125 pounds and already earned a victory at flyweight over Tim Elliott in May. The Jackson’s MMA product is riding a four-fight winning streak overall and is definitely looking to establish himself as one of the world’s top flyweights.

His opponent, Formiga, is in the midst of a five-fight winning streak, with his most recent (and only) loss coming to Ian McCall in Feb. 2011. The submission specialist from the Nova Uniao team is making his UFC debut under some pretty auspicious circumstances and will certainly have his hands full with Dodson.

The difference-maker for me in this fight is Dodson’s UFC experience. He’s fought, and defeated, larger men in the Octagon already and likely faced stiffer competition throughout the last 18 months than his opponent. For this reason, I see Dodson coming away with a decision in what should be an exciting fight. Formiga is probably not foolish enough to stand in front of Dodson’s powerful punches, and Dodson is certainly well aware of da Silva’s submission prowess, so this fight could go anywhere. Dodson’s better-rounded skill set will work to his advantage here, and he’ll have the next shot at the flyweight title.

Chase: When the UFC started the whole flyweight setup, Dodson was one of those names that stood out that was going to be a top-level guy. He has great momentum going into this fight and has the hands to finish this fight and make a statement for a title shot in the near future.

Dodson (R) spars with his coach (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

His best chance is on the feet, because he will be facing Formiga, who is a dangerous threat on the ground. If he doesn’t take you to decision, he will submit you. The edge in this fight, though, goes to Dodson. As Eric put it, he is better-rounded and he has an experience edge that will ultimately bring Formiga’s winning streak to a halt. Formiga will be making his UFC debut, and against a guy like Dodson, it will be too much for him to handle physically and mentally. Dodson takes this one by TKO.

Massey: As Eric and Gregory pointed out, this will be Formiga’s first trip to the big show and that should work to Dodson’s advantage. The question for Dodson will be how well he can defend against the Brazilian’s ground game if he is forced to fight on the floor.

Dodson’s last fight was a tenacious stand-up battle, and the pressure is on Formiga, who will not be as willing to enter into wild exchanges. Dodson dodged and countered his opponent and defended himself well when the fight went to the ground briefly. He uses his wrestling in reverse to keep the fight on the feet and that will definitely be to his advantage over Formiga.

Formiga will need to utilize his head and footwork while standing with Dodson, who will have plenty of cage space to work in. Dodson is a proven power puncher, so initiating clinches will be especially dangerous for the Brazilian. When Formiga gets his opponent down, he likes to control them from their back, and this will be the position that Dodson will have fight out of. This could be Formiga’s best bet at riding his way to a decision or finding a sub, but Dodson is too athletic to be kept in that spot for too long. Dodson will be actively moving on the feet, forcing da Silva to chase him, and he will be hit with hard combinations for his efforts. Dodson by TKO.

WW: Jake Ellenberger (27-6) vs. Jay Hieron (23-5)

Chase: Jake Ellenberger was someone I thought was going straight to a title shot initially, and I was surprised he didn’t emerge victorious against Martin Kampmann. That being said, I think it was a minor setback for him and he will want to come out and make a statement. He will be trying to prove himself against here against Jay Hieron.

Ellenberger (Sherdog)

I think this fight is tailor-made for Ellenberger to bounce back on. Not that this is an easy fight for him, but to me, Hieron is not a finisher like Ellenberger. I think mentally, Ellenberger’s loss to Kampmann will give him the fuel he needs to put himself back into the nice position he was in before that loss. Ellenberger has the hands, which I think will be the determining factor in this fight.

Hieron has a better chance on the ground, but Ellenberger’s own wrestling ability should cancel it out and keep it standing. I predict Ellenberger wins via TKO/KO before the second round ends.

Massey: I have to agree with most of what Gregory has said on this one, though I see Ellenberger finding a win through wrestling and ground-and-pound over finding it standing.

Ellenberger will be a rude welcome back into the UFC for Hieron, who hasn’t faced many top-ranked welterweights. That’s not to say Hieron won’t be dangerous, but he can be contained with wrestling, as Ben Askren has shown. If Ellenberger can keep him where he wants on the ground, then he will have control of the fight.

Hieron (L) (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Ellenberger will need to throw Hieron off of his rhythm by mixing strikes with takedowns. I see him wearing the 36-year-old Hieron down in exactly this way on his way towards a decision.

Reinert: There’s not much more I can add to what my two cohorts here have said. Remember that Ellenberger was originally supposed to fight Josh Koscheck at UFC 151 before Kos pulled out with an injury. Perhaps an Ellenberger/Koscheck main event would have been enough to salvage the card after the Dan Henderson/Jon Jones/Chael Sonnen debacle, but here we are.

Since 2010, Ellenberger has looked like an absolute stud. He easily dispatched of Jake Shields, a former top-five welterweight, and took a decision from the always dangerous Diego Sanchez. Yes, the loss to Kampmann knocked him down a peg or two, but Ellenberger will contend for the welterweight title before 2013 is over, mark my words.

Hieron, in his first UFC fight since 2005, has the positively Herculean task of trying to beat one of the best in the division, and I just don’t see it happening. Ellenberger is superior in every facet of MMA, and I predict a quick TKO victory for the Nebraskan.

HW: Travis Browne (13-0-1) vs. Antonio Silva (16-4)

Reinert: Of the fighters one would immediately place among the best of the UFC’s heavyweights, Travis Browne is probably often overlooked. The undefeated Hawaiian knocked out the more highly regarded Stefan Struve and most recently tapped out Chad Griggs with an arm triangle, so we know his skills are sound. Bizarre, then, that his name is not frequently mentioned among heavyweights to keep an eye on.

Browne (L) (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Browne will get his chance to shine on Saturday in the main event of UFC on FX 5 when he takes on a slightly better-known Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. The big Brazilian, late of the Strikeforce heavyweight division, is looking to rebound after consecutive losses to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. While losing to two of the best four heavyweights in MMA is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, Silva will certainly be looking to re-assert himself as the same dangerous fighter who literally beat the aura of invincibility from Fedor Emelianenko.

Silva, at age 33 and having to haul around that massive frame for so many years, is almost certainly past his prime, whereas Browne, at 30, is likely in the middle of his. He might get a broken hand for his efforts, but I see Browne winning with a TKO, likely before the end of the second round, and finally getting the recognition he deserves as one of the sport’s elite heavyweights.

Massey: Unfortunately, as of late, Silva is looking like a gatekeeper for fighters on their way to the top of the division. Since joining Strikeforce, he has faced great heavyweights, but his notable wins are over fighters past their prime: Andrei Arlovski and Emelianenko (plus an undersized Mike Kyle coming up from light heavyweight).

Silva’s large chin usually breaks the hand of whoever hits him, but he also drops from the hit and gets swarmed for the finish, as his last two fights have shown. Silva won’t be catching any breaks with this fight as he is facing another dangerous striker in Browne.

The problem is that Silva is always reacting to his opponent and not the other way around. Browne will be throwing all sorts of stuff from out of range, and unless Silva becomes the aggressor, he will be nothing more than a target. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and that hasn’t been utilized as of late. Maybe exploring the ground could bring him some success. Remember how brutal Silva looked attacking from the top against Kyle and Fedor?

Silva (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

As Eric said, Silva needs to re-assert himself, but I don’t see how he can if he stands with Browne for too long. We haven’t seen Silva in control of a fight since his days in Strikeforce when he pounded out two smaller heavyweights in his guard. That is what I see him needing to return to. But my faith isn’t strong in that happening, and I see Browne scoring enough on the feet to earn a nod from the judges.

Chase: The destruction that Silva faced at the hands of Cain Velasquez was brutal enough to show that he will need some work in hanging with some of these UFC heavyweights. Browne may not be in the top tiers of the division, but I agree with Eric in that he gets overlooked. Browne is coming into this fight on a three-fight winning streak, and I think that the momentum will help him in this fight. Bigfoot is coming off of two bad losses and needs to prove he belongs in the UFC.

Browne isn’t a big name, but with a win over Silva, he will put his name into the mix and break into the upper echelon of heavyweights. He may still have more proving to do, but not too many heavyweights are on a four-fight winning streak like Browne would be, given that he defeats Silva.

Silva will use his size advantage to try to control the fight, but I think Browne’s hands will end this fight in a similar fashion to how Silva’s last two have ended. I predict Browne gains a TKO/KO victory in the first and starts to gain some recognition.

Preliminary Card
WW: Aaron Simpson (12-3) vs. Mike Pierce (14-5)

Massey: This might not be the most fan-friendly fight, as we have two wrestling-heavy fighters facing one another. The difference is that Mike Pierce has come very close to getting a decision over two of the UFC’s top welterweights, Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck. Aaron Simpson looked great in his welterweight debut win over Kenny Robertson, an opponent Pierce beat by TKO. The experience factor tips towards Pierce, and I see him grinding towards a unanimous decision—though, for the sake of the fans, let’s hope for a finish.

Chase: As David said, here are two wrestlers going at it. Because of this, though, I don’t think wrestling will be the main area of action in the fight. I think both men will make this a stand-up fight, and I think Pierce will take this one home with a grueling battle that could show him a finish late in the fight.

Reinert: One potential difference-maker in this fight is Pierce’s experience fighting elite welterweights, as David pointed out. Having gone up against the likes of Koscheck and Hendricks will mean a lot as Pierce attempts to climb his way closer to title contention with a win over Simpson, who is fighting at welterweight for just the second time. That said, I’m going to go against the grain here and predict Simpson by decision. His height and reach advantage should keep Pierce at a distance for the duration of the fight.

LW: Carlo Prater (30-11-1) vs. Marcus LeVesseur (21-6)

Chase: Carlo Prater’s last victory was tainted in many people’s eyes, and I think he will want to put on a better UFC performance than his debut. I think he has all the momentum going into this fight and will show Marcus LeVesseur another loss—and possibly a pink slip from the UFC brass. Prater by submission.

Reinert: I agree with Gregory that Prater will certainly be looking to show the UFC what he can really do, since he’s coming off one actual loss and one fight that he won on a technicality after Erick Silva wrecked him. In LeVesseur, Prater will face an elite-level wrestler who, like so many other surprised fighters, got himself caught up in the McKenzie-tine in his most recent fight. Both fighters are motivated, but I see LeVesseur using his wrestling to grind out a decision and avoid that pink slip from Dana White and company.

Massey: Half of LeVesseur’s losses come in the form of submission and that is the area where Prater holds most of his wins. Plus Prater’s losses have come from arguably better competition than LeVesseur. We all agree that Prater will want to put on a better show, but where Eric see’s LeVesseur’s wrestling as an advantage, I see it as playing right into Prater’s strengths. I’m with Gregory—Prater by submission.

FlyW: Darren Uyenoyama (7-3) vs. Phil Harris (21-9)

Massey: Judging by each fighter’s last performance, we could be in for an exciting grappling affair. It’s hard to say who gets the edge outside of experience, because the two are pretty similar in style. However, the experience level and variation in finishing by submission sways me towards picking the veteran Phil Harris to have success in that area and win by submission.

Reinert: Darren Uyenoyama looked really impressive in his UFC debut, a decision win over Norifumi Yamamoto in November, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting his next fight. On Friday, the Californian takes on another grappling ace in Harris. This fight will almost certainly go to the ground, and I see Uyenoyama using the slick grappling he displayed against Yamamoto to find his way to a submission victory.

Chase: Harris may be on a great winning streak, but he is also stepping into the Octagon for the first time. Mentally, that can take a toll on very seasoned fighters. Both men haven’t fought in a while, and both are looking to make statements in the UFC. Uyenoyama has the advantage of having already made his debut, but based on skills, I think that Harris will actually do okay in his debut and find a way to stop this fight. My fellow panelists think sub, but I will go with TKO.

FW: Bart Palaszewski (36-15) vs. Diego Nunes (17-3)

Reinert: Bart Palaszewski, a fighter in the running for most-difficult-to-repeatedly-write-last-name, has been floating around the middle of the WEC and UFC’s featherweight divisions for quite some time. He split his first two UFC fights, which included a spectacular knockout of Tyson Griffin and a decision loss to Hatsu Hioki. He’ll face a fighter of similar caliber in Diego Nunes, who most recently lost to Dennis Siver in Siver’s featherweight debut. This is an incredibly tough fight to call, but I’m going to take Nunes in a decision at the end of what will probably be an absolute war.

Chase: Have to agree with Eric and admit that I have copied and will now continue to “paste” Palaszewski’s name. Palaszewski has experience over Nunes, but not in caliber. Nunes is coming off a loss, just like Palaszewski, but I think he will have the bigger drive here. Palaszewski is a finisher, but I think Nunes will give us a throwback and we will see a finish.

Massey: Nunes is in a position where he needs to establish consistency with the top featherweights. He’s faced some of the division’s best guys and has never been finished, yet he hasn’t been able to pull the trigger on any of his opponents in the past four years. Palaszewski is a dangerous opponent, not someone Nunes can sleep on, and it will be a close fight. Depending on the judges, it could go either way, but Nunes should weather the worst of Palaszewski’s attack to take a close decision.

LW: Jacob Volkmann (14-3) vs. Shane Roller (11-6)

Chase: Shane Roller has had some tough times these past couple years, and he so far only has the one decision win plus one knockout in the UFC, compared to three defeats. Jacob Volkmann hasn’t finished anyone since stepping up to the big leagues, and I think he will work his way to another decision in this one.

Massey: I expect to see a tepid Roller meeting the already very tepid game of Volkmann, and that could bring him to life. Roller usually loses to more aggressive opponents; however, he can play that role this time out. I see Roller working subs and aggressive stand-up to Volkmann’s grind, and that will score him enough to take the decision.

Reinert: The key to victory for Roller is staying off his back. Volkmann is as unapologetic about his wrestling-heavy MMA strategy as he is about his political views, and he’ll once again be looking to put Roller on the mat and keep him there. If Roller has done his homework, he’ll have his sprawl ready to go and work a decision victory by remaining upright.

LW: Dennis Hallman (51-14-2) vs. Thiago Tavares (17-4-1)

Reinert: Anytime you have more than 50 pro MMA wins and fewer than 20 losses, your opponents are going to take you seriously (even if you wear the most ridiculous shorts in the history of MMA during one of your fights). Dennis Hallman enters his fight with Thiago Tavares after a win over John Makdessi, and faces a lightweight who is on a two-fight winning streak. I see Tavares continuing his winning ways in what will probably be a back-and-forth ground battle. Tavares by decision.

Massey: We have two fighters coming in after eight months on the shelf. Hallman has struggled with making the drop in weight, and his age and wear will not be making the transition any easier, though he should be better adjusted this time around. Tavares will be ready to continue his streak, riding two wins over very tough veterans. I echo Eric’s sentiment that this will be a back-and-forth affair, and Tavares’ youth and recent wins over better competition have him primed to take a spirited decision.

Chase: I will have to round out the predictions here and go with a decision victory for Tavares as well. Hallman has been in the game for some time, but the momentum I always speak of goes to Tavares. He is on a two-fight winning streak against some good opponents, while Hallman has just one victory in almost the past two years. The submission is a dangerous challenge for Tavares, but I think his hands will determine this fight. It could be a finish for Tavares because of his striking, but I see Hallman at least surviving, only to lose the decision.

LW: Michael Johnson (11-6) vs. Danny Castillo (14-4)

Massey: Michael Johnson deserves credit for keeping fights in his favor against opponents that are a bad match for him. Danny Castillo will bring a wrestling pedigree into the fight which will cause Johnson problems, and the question is how well Johnson can work back to his feet. However, Johnson is a danger to anyone that stands with him and he will need to work his hands quickly and effectively before Castillo turns the tables in grinding him out. I’ll go with Johnson getting an early TKO.

Chase: Hard to say who gets the momentum edge in this one, but I will give it to Johnson. Castillo will want to use his striking to keep Johnson at bay, whereas I think Johnson will want to take it to the ground and control from the top. Both men are close in their abilities, but I think in a striking exchange, Johnson comes out the better in this one.

Reinert: Another tough one to call. Both of these fighters are on multi-fight winning streaks against comparable opposition. Both fighters seem to be able to stand and grapple with equal aplomb. Johnson seems to be most vulnerable on the ground (given his five submission losses), but Castillo hasn’t submitted an opponent in several years. I see this one as a back-and-forth affair, largely on the feet, with Johnson emerging victorious by decision.

LW: Jeremy Stephens (20-8) vs. Yves Edwards (41-18-1)

Chase: Even though Yves Edwards has had a lot of fights, he has been inconsistent for the past six years. Statistically, it isn’t true, but I give the experience edge to Jeremy Stephens. Stephens is facing a possible third loss in a row, but he has been losing to very tough fighters. Stephens takes this one by decision.

Reinert: This is a do-or-die fight for both fighters. Stephens is looking to rebound after two consecutive losses, while Edwards, at 35, needs to prove he still belongs among the world’s best lightweight fighters. The loser almost certainly gets his walking papers, and I see Edwards being that man, falling in defeat to Stephens by decision.

Massey: I’d like to play the devil’s advocate here for Edwards, but my colleagues’ logic against him is hard to deny. Both men share a certain inconsistency as of late, but Stephens is doing so against better competition. This fight will probably come down to the wire, but Stephens hits harder and will do enough damage to take a split decision.

Top Photo: Travis Browne (R) connects with a kick (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Gregory Chase
Staff Writer

Gregory Chase is an MMA enthusiast and aficionado. He is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report (MMA), a Featured Columnist at Sports-at-Work, a Contributor for The MMA Corner, and is the Connecticut MMA Examiner for Examiner.com. Chase also trains in MMA, focusing on a mixture of striking disciplines, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He writes to promote thought, give perspective and provide a coherent analysis on topics, while maintaining a smooth read and educating/entertaining. He lives by his motto of “MMA: Live it. Breathe it.”