Sometimes, fights are put together with the idea of giving a fighter an opportunity to ascend the ranks of his weight class, bravely taking on all comers as he challenges increasingly tougher opponents. And then there’s Travis Browne, who defeated a good (if not great) opponent in Stefan Struve by first-round KO, and has been rewarded with a fight against… Rob Broughton.
Now, Broughton is a decent fighter, sporting wins against Yusuke Kawaguchi and Neil Grove, and he did win his UFC debut. Of course, not all UFC opponents are created equal, and Vinicius Quieroz doesn’t really belong anywhere near the UFC. Yet, Quieroz was Broughton’s opponent at UFC 120, so while Broughton can boast of a 1-0 UFC record, he still has a lot to prove. That is especially true because Broughton has losses to Ricco Rodriguez, Tengiz Tedoradze, and Jessie Gibbs on his record. None of those losses are particularly bad, but the overall picture as far as Broughton is concerned is one of a low-level UFC heavyweight.
And therefore, it’s hard to justify Broughton as an opponent for Travis Browne right now. Browne is 11-0-1 in his career, including a 1-0-1 record in the UFC. There’s the aforementioned KO win over Stefan Struve, while Browne fought Cheick Kongo to a draw in what seemed to be a very close, even fight, but it’s worth noting that Kongo would have won if not for a point deduction due to strikes to the groin (shocking that Kongo would do that).
The other thing worth mentioning about Browne is that he has six wins in under a minute, including five knockouts and one submission, and two knockouts in under 10 seconds. When Travis Browne fights, don’t blink, because it really could be over that fast. Browne might just have more KO power than even guys like Shane Carwin.
Still, that win over Stefan Struve really legitimized Browne in my opinion. Prior to that win, Browne had the draw against Kongo, but no wins that he could really hang his hat on. The highest Victory Score Browne had earned was 63.72 for knocking out Abe Wagner. Now, Browne has been cemented as a UFC heavyweight fighter to watch out for.
SILVA PREDICTION: TRAVIS BROWNE (30.81) OVER ROB BROUGHTON (29.21)
This one is a bit tough for me to preview since I know so little about Broughton, but I feel pretty good about Browne winning this one. Because Broughton has losses to guys like Ricco Rodriguez and Tengiz Tedoradze, he’s pretty well established as far as the quality of fighter he can beat. And like it or not, Rob Broughton does not have a history of success against guys as good as Travis Browne is.