Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Fight Night 26 Prediction: Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler


Mike Brown Fight Metric profile

Steven Siler Fight Metric profile

When Steven Siler made his UFC debut after appearing on TUF 14, I was pro-Siler in terms of him having a successful UFC career. Based on the SILVA scores I used to run, Siler had a rating that was average to above-average by UFC standards. I was rewarded for this faith by Siler starting 3-0 in the UFC including a win as a heavy underdog against Cole Miller.

Now that I’ve transitioned to FPR, my opinion of Siler has changed for the worse. Even though Siler is now 4-1 in the UFC, the data strongly suggests Siler is a fringe talent in the UFC, a fighter who will likely struggle to tread water towards the bottom of the division, and will be in danger of being released by the promotion before long.

What causes me to reach this conclusion? A few factors:

  • Siler is clearly a far below-average wrestler by UFC standards. He is down 3-12 in takedowns in his UFC career. According to Fight Metric, Siler completes only 21% of his takedown attempts, and defends just 45% of his opponents’ takedown attempts.
  • Siler’s wins against Miller, Kurt Holobaugh, and Josh Clopton were close and competitive while his loss to Darren Elkins was a blowout. Siler is not far removed from being 1-4 in the UFC instead of 4-1.
  • Siler has not shown much finishing ability. He has yet to land a knockdown in the UFC. He does have a win by guillotine choke over Joey Gambino, but his other three wins were all by decision.

So what we have is a fighter who is not much of a finisher, but also a very poor wrestler and theoretically vulnerable to losing decisions. Siler has won three times by decision in the UFC, but none of those victories were against an opponent known for good wrestling (Holobaugh, Miller, Josh Clopton).

The result is that Siler has a -2.01 FPR, which I consider to be about “replacement level.” At featherweight, this puts Siler above just five fighters: Clopton, Rodrigo Damm, Sam Sicilia, Mike Wilkinson, and Nam Phan.

Siler’s opponent in this fight is Mike Brown, a former WEC featherweight champion who is clearly in the twilight of his career. Brown surprised a lot of people by twice defeating Urijah Faber, but after losing to both Jose Aldo and Manny Gamburyan, Brown has never been the same since. I would argue Brown was never an amazing talent, but he’s a very tough guy who somehow matched up really well with Faber to become WEC champion.

The key advantage Brown has in this fight is his wrestling. While Siler struggles to fend off his opponents’ takedowns, Brown lands 3.26 takedowns per 15 minutes at 40% accuracy. Brown earned those numbers against a series of opponents with much tougher takedown defense than Siler. If Brown is serious about taking Siler down, he’ll be successful at it.

The obvious concern is that Brown is very old in “fight years” and probably should have retired after his win over Daniel Pineda last year. Brown is now 37 years old, a 12 year veteran of mixed martial arts, and a fighter who has spoken openly of retirement for quite a while now. There is some potential for a letdown in this fight.

It shouldn’t happen though. Between Siler’s lack of KO power and Brown’s clearly superior wrestling, it’s hard to imagine Siler winning this fight. Brown should be able to land takedowns in each round and grind out a victory here. It won’t be pretty, and it won’t leave people thinking the Mike Brown of five years ago is back, but I see Brown getting the job done.

Pick: Mike Brown by decision


One response to “UFC Fight Night 26 Prediction: Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler

  1. Howard Morton August 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I will pick and bet Siler +170.

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