Erick Silva’s victory over Takenori Sato came as no surprise, after all he was listed as a -1400 favorite. However, the two reverse heel kicks that Silva landed to the head of Sato en route to his Performance of the Night bonus winning first round knockout, those did come as a surprise.
The kicks came after Silva landed a body kick that hurt Sato, and left him diving in for a single leg takedown. As Sato held on to the left leg of Silva, Silva hopped up and landed two reverse heel kicks with his right foot, leaving commentator Kenny Florian to exclaim, “That is the first time I’ve ever seen jumping soccer style with a heel to the face, that was insane.”
The kicks also got the attention of UFC president Dana White who tweeted:
The heel kick was awesome @ErickSilvaMMA
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 16, 2014
When the fight came to a close after numerous unanswered punches to the head, Silva’s average UFC fight time had dropped to 4:35, the shortest average fight time for active UFC fighters.
Eaually impressive were the FightMetric stats showing that over the course of the 52-second fight Silva had landed 21 total strikes to Sato’s zero. That gave Silva a UFC record of three fights where his opponent left the Octagon after landing zero strikes. The other two times Silva accomplished this feat were at UFC on Fuel 10 when Jason High landed no strikes in a submission loss to Silva, and UFC 142 when Carlo Prater had a goose egg in the strikes column in a disqualification win. In that fight Silva was DQ’d for landing strikes to the back of Prater’s head.
After the fight Silva told Fox Sports that he trained those heel kicks in camp, adding “I couldn’t show ten percent of what I trained for tonight because I’ve trained so much.”
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