UFC 162: Anderson Silva (-250) vs. Chris Weidman (+200)
Anderson Silva (33-4) is arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts history and easily the best fighter the UFC has ever seen. He's out to add to that legacy versus up-and-coming contender Chris Weidman at UFC 162 in Las Vegas Saturday night.
The 38-year-old Brazilian has won 17 straight fights, including a record 16 straight in the UFC. Ever since winning the UFC middleweight championship back in 2006, he’s defended his strap 10 times – another record. Silva’s picked up three wins in three superfights at 205 pounds, a big reason why many consider him to be the pound-for-pound great.
He’s the most devastating striker we’ve ever seen in the Octagon and he’s won a record six “Knockout of the Night” awards for his finishes of Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Nate Marquardt and Rich Franklin (twice). As you can see by that list, Silva has a huge edge in experience on Weidman and, of course, he’ll have the striking advantage Saturday night.
Weidman, however, has the wrestling advantage and if he can exploit Silva’s takedown defense (which is underrated) and work his heavy ground game, it’s possible Silva could lose the title.
Weidman (9-0) is the top contender in the UFC middleweight division and earned his title shot with wins over top dogs Mark Munoz and Demian Maia. The 29 year old is 5-0 in his young UFC career and he’s shown exceptional wrestling and submission prowess. It’s the reason why many believe he has what it takes to dethrone Silva.
He’s obviously not as experienced as his opponent and he hasn’t fought in an entire year (last bout was July 2012), which is always a red flag. I don’t doubt that Weidman will have some early success with his wrestling and heavy top game, but eventually Silva is going to be able to get his chances in the standup. And at that point, it’s a question of whether Weidman’s chin can hold up.
Weidman will definitely make things interesting with his physical tools that will give Silva problems and I believe he can implement them to great success early on. He’ll control the early goings with his takedowns and ground game.
However, unless he gets a finish in the first two rounds, Weidman will tire out and Silva’s experience in the championship rounds will help him. He will find a way to stuff Weidman’s takedowns in the third round and keep the fight standing. From there, MMA bettors should watch for another highlight-reel fashion, perhaps with a never-before-seen kick.
Adam Martin writes for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.
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