UFC 168 Fight Breakdown: Anderson Silva (-160) vs. Chris Weidman (+140)

Chris Weidman The main event of UFC 168 is the rematch between UFC middleweight champion Chris “The All American” Weidman and the man he took the belt from, MMA legend Anderson “The Spider” Silva. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers sees Silva as a -160 betting favorite (bet $160 to win $100), while Weidman is a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Silva at -140 and Weidman at +100, meaning so far the betting public is siding with Silva to get his title back. This isn’t an easy fight to pick, but I believe the early money is coming in on the wrong fighter as I am picking Weidman to defeat Silva for a second time to collect his first UFC middleweight title defence. Here’s why. Weidman (10-0) is the reigning, defending UFC middleweight champion, having first taken the belt from Silva in the summer at UFC 162 with an unexpected KO win. The 29-year-old Weidman is so far 6-0 in the UFC, with wins over Silva, Mark Munoz, Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor, Jesse Bongfeldt, and Alessio Sakra. He also has a win over Uriah Hall from earlier in his career. Weidman is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport. He has excellent wrestling, fantastic BJJ, and awesome striking with tremendous power. In short, he’s an absolute stud, and he’s already the best middleweight in the world. But he needs to prove that the first fight with Silva wasn’t a fluke, and he’ll get a chance this weekend at UFC 168 to prove the doubters wrong. Silva (33-5) is arguably the best fighters in mixed martial arts history. He is the best striker the sport has ever seen, and he also has excellent BJJ and solid takedown defence. The 38-year-old held the UFC middleweight title from 2006 to 2013, having defeated fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami, Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Maia, Dan Henderson, Chris Leben, Nate Marquardt and Chael Sonnen during his run. However, he finally showed a chink in his armor when he took on the younger, stronger Weidman earlier this year and was knocked out cold after he dropped his hands and started showboating. But as the long-time champ, Silva is being given the benefit of the doubt and he enters this rematch against Weidman as the favorite. Personally, though, I feel like people are putting too much stock into Silva’s clowning in the first fight. Yes, he definitely had his hands by his side, but he’s did that to tons of other punchers during his career and was fine. Yet again Weidman, he was getting hit more and more, possibly because Weidman is one of the only opponents Silva has fought that has a longer reach than he does. Overall, Silva is the more complete striker because he utilizes his lower limbs much better than Weidman does. But as far as boxing goes, Weidman might better, and we all might be underestimating just how much power he has in his fists — in fact, he might just be the more effective MMA striker at this point in time (I’m not talking about careers, I mean right now). And he certainly has the fresher chins, although to be fair Weidman’s beard hasn’t really been tested. But Silva’s has, against Weidman in fact, and he couldn’t pass the test. And that’s why I’m going with Weidman again, and why I think he’ll do it by KO for a second time. I capped this fight at -120 each way, so at +140, I see tremendous value in Weidman here. Obviously, betting against Silva has historically been a waste of hard-earned money, but as we saw at UFC 162, it’s not always a waste of money. And like at UFC 162, I see Weidman getting his hand raised again, and then moving on to a huge fight against Vitor Belfort in mid-2014.

Written by Adam Martin.

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