UFC on FUEL TV 8 Picks: Brian Stann (-245) vs. Wanderlei Silva (+205)

Wanderlei-Silva UFC on FUEL TV 8 Saitama Super Arena, Japan Saturday, March 2, 2013 Light heavyweight fight: Brian Stann (-245) vs. Wanderlei Silva (+205) Fight Breakdown: Middleweight bombers Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann move up to the light heavyweight division for a five-round fight that headlines UFC on FUEL TV 8. Both Silva and Stann are two of the most aggressive fighters in the UFC so fans can expect nothing less than a knockout in this fight, which could possibly be Silva’s last. Stann (12-5), a former US Marine, is one of the most powerful punchers in the UFC, and has knocked out opponents in 75 percent of his victories. Since making his UFC debut back in 2009, Stann has gone 6-4 with knockout wins over the notoriously hard-headed Chris Leben, veteran Alessio Sakara, and journeyman Jorge Santiago, as well as a submission victory over Mike Massenzio. However, when the 32-year old has stepped up in competition he has faltered, losing to Chael Sonnen, Phil Davis, and Michael Bisping, and a submission loss to Krzysztof Soszynski in his UFC debut also sticks out like a sore thumb. Keep in mind all the fighters he lost to were superior grapplers, and while Silva may be as well, he rarely uses his BJJ in fights so Stann won’t have to worry about the threat of a takedown as much. For Stann to win this fight he has to keep it standing, he has to keep the distance, he has to be patient, and he has to go for the knockout. Considering the state of Silva’s chin, it’s very likely that’s what’s going to happen. What can I say about Silva (34-12-1, 1 No Contest)? Known as “The Axe Murderer,” Silva is one of MMA’s all-time great fighters and holds the record for the most wins in PRDE FC with an incredible 22 victories, including victories over fighters like: Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Coming back to Japan after over six years away from fighting in “The Land of the Rising Sun,” Silva says he’s motivated and ready to put on a show just like he used to all those years ago. The problem is, he’s not the same fighter he used to be. Since returning to the UFC in 2007 (he fought for the promotion earlier in his career), Silva is 3-5 with wins over Cung Le, Bisping and Keith Jardine, but has suffered brutal knockout losses to Chris Leben and “Rampage” Jackson, as well as decision setbacks to Rich Franklin (twice) and Chuck Liddell. Still, Silva is a dangerous fighter. With 24 career knockout victories in his career, Silva is definitely one of the most menacing mixed martial artists to ever step into the Octagon, and even at the age of 36 he was still able to nearly finish Franklin in his last outing. Against Stann, the only way Silva is going to pull off what would be a pretty big upset is to brawl with his opponent and try to land on his chin, but considering he’s been knocked out badly in four of his last seven fights, it’s not likely his own chin holds up in a slugfest against a younger, more powerful, and faster fighter like Stann. Fight Prediction: Stann has five rounds to find Silva’s chin and in a fight between two guys who will almost certainly meet in the center of the cage and bang it out, I have to go with the younger, more powerful fighter and that’s Stann. He’s going to KO Silva in Japan and it could very well be the last time we see “The Axe Murderer” in a cage ever again. Adam’s Pick: Stann via KO (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: I can’t see Silva winning this fight, and I can’t see Stann winning by a method other than knockout. I would recommend parlaying Stann at -245 and playing the inside the distance prop, which is currently sitting as low as -165 on Several Bookmakers. I feel Stann has about an 80% chance to get a knockout in this fight so that prop has incredible value. As well, consider the “fight does not go the distance” prop for parlay fodder, because this fight isn’t going five rounds.

Written by Adam Martin.

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