Mixed Martial Arts – UFC 162: Silva vs Weidman
Saturday, July 6, 2013, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: pay-per-view
MGM Grand Garden Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
(All betting odds courtesy of Bookmkaer)
The UFC show on Independence Day weekend is usually one of the biggest shows of the year along with New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Weekend. UFC 162 from Vegas is no exception as Anderson Silva defends his middleweight title against undefeated Chris Weidman in the main event. Silva has won 17 straight matches dating back to 2006, and along with Jon “Bones’ Jones and George St. Pierre is considered one of the top MMA fighters in the world. Here is a look at the five fights on the main card with betting odds courtesy of Bookmaker.
Mark Munoz (-125) vs Tim Boetsch (-105), middleweight bout, scheduled for 3 rounds, over 2 1/2 rounds -165 / under 2/12 rounds +125
It wasn’t that long ago that Mark Munoz was near the top of the middleweight division. He was in the main event of UFC 138 and beat Chris Leben for his fourth straight win at 185 pounds. He then asked for and was granted a title shot against Silva in November 2011. After losing that fight, the now 35 year old “Filpino Wrecking Machine would go on to lose to Weidman last July. Before that he had to drop out of a middleweight contenders fight against Chael Sonnen with an elbow injury. In the Weidman fight, Munoz would later reveal he had a stress fracture in his foot. Munoz returns to the Octogon for the first time since that injury. Munoz is 12-3 overall in his career and 7-3 in the UFC.
He takes on Tim “The Barbarbian” Boetsch. The 32 year old Boetsch was a former light heavyweight contender before moving down to 185 pounds. He is 16-5 in his career and 7-4 in UFC. Boetsch is 4-1 since moving down, but lost his last fight at UFC 155 to Costa Philippou by TKO. Boetsch broke is hand in that fight and also was poked in the eye. He hasn’t fought since that loss in December.
Really, this fight will be a title eliminator, and both Munoz and Boetsch are desperate for a win. Munoz was a champion wrestler in college at Oklahoma State in 2001. He will use his grappling skills to try and keep Boetsch on the mat. Munoz sometimes struggles in stand-up defense. Boetsch is a much better brawler and would prefer to go toe to toe with Munoz. Munoz could have a problem getting the stocky Boetsch to the ground. I like Boetsch to win by a decision.
Tim Kennedy (-160) vs Roger Gracie (+130), Middleweight Bout, Scheduled for 3 rounds, over 2 1/2 -200 / under 2 1/2 +150
Both Kennedy and Gracie are making their UFC debuts. Kennedy is 15-4 and fought for the middleweight title twice in Strikeforce. The 33 year old Kennedy is a former Army Ranger. Kennedy makes life difficult for any opponenent with his tenacious grappling style.
Gracie is 6-1 in his career. The 31 year old is a member of the famous Gracie family and has five wins by submission. Keith Jardine went the distance but he was the only one to do so. Gracie’s only loss came in November of 2011 by KO to Muhammed Lawal.
Kennedy is a good grappler and takedown artist, but he doesn’t come close to Gracie who is a 10 time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion. Even though Gracie has a 5 inch reach advantage he would prefer to keep the match on the mat where he can apply one of his trademark submission holds. Still I like Kennedy to capture a hard fought decision because I think he will outwork Gracie.
Cub Swanson (-230) vs Dennis Siver (+180), Featherweight Bout, Scheduled for 3 rounds, over 2 1/2 -175 / under 2 1/2 +135
Both Swanson and Siver have been on winning streaks lately and with a win could be in line for a title shot against UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo down the road.
The 29 year old Swanson is 19-5 in his MMA career and 4-1 in UFC. He has won 4 straight fights since his debut loss to Ricardo Lamas. Swanson has been dominant in wins against George Roop, Ross Pearson, and Charles Oliveira and survived a hard fought decision against Dustin Poirier in February.
Siver is 34 from Russia of German descent. He is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight from lightweight. He has wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan both by decision.
Both fighters are aggressive. Siver uses a kickboxing style and Swanson also isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe. Swanson is stringer physically but Siver is quicker and more athletic. Siver needs to slow down the pace. This could be the fight of the night as both fighters aren’t afraid to go all out. I like Swanson to win by a late TKO.
Frankie Edgar (-550) vs Charles Oliveira (+400), Featherweight Bout, Scheduled for 3 rounds, over 2 1/2 -120 / under 2 1/2 -120
The legendary Edgar is used to being in the main event and hasn’t fought a three round fight since 2009. Edgar is 15-4-1 in his career including 9-4-1 in UFC. He moved down to 145 pounds and lost a close decision in a title fight to Aldo at UFC 156. The 31 year old has lost 3 straight fights after losing 2 decisions to UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Now, Edgar must work his way back into tittle contention in the deep featherweight division that includes Lamas, Swanson, and Siver. Edgar looks to get back on track as he takes on Charles Oliveira who is 16-3 overall and 4-3 in UFC. He lost to Swanson by first round KO at UFC 152 last September.
Oliveira will look to use his striking ability to hurt Edgar early. Even if Oliveira gets taken down, he still has a variety of submission moves from on his back. Edgar doesn’t have a lot of power but is very quick and will try to land some rapid blows. I like Edgar to control the tempo and grab a decision. A loss to Oliveira could end Edgar’s career.
Anderson Silva (-240) vs Chris Weidman (+190), UFC Middleweight Title, Scheduled for 5 rounds, Over 2 1/2 -120 / under 2 1/2 -120
The 38 year old Silva is nearing the end of his brilliant career. As mentioned he has held the Middleweight title for just under 7 years. Silva is 33-4 and 16-0 in UFC. The list of fighters he has beaten during his reign is a who’s who of middleweights, Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Forest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, and Vitor Belfort. Silva hasn’t fought since a first round TKO over Stephan Bonnar in October at UFC 153.
Silva now faces what many consider to be his toughest challenge yet as he faces the 9-0 Chris Weidman who has won all five of his UFC fights. He knocked out Munoz in his last fight in the second round last July. A torn labrum kept him out a bout with Boetsch at UFC 155.
Only Sonnen has come close to beating Silva as he lost by a decision in 2010. He used his wrestling skills to apply suffocating pressure. So many think that is the blueprint for beating Silva. However, Silva won by second round TKO in the rematch last year. Weidman was a a two time all-American wrestler at Hofstra. The problem is trying to get close enough to “The Spider” without succumbing to his lethal strikes. There is a reason why 20 of Silva’s wins came via KO, TKO, or ref stoppage. Weidman will hang around for a while but Silva wins by TKO or stoppage in the fourth round.
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