On Saturday December 28th at UFC 168 current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris “All American” Weidman will face former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “the Spider” Silva to solidify his status as the Number 1 Middleweight in the world.
Chris “All American” Weidman (10-0: 4 KO’s, 3 Subs)
Weidman is coming into this fight fresh off of his second round knockout victory over Silva at UFC 162. Many critics felt that Silva simply beat himself with his showboating and taunting, and Weidman just happened to capitalize on Silva’s mistake by throwing a lucky punch. Weidman is gunning for validation and will definitely be looking to prove the critics wrong. The Serra-Longo representative used some great boxing and wrestling to keep Silva on his toes in their first fight, and was not fazed by Silva’s psychological warfare. Weidman kept a level head in the second round and caught Silva with a hard left hook as Silva leaned back and ended the fight at 1:18 of Round 2.
Weidman has proven to be very well rounded and brings some high-level grappling into this fight with his NCAA Division I wrestling as well as some very technical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with his brown belt from Matt Serra. Ideally, Weidman should make this fight with Silva a grappling match as he can use his superior size and grappling aggressiveness to wear down Silva with his ground and pound and submissions. Weidman has also proven to be a formidable striker with KO victories over Uriah Hall and Mark Munoz, where he displayed some great boxing and hard elbows.
Anderson “the Spider” Silva (33-5: 20 KO’s, 6 Subs)
Silva’s knockout loss to Weidman at UFC 162 ended his legendary 16 fight-winning streak in the UFC. During his time as UFC Middleweight Champion, Silva defeated top opponents in both the Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions, scoring victories over such names as Rich Franklin (2x), Chael Sonnen (2x), Dan Henderson and Forrest Griffin just to name a few. Over the course of Silva’s legendary 16 fight-winning streak, his confidence grew as a champion. Silva’s confidence turned to arrogance in his fight with Weidman at UFC 162 and Silva made the mistake of underestimating Weidman’s striking.
Stylistically Silva is a nightmare for any fighter. He is a very dangerous striker with some incredible Muay-Thai kickboxing and has picked numerous opponents apart with his punches, kicks, knees and elbows. Not only is Silva a dangerous striker, but he also has solid BJJ to match. The Nogueira BJJ black belt may only have 6 career submission victories, but he has submitted some top grapplers in Travis Lutter, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson. Silva’s movement and unpredictability serves as an X-factor that differentiates him from the rest of the Middleweight division, and solidifies his claim as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
I expect Silva to come out focused and aggressive, pressuring Weidman with his striking early. Weidman will wait patiently and try to counter Silva with his boxing, but Silva’s kickboxing and movement will allow him to get the better of the exchanges. In the third round I expect Silva to catch Weidman with a kick or a knee to end the fight via knockout.
My Prediction: Anderson Silva via KO in the 3rd