MMA NEWS: UFC 168 SILVA VS WEIDMAN 2 PICKS AND PREDICTIONS
TV: Saturday 12/128/13 10PM EST MAIN CARD: PPV UNDERCARD PRELIMS: FOX SPORTS 1
Chicago, Illinois – December 26, 2013
UFC 168: SILVA VS. WEIDMAN 2
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) SATURDAY December 28, 2013
What a year it has been for the sport of MMA; GSP retained the title but still went into semi-retirement, heavy-weights Hunt and Bigfoot gave fight fans 25 minutes of utter glory and the middle-weight crown fell hard from a fight god’s brow. There is no better way to top the 2013 calendar than with the most anticipated rematch in MMA history. When Anderson Silva walks into the cage Saturday night it will be as something he hasn’t been in over 7 years; a challenger to the middle-weight belt. Weidman took the title 6 months ago and many would argue it was handed to him in the most bizarre of fashions. This match will end all questions that hang over the 185 pound title. The Co-main could easily stand alone, as the two top females in the sport Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey settle a serious grudge. Plus top-ten Heavies fight for the next contender spot as polished grappler Josh Barnett faces serious striker Travis Browne. These are my picks and predictions for UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2.
CHRIS WEIDMAN: CHAMP (10-0) VS. ANDERSON “SPIDER” SILVA #1 (33-5)
Is this is the year of the Legend Slayer? In 2013 Legacies are on the line and it is a wide belief that the changing of the guard is upon us in the Octagon. Silva, in prime form, chin in a respectful position and dancing provocation at a minimum, could easily take the belt back. Weidman still poses a big threat, like he did in July, nothing has changed, except he wears the “strap” now, which most definitely raises his confidence level. Some are talking retirement for Silva win or lose. Cliché as it is; a lot is on the line. In the last match I felt Silva might have had Weidman’s number in the 1st round and then The Spider’s “antics” had gotten the best of him. Shortly after Silva’s KO UFC Color Commentator Joe Rogan said something to the effect that no one has a strategy involving sticking your chin out and having your hands completely down and no fight coach is advocating such behavior. If Silva watched tape afterwards (and he most certainly did), his game plan should drastically change.
Prediction: Silva by strikes in the 2nd round.
RONDA ROUSEY (7-0) CHAMP VS. MIESHA TATE #2(13-4)
Rousey is going to finish Miesha Tate in the first round via an armbar submission. That’s all folks. . . I should stop this part of the article right now, but I respect Tate, who is a very talented fighter and many consider a top ten pound for pound female fighter in the world. It would be something to see Rousey’s “one trick” get stuffed, but Tate isn’t the one to do it. Prediction: Rousey. Armbar. 1st Round. Nuff’ Said.
TRAVIS BROWNE #5 (15-1) VS JOSH “WARMASTER” BARNETT #6 (33-6)
In his return to the eight-sided circle, cage legend Josh Barnett served up a knock-out knee to fellow heavy-weight luminary Frank Mir. In his sophomore outing “Warmaster” has a different challenge in the form of Travis Browne, a big man who moves and strikes like a welter. Both fighters are well rounded but each has their forte and they just happen to oppose each other. If Barnett can get it to the mat, then he’ll win the day in familiar territory. However, Browne is surely aware of Barnett’s submission game and most likely will bring quick kicks and combos with him at the opening horn. I see Barnett’s superior wrestling giving him the advantage. Prediction: Barnett by submission.
JIM MILLER #10 VS (22-4) VS. FABRICIO CAMEOS (14-7)
Both light-weights are coming off of a loss. Again you have opposing styles pitted against each other; Miller’s proven striking and Cameos top tier Jiu-Jitsu. Miller needs a bounce back win after succumbing to a Pat Healy submission RNC (overturned due to Healy testing positive for marijuana). Cameos will go for the take down and attempt to drag Miller into his world. To do so will be a matter of timing Miller’s striking and avoiding the hammer. Miller is the heavy odds on favorite. Prediction: Miller KOs Cameos.
DUSTIN POIRIER #6 VS (14-3) VS. DIEGO BRANDAO (22-8)
Poirier is holding at the better part of a win-loss pattern taking a unanimous decision from Erik Koch back in August. This is not where you expect to see such a talent as Poirier, a double threat feather-weight with proven KO and submission notches on his belt. TUF 14 Champ Brandao is on a 3 fight win streak. Among the trio of wins is a triangle sub against Pablo Graza. This is Brandao’s chance to eliminate a top-ten 145er at center stage during the card everyone will be watching. Poirier is the favorite and it’s his fight to lose. I see a close contest, with “Fight of the Night” written all over it and an outcome not easily foreseen. Prediction: Poirier by decision.