The UFC will cap off a great year with their final show of 2013, headlining it is the rematch between Anderson "The Spider" Silva and the current middleweight champion Chris Weidman. In the co-main event we have "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey defending her women's bantamweight title against rival Miesha "Cupcake" Tate. These two women have faced off before in Strikeforce where Rousey took the title away from Tate with a first round armbar. We will also be treated with a heavyweight bout between title contenders, Josh Barnett and Travis Browne. We're in store for a great night of fights, i'm going to breakdown all the fights on the card and give you my predictions.
Chris Weidman (10-0) Vs. Anderson "The Spider" Silva (33-5)
Finally, the rematch everybody has been waiting for since UFC 162 is here and everybody wants to see which Anderson Silva is going to show up. Will Silva clown in the ring again? or will he take this fight seriously, considering how he got knocked the F out the last time around. The line for this fight has been out for a couple months now, originally at -110 each, it has raised in Anderson Silva's favour. The line is currently -160 for Silva and +140 for the champ Chris Weidman. Rarely will you see a champ coming into a title fight as the underdog but this is what we have here, granted Weidman is not a huge underdog as the line is set pretty close, I see it as pretty good value for the champ. It's hard for me to bet against my favourite fighter of all-time (Anderson Silva), but getting better than even money with a talented and gritty fighter in Weidman, it's hard to resist. I think Anderson Silva has a really good chance to win if he can keep the fight standing, but if he can't defend the Weidman takedown, he might be in for a long night of getting dominated on the ground. I see Silva trying to utilize various kicks in his attack, which will leave him prone to the takedown and than from there Weidman controlling him on the ground for most of the match. I will be secretly cheering for Silva but laying the number on Weidman.
Chris Weidman +140
"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey (7-0) Vs. Miesha "Cupcake" Tate (13-4)
In what has turned into a bitter rivalry, these two women are set to face off for the second time, this time Miesha Tate has the chance to take the belt away from Rousey. After going back and forth at each other and getting on each others nerves on the latest Ultimate Fighter series, we finally get to see them settle it in the octagon. Rousey comes in as the huge favourite at -900 and Tate as the underdog at +600. Ronda Rousey is 7-0 with all seven wins coming via first round armbar, while Tate has lost 2 of her last 3, most recently losing to Cat Zingano via TKO. Miesha Tate is very competitive and i'm sure she will test Rousey, but I see Ronda taking this fight to the ground early and having her way on the mat getting another submission victory. I wouldn't suggest laying 9 to 1 straight up on Rousey but maybe putting her in a parlay or finding a prop bet closer to fight day betting on a submission within the distance.
Ronda Rousey -900
Josh Barnett (33-6) Vs. Travis "Hapa" Browne (15-1-1)
The only heavyweight fight on the card features two top 10 heavyweights looking to get closer to a title shot. Travis Browne has looked impressive coming off consecutive knockout of the night awards against Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem. Meanwhile Josh Barnett has only lost once since 2007, that loss coming to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final. The winner of this fight could be in line to fight for the title next, or atleast one fight closer. These two matchup pretty well, Barnett standing 6'4 and Browne at 6'7, this should be a war between giants. I love watching both of these guys fight and while heavyweight fights are the hardest to predict i'm going to have to lean towards Josh Barnett, who has twice the experience of Browne. After witnessing the comeback Browne made against Alistair Overeem, it's hard to ever count him out. I'm going to lean towards a Josh Barnett victory but remember that this is a heavyweight fight so tread lightly.
Josh Barnett -190
Jim Miller (22-4-1) Vs. Fabricio Camoes (14-7-1)
A lightweight matchup between two UFC vets has Jim Miller clashing with Fabricio Camoes. Jim Miller is coming off a no contest after his last bout with Pat Healy was overturned because Healy tested positive for marijuana. Healy subsequently had both his knockout of the night and fight of the night bonuses taken away from him. As for Fabricio Camoes, he hasn't fought since July 2012, at UFC 148 where he lost to Melvin Guillard via unanimous decision. Jim Miller comes in as the favourite at -365 and Camoes the underdog at +305, this line seems about right as ring rust might be a bit of an issue for Camoes. I like Miller here and would lean towards a decision victory.
Jim Miller -365
Dustin Poirier (14-3) Vs. Diego Brandao (18-8)
A battle between two promising featherweights has TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao up against Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier. Both fighters have looked pretty good in the UFC so far and a win here could put them closer to a title shot. Dustin Poirier comes in as the favourite at -230 and Brandao as the underdog at +190, I do not agree with this line at all, I believe the fight is actually much closer than the oddsmakers think. The only thing suspect about Diego Brandao is his cardio, as he tends to slow down towards the latter rounds, other than that Brandao is a beast. Poirier looked great in his last fight against Erik Koch and showed in that fight that he's dangerous on the feet as well as the ground. I think were getting great value here on Brandao and would suggest laying the number. I'll lean towards Diego Brandao via decision.
Diego Brandao +190
Chris Leben (22-10) Vs. Uriah Hall (7-4)
This is a do or die fight for both of these fighters, so there jobs are on the line and we might see some sense or urgency from the both of them. Both fighters are coming off losses and another poor performance could land them a pink-slip. Uriah Hall comes in as the favourite at -300 and Chris Leben the underdog at +250, I don't agree with this line whatsoever and ever since TUF 17 the oddsmakers have been over-valueing Uriah Hall. What you need to understand is that fighting the TUF house is nothing like fight for real in the UFC. The oddsmakers continuously set the line too high with Uriah Hall and I personally have already cashed in on this mistake betting big on Kelvin Gastelum and than John Howard. Chris Leben will be making his 22nd appearance in the octagon, that's twice the amount of fights Hall has in his career. I see Leben controlling this fight with his aggressive style and forcing Hall to fight his kind of fight. Even if Hall does end up winning this fight I don't believe he will do as well as most people think, I just don't believe he has the heart of a fighter.
Chris Leben +250
Gleison Tibau (28-9) Vs. Michael "The Menace" Johnson (13-8)
An interesting matchup in the lightweight division has Gleison Tibau up against TUF 12 standout Michael "The Menace" Johnson. Both fighters are coming off wins and look to gain some momentum and possibly crack the top ten in the lightweight division. Gleison Tibau comes in as the favourite at -150 and Michael Johnson the underdog at +130, these seems about right as Tibau should have a bit of edge with his experience. I like both of these fighters and I think they match-up pretty well, i'm not in love with this fight and personally i'm going to stay away from it but my lean would be towards a Tibau victory via decision.
Gleison Tibau -150
Dennis Siver (21-9) Vs. Manvel "The Anvil" Gamburyan (13-7)
A match-up between two UFC vets has Dennis Siver up against Manny Gamburyan in a featherweight bout. Dennis Siver is coming off a brutal TKO loss to Cub Swanson, while Gamburyan has won his last two, most recently eeking out a decision versus Cole Miller. Dennis Siver comes in as the favourite at -250 and Gamburyan as the underdog at +210, the line seems about right as Siver should have an edge standing up. Siver might be a bit more durable and throws various kicking techniques to catch his opponents off guard. I imagine Gamburyan is going to try and use his judo take Siver down and to control him on the mat. I'm not in love with this fight but i'm going to lean towards a Siver victory via decision.
Dennis Siver -250
Siyar Bahadurzada (21-5-1) Vs. John "Doomsday" Howard (21-8)
Kicking off the FOX Sports 1 prelims is a welterweight matchup between Siyar Bahadurzada and John "Doomsday" Howard. We haven't seen much of Bahadurzada as he has only fought twice in the UFC, knocking out Paulo Thiago in his first fight and than getting dominated by Dong Hyun Kim in his second. Meanwhile, John Howard is on his second stint with the UFC and is coming off a decision victory over Uriah Hall. Siyar is the favourite at -150 and Howard the underdog at +130, I agree this is a close fight and I believe it should be a pick'em, with that said the oddsmakers are giving us +130. This will be the 9th fight in the octagon for Howard. I'm going to go out on a limb here and go for the underdog with more experience.
John Howard +130
Bobby Voelker (24-10) Vs. William "Patolino" Macario (6-1)
Old school meets new school as Strikeforce vet Bobby Voelker faces off against TUF Brazil 2 stand-out William Macario. Both fighters are coming off losses and are looking to get back on track with a win. Voelker is the favourite at -165 and Macario the underdog at +145, Macario is the 3rd youngest fighter currenlty in the UFC at the age of 22. I was impressed by Macario in TUF Brazil 2 and although he lost in the final he has a lot of potential. One factor for "Patolino" will be his cardio but that might not be much of an issue as Voelker hasn't showed signs of great cardio either. Voelker is in dire need of a victory and if he fails to do so it could mean the chopping block for him. I'm going to have to go with the underdog again with this one.
William Macario +145
Robbie Peralta (16-4-1) Vs. Estevan Payan (14-4)
Kicking off the card we have a welterweight matchup between Robbie "Problems" Peralta and Estevan Payan. Both fighters are coming off a loss and look to right the ship on Saturday. Peralta is the favourite at -185 and Payan the underdog at +160, Peralta is coming off a 6 month suspension after being tested positive for marijuana in his last bout. This should be a competitive match and i'm going to lean towards a Robbie Peralta victory via decision.
Robbie Peralta - 185
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