They’ve smushed chins. They’ve mushed lips. But tonight at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman will let their fists do the love-making, and the only bodily fluids being exchanged will be BLOOD. [Ed. note: Look, I'm doing my best here.] Whether the Brazilian G.O.A.T. makes his 11th middleweight title defense, or the “All-American” lives up to his Rocky-esque underdog hype, I think we’re in for a hell of a battle.
Handling our liveblog for the “Silva vs. Weidman” main card is Alex Giardini, who will be slingin’ live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates, and feel free to mouth off in the comments section.
Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?
JJ: Now,I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.
If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.
BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.
The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.
Tim Kennedy seems to talk a lot for a guy without many significant wins. Will Roger Gracie silence him for once, or will Kennedy finally live up to his own hype?
Come along as we head to Las Vegas and breakdown some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for Zuffa’s latest 2013 PPV offering. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, as usual.
Melancon makes his UFC debut as the +250 underdog after a 1-1 record in Strikeforce against a -300 Seth Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola,” who is built like a middleweight, will enjoy a 7 inch height advantage and should be able to keep the fight standing to compliment his striking advantage in this bout. Melancon has yet to be finished and fight goes the distance at -195 is a fairly safe prop option for a single bet. Baczynski makes the parlay.
- Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira: Following his unsuccessful title challenge against Jose Aldo — which gave Edgar his third decision loss in a row — “The Answer” returns to the featherweight division to face dangerous grappler Charles Oliveira. Though Oliveira hasn’t competed since his knockout loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 152, his two previous fights resulted in submission victories over Jonathan Brookins and Eric Wisely. It’s a logical rebound fight for Edgar, and a huge opportunity for Oliveira.
- Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver: Speaking of Swanson, the Jackson’s MMA product is red-hot lately, with four straight victories in the UFC (three by KO/TKO). Fresh off his recent decision win over Dustin Poirier, Swanson will try to add to his streak against the hard-striking Dennis Siver, who is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight, with decision wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan.
(It’s kind of offensive that the UFC promos keep referring to Barao as a “monster.” He’s a human being, okay? An aggressive, scary human being whose mother just happens to be half-cthulhu / Photo via MMAJunkie.)
Leading us through today’s UFC on FUEL 7 liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will be laying down round-by-round results from the main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.
1. The main card is a hot mess of blue-chip prospects.
Even more so than UFC on FUEL 7′s headliners, I’m excited to see the return of three guys who looked like juggernauts in their UFC debuts. First, we’ve got our old palRyan Jimmo, who entered the Octagon on a 16-fight win streak at UFC 149 and proceeded to sleep Anthony Perosh in just seven seconds, then gave fans their money’s worth by busting out a celebratory robot. Can he possibly repeat that performance this weekend against James Te-Huna?
The prelims also feature a few more guys who almost fit in the same “hot-prospect” category, including Stanislav Nedkov — who’s still technically undefeated after his loss to Thiago Silva was overturned in November — and Paul Sass, the submission wiz who took the first loss of his career against Matt Wiman in September.
2. Michael McDonald could become the youngest UFC champion ever* — and by a fairly wide margin.
Sniper Award: Cub Swanson has been on a roll lately and tops out as the division’s most accurate striker, landing 37% of his power head strike attempts. For perspective, that’s bordering on Anderson Silva-type accuracy, at least statistically. This has helped Swanson win three straight in the UFC, all by (T)KO, and pick up two straight Knockout of the Night bonuses.
Biggest Ball(s) Award: Andy Ogle may cry a lot when he’s away from home, but no one should doubt the size of his, ahem, heart. Though he dropped a split decision in his UFC debut against Akira Corassani, he managed to knock down the Swede despite landing only two solid strikes to the head. He’d better improve his accuracy and pull the trigger more often if he hopes to get past the similarly gun-shy yet powerful Josh Grispi at UFC on FUEL 7 next month. Other notable featherweights with knockdown power include Koch, Aldo, Dennis Siver and Dennis Bermudez.
(The best part about having palm trees tattooed across your waistline, you ask? Endless cocoNUT jokes.)
A bit of mixed news for fans of the featherweight division, as word just broke that Dennis Siver has been forced to withdraw from his UFC on FUEL 7 bout with Cub Swanson for undisclosed reasons. The good news: stepping in for Siver will be Dustin Poirier, an exciting slugger who has picked up end of the night bonuses in two out of his last three contests. Although Poirier doesn’t exactly match the ridiculous offensive output of Siver, you can bet the ranch that this fight will net another bonus for at least one of these gentlemen when all is said and done.
Why not blow the first 15 minutes of your workday watching dozens of the best UFC knockouts that last year had to offer? Obviously Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim gets a place of honor at the end of this highlight reel, but if I had to pick another favorite moment, it has to be the way that George Roop‘s mouthpiece explodes out of his face at the 12:01 mark, courtesy of a Cub Swanson right hand.