Can the underdog really defeat the Spider on Saturday night?
Nowadays, along with drinking PBR, wearing ironically large framed glasses, and smoking cloves, it seems like the cool thing to do is to pick Chris Weidman to upset UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva this Saturday. Now let’s remember this is the same Anderson Silva that is widely regarded as the greatest and most prolific combatant to ever enter the UFC Octagon. The same guy that rudely introduced his foot to Vitor Belfort’s face and made Forrest Griffin look like a stumbling newborn fawn. The same guy that has more title defenses than anyone else ever in the history of the promotion and has been the Middleweight Champion for the last SEVEN years.
With that said, I do believe that Chris Weidman has a hell of a shot to dethrone Silva at UFC 162 in Vegas. I don’t want to seem like I am hopping on the suddenly burgeoning Weidman bandwagon, but it is hard to overlook the kid’s skills.
Weidman is a heck of a wrestler, good enough to beat the likes of Phil Davis in his college days. Everyone who has ever broken a sweat at Renzo Gracie’s gym in NYC say that he is some sort of hybrid grappling ‘beast’ or ‘savage’, and this is certainly backed up by his ADCC record. Chael Sonnen showed us the blueprint of how to put Anderson on his ass with his otherworldly power double, but Weidman doesn’t possess the the same skillset that Mr. Sonnen has. Wiedman prefers the Greco Roman style and ragdolling fools across the cage with apparent relative ease. If Weidman, who will likely look the part of the stronger man come Saturday, can get this thing to the mat, his ability to finish is what puts him in the stratosphere above Sonnen’s wrestling talents. Weidman has VICOUS ground and pound that would surely make Mark Coleman smile. If Weidman were to win the belt, I can see him using brute force and wrestling technique to drag the gangly Spider to the mat and work for an early finish. What Weidman cannot do on Saturday is let Silva linger. If he has a shot to win it is early in the first or second round. He cant let Silva process his technique and then come up with some Fatality-esque way to win the scrap a la Okami, Belfort, and Griffin.
Who am I rooting for Saturday you ask? Well, if you know anything about me, you know I live and die by the fates of most New York sports teams. With Weidman coming out of Long Island and after watching the devastating impact Hurricane Sandy had on him and his family, I am finding it awfully hard not to root for the ‘All-American’. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I enjoy more than watching Anderson Silva fight in a cage. I really don’t wan’t to see him lose and I consider it a privilege to watch him fight, but this just seems like the perfect storm for his reign to end. Weidman’s grappling prowess along with youthful exuberance could lead him to an early victory. If Chris capitalizes on his advantages over the Spider early in the scrap, we could see a new Middleweight Champion come Saturday night.
Some quick picks for the rest of the card below:
Edson Barboza by TKO v. Rafaello Oliveira
Gabriel Gonzaga by submission v. Dave Herman
Norman Parke by decision v. Kazuki Tokudome
Andrew Craig by decision v. Chris Leben
Main Card, Pay Per View, 10 PM
Dennis Siver v. Cub Swanson
Siver is a demon with those spinning back kicks, but Cub Swanson has looked like one of the hungriest fighters on the UFC roster over the last year and I don’t see the stout German getting in his way of a title shot. Swanson by decision.
Tim Boetsch v. Mark Munoz
As big of a fan as I am of Tim Boetsch and his farm bred strength, I just don’t see Mark Munoz’s comeback story ending in any way besides a TKO victory for the incredible shrinking man. Munoz by TKO.
Roger Gracie v. Tim Kennedy
Provided that Tim Kennedy can keep his mouth shut until Saturday, I see him outpointing the grappling Gracie on the big stage come Saturday night. Tim Kennedy by decision.
Frankie Edgar v. Charles Oliveira
Now that I am a New Jersey transplant of sort, I am compelled to root fanatically for Frankie Edgar. I’m pretty sure that if that Aldo fight was one round longer that Edgar could have come out the winner, but he just turned on the Jersey magic a little too late. That being said, Edgar avoids the submission attempts of Oliveira and boxes his way to a TKO victory. Edgar by TKO.
Middleweight Championship Fight
Champion Anderson Silva v. Chris Weidman
Now, I told you how Chris Weidman could win this fight and that I will be rooting for the New York product, but what do I think will actually happen in reality? Weidman will press early, but it won’t be enough to squash the Spider. Anderson wins by 3rd Round TKO.
Hope everyone has a great weekend celebrating America and enjoys the fights on Saturday night!