Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 7/6/13
Striking: Silva is arguably the greatest of all- time, and his incredible striking is what fuels his success. 20 of his 33 wins have come by KO, more than half of them in the first round. “The Spider” utilizes head movement, is fluid with his footwork, and works from all angles. He uses the jab to set things up, usually series of devastating knees and kicks. He’s incredibly creative and that’s tough to gameplan for. He’s very patient and rarely engages before feeling out his opponent first, timing his strikes perfectly. He almost always has a speed advantage, he’s accurate, and his striking defense is great as well. Breaking down the striking of Weidman is a bit trickier. He usually gets the fight to the ground right away, so there’s not a lot of footage to dissect. From what we’ve seen Weidman is pretty aggressive, stalking his opponents, and cutting off the cage. He throws power punches at a high frequency. We saw that on display against Munoz with a vicious elbow that started the end of the fight. He also dropped and finished Uriah Hall early in his career, but Hall was extremely raw at the time. When Weidman gets the fight to the ground he’s very active and keeps a solid pace, able to find a home with his shots for some brutal ground-and-pound. Verdict- Big advantage to Anderson Silva. Wrestling: This is what many consider to be the x-factor of the fight. Weidman has great wrestling credentials. He’s a two-time division-I All-American and has brought those skills into the Octagon. He’s taken down every opponent he’s fought in the UFC with ease and stuffed every takedown against him.  Silva, on the other hand, is not a great wrestler. He never looks to take his opponent down, and he’s been taken down against easily against Henderson and Sonnen. Those are the only two wrestlers he’s fought in the UFC, so history isn’t on his side when it comes to defending the takedown. Verdict- Big advantage to Chris Weidman. BJJ: Silva is a BJJ black belt under Big Nog. He submitted Henderson and Sonnen, two wrestlers, so that’s good news. He also subbed Travis Lutter early in his UFC career, who is far and away the best grappler he’s ever tapped out. For a guy who’s been in the UFC so long, it’s rare that we haven’t gotten to see his sub-defense. Kudos to the man for never putting himself in compromising decisions. Chael Sonnen briefly went for an arm triangle but was never close to finishing, and Sonnen isn’t known for his submission skills. Weidman is a brown belt in BJJ under Matt Serra. He’s won a grapplers quest tournament and qualified and competed in the ADCC. He’s won three fights by SUB with a d’arce, guillotine, and kimura. He out-grappled Maia in their fight, and we know how well decorated Maia is. Like Silva, it’s tough to get a gauge on his sub-defense. Verdict- Small advantage to Chris Weidman. His wrestling factors in here as he can use stifling top control to set up his submissions and defend Silva’s attempts from the bottom. Cardio: Silva has been to the 5th round three times in his career and looked fresh each time. Weidman faded in the Sakara and Maia fights. Though to be fair he fought with broken ribs against Sakara, and cut 30 pounds in 11 days to take the fight with Maia on short notice. Weidman has never been in a 5-round fight before. Verdict- Big advantage to Anderson Silva. Intangibles: This is a big step up for Weidman. He’s headlining his first paper view against a legend in the sport. Can he handle it? When it comes to adversity we know Silva can. He staged impressive comebacks to win against Hendo and both fights with Sonnen. Verdict- Big advantage to Anderson Silva. Other notes to be aware of before I get to my pick: Outside of the Bonnar fight, Silva has had the reach advantage against every opponent he’s faced in the UFC. That won’t be the case here, as Weidman has a .5 inch advantage. Is this significant? Anderson Silva is 38. Father time can sneak up on athletes fast. This is a 360 day layoff for Weidman. Cage rust? The Pick- The Achilles Heel in Anderson Silva’s game has been his wrestling. Wrestling is Weidman’s bread and butter. Hendo and Sonnen lacked superb grappling skills to go along with their wrestling, Weidman isn’t lacking in that department. Silva won’t have a reach advantage against a wrestler for the first time, that could spell trouble if he can’t properly gauge the distance on Weidman’s shots. The UFC has billed Weidman as the perfect storm to defeat the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I’m inclined to agree. Chris Weidman by TKO in the 3rd round. 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If you’re looking to make a little $ on tonight’s card I suggest a parlay. Edgar/Barboza/Gonzaga-Herman ITD is a strong play. Pierce, Baczynski, and Parke are significant favorites for a reason too if you want to go a different route. I put something small on Weidman as well since I’m getting good odds. My full slate of picks: Weidman by KO round 3. Edgar by decision. Kennedy by decision. Swanson by decision. Munoz by decision. Leben by KO round 1. Parke by decision. Gonzaga by SUB round 1. Barboza by KO round 2. Baczynski by decision. Pierce by decision. -ClutchMMA
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