Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/3/13
With six months rest under his belt, veteran MMA fighter and UFC legend Anderson Silva is back in the octagon and ready to defend his middleweight title. Bet on UFC 162, as the 38-year-old veteran lines up across from Chris Weidman on Wednesday. With 16 straight victories dating as far back as 2006, it’s no real surprise that the MMA odds lean heavily in Silva’s favor. Weidman, though impressive throughout the first three years of his own UFC career, is younger and considerably less decorated than his opponent. Considering that Silva has spent the past decade establishing and re-establishing himself as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, that really comes as no surprise. Still, with an undefeated record of his own through nine UFC fights, Weidman is likely to be more than a simple walk in the park for the veteran Silva — and that’s what makes the looming matchup a must-watch event. It’s also why, while Silva has the moneyline advantage, it’s only with -260 odds. That makes Weidman the +200 dog. In Weidman, Silva faces a young, athletic takedown artist who’s enjoyed particular success with his wrestling ability. That fighting style will clash with Silva’s notorious striking attack, so make no mistake, the winner of this UFC 162 headlining event will be the one that dictates the style of the bout. It’s one thing to picture Silva stifling Weidman with blows to the head and body; it’s something else entirely to see him thrive on the ground against an opponent who’s already submitted two of his UFC matchups. Most recently, Weidman was seen knocking out Mark Munoz with a series of elbows and punches. Does that mean more could be in store when Silva takes his shot at him? Worth noting is that, while Silva hasn’t fought since last October, Weidman hasn’t fought since last July because of an injury that forced him out of UFC 155. Joining Weidman and Silva on the fight card are a number of interesting fighters with something to prove, particularly Frankie Edgar and Charles Oliveira. There’s much on the line for both fighters, but until the 23-year-old Oliveira can prove that he’s a legitimate force to be considered, the UFC odds lean heavily in his opponent’s direction. Consider Edgar the -550 favorite in that event, while Oliveira — with +375 UFC odds — just tries to keep up. This post is presented by Bovada. Photo via Facebook/Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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