This is part two of our UFC 168 preview. You can also see our thoughts on Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate.
The main event to UFC 168 has a bit of a mystical and mysterious feel to it because of the way their first fight ended. Does Chris Weidman have the right style and substance to beat Anderson Silva? Or did Silva act the fool one too many times and finally get caught? It’s really a hard thing to figure out. And I’m not sure you can based on their first fight.
Watch it again. At some points during the fight, Silva looks as untouchable as ever. But then it all changed with one shot that landed. And it was a great shot.
Joining the FGB crew to make their pick for the fight are Heidi Fang (@HeidiFang) from MMA Fight Corner, Alex Goff (@AlexGoff84) from Online World Of Wrestling, and Steve Juon (@AngryMarks) from Angry Marks.
Weidman vs. Silva preview
Heidi: Weidman by 4th round TKO
Call me crazy. But I think Chris Weidman may hold Anderson Silva’s kryptonite. After reigning for 6 years over the UFC middleweight division, I think Silva’s reign has officially come to an end. This camp he came in fully healthy and has pushed himself to the limits to endure the full 5-rounds if necessary. I think his wrestling will be much more of a factor this time around as well as his conditioning. I see Weidman finishing this in the 4th round by TKO ground and pound.
Alex: Weidman by 4th round TKO
What a unique fight this is. I saw Chris Weidman as being the prototypical guy to beat Anderson Silva but thought he’d be the victim of terrible timing. His family were victims in Hurricane Katrina and any type of displacement of your family can weigh heavy. He was also coming back quickly from shoulder surgery. There is also the fact that he was a young fighter and early in his career he would be entering into the MGM and seeing his face everywhere. I had assumed the combination would be too much too early. I didn’t consider the fact that Anderson would channel the 2008 version of himself where trying to embarrass his opponent was just as important as the victory. I think this match-up will be epic and I think Chris will win and I think that we will view their first fight as a pivotal point in MMA history.
Steve: Weidman by decision
The prevalent theory seems to be that Anderson Silva only lost the middleweight title to Chris Weidman because he made a mistake – completely dismissing anything Weidman brought to the table as a challenger. That’s understandable to a degree given how many times Silva had run through opponents, and given that Silva was clowning around when he got caught with a punch. Make no mistake about it though – Weidman has knockout power and had proved it in previous fights, and it’s not as though Silva’s chin has never been touched in a bout – Weidman did something the rest could not. People also seem to forget he’s a two time collegiate All American, and Chael Sonnen proved that Silva is vulnerable to takedowns from great wrestlers. I don’t subscribe to the believe that Silva is going to goof around again in this bout – I think he’ll be disciplined and focused and won’t simply present a chin to Weidman to hit. I also don’t believe that Silva’s speed and accuracy alone will be enough to disassemble Weidman, and that if it goes the distance, he won’t necessarily have outpointed Weidman all five rounds. I’ve got Weidman by decision.
Duan: Weidman by decision
Sometimes when you have a guy who has looked untouchable for so long, once they’re beaten, they’re never the same. Sometimes that first loss is the beginning of the end. I just have a sense that might be the case with Anderson. I do believe a 100% focused version of Silva from their first fight and before beats Weidman every time. But I don’t believe that’s the guy we’re going to see enter the cage Saturday. Fighters don’t get better at 38; Silva is another six months older, coming off the first knockout defeat of his career and without the confidence that comes from being champion. I think he’s up against it here. Weidman has done it before. He knows he can do it again.
Alan: Weidman by decision
I was looking at Weidman’s record the other day and was shocked at how few fights he’s had in UFC. You could really make an argument that we don’t know who he is as a fighter yet. But we do. He’s the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Round 1 of the first fight saw Weidman really start well. He started to get lured into Silva’s web in the second, but once he was in there he knocked him out. So really everything from the first fight points to another Weidman win. But this won’t be the same Anderson. I think we’ll see an uncharacteristically aggressive Silva come at the champ early. How Weidman handles this us the key to the fight. I think we may see Weidman in trouble but I think he’ll gain a handle on things, slowly start to control the fight with strength and score an impressive decision win.
Big D: Silva by 2nd round TKO
I’m very uncertain about this one as I’m sure many are. It’s pretty easy to say “fluke” like many others have said, but I saw some things in that first fight that freaked me out. Silva connected with a few shots to Weidman’s face and he really truly didn’t look like he hurt him. Could Weidman just have a good chin? Could Silva’s power not be what it used to be? I don’t know, but the other telling thing about that first round was how Weidman took him down and started to rain down shots. Weidman has the tools. The issue is, Silva is the greatest ever, and Weidman is starting to look a bit too overconfident. I think a focused Silva, like the one from 2006 and 2007, is coming back to kill.
GG: Weidman by 4th round TKO
I’m out and out rooting for Anderson Silva. I don’t like when legends get old. Also, we’ll get to have a third match. But something tells me that the time is right for Chris Weidman. And that the time is starting to be over for Silva. Maybe Anderson is even greater than we think and shows Weidman that he’s not yet at his level. But after watching the shot that put Silva down time and time again, I think at some point during this competitive fight, Silva’s chin lets him down again.