Dec. 28 could be day that will live forever in MMA history. Here’s a preview of the top fights:
Silva vs. Weidman 2
Anderson Silva will fight for a UFC title for the first time since his first bout with Rich Franklin back in 2006. His first bout with Franklin marked the first of two that Silva won handily.
Both men weighed in — on weight — Friday night in front of a packed audience who seemed to be predominantly Brazilian, or at least Silva fans as Chris Weidman walked to the scale to a litany of boos.
Silva was on the right side of the staredown in a surreal moment in MMA. Weidman was unfazed by Silva who raised his hands to Weidman’s face. Silva stepped back to bow to his opponent who wanted to not only be the first man to defeat Silva in the Octagon, but the first to do it twice with the fact that its consecutive and for a title as consequential by-products.
Tomorrow’s main event is one that transcends fandom and while the buzz outside the MMA community doesn’t quite reach the spectacle that is a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, the buzz is at its absolute peak for a single fight on an event.
Saturday night’s main event will be about the style Silva decides to bring in to the Octagon. If he can return to form and dispatch Weidman with the ease that he has displayed in the past, then should a rubber match be set in place? If Weidman defeats him again, what’s next for Silva who at 38, has eight fights left on his contract.
Weidman has an advantage in having beaten Silva in a situation that often carries the adage of the loser having a bigger improvement rate as he works on reinventing himself to defeat a man who once beat them. For Weidman though, he has the motivation to not only beat Silva again, but to beat him in more devastating fashion and validate the first fight, a mental championship if you will.
Siva remains a favorite for odds makers with UFC.com putting him at -165 to Weidman’s +135.
Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate Get to Fight Each Other Again
The two women have thrown verbal jabs at one another since well before their first fight as Tate held the Strikeforce belt at the time and considered Rousey’s title shot to be premature.
Rousey disagreed and became the most polarizing figure in women’s MMA with yet another first round armbar win. Since then her aura has only grown along with her celebrity.
At the weigh-in’s, Rousey looked to be lean and in the best shape of her fighting life. She contracted the miracle worker, Mike Dolce, who came in and seemingly cut any excess weight from the Judo machine that is Rousey’s body. Whether power is lost is yet to be seen although I firmly believe her technique will more than supplement any lack of size if that proves to be the case.
Tate met her with a calm demeanor and certainly rides in as a dark horse for the event as she sits as the biggest betting underdog on the entire card even though she fights for a title.
Both women not only want to win this bout but also need to win. Their jobs are not on the line and bragging rights are sure to come with a win but in women’s MMA, where there are many talented fighters but few public stars. Tate can build a fan base with a win over Rousey whose popularity waned after the Ultimate Fighter.
The odds stand at -700 for Rousey and +500 for Tate.
Fans can kick and scream all they want, they will pay that extra $5 for the UFC 168 PPV. They aren’t going to back out from this one due to a hiked up price and that’s exactly what the UFC planned. Just think, for a PPV that is expected to break buy rates for the promotion and with every 9 buys adding up to a tenth PPV with the $5 overage, the UFC will make out just fine on this event. It’s a buy nine, get a tenth ‘buy’ for the UFC and they have probably already cashed in.
Future UFC’s have also been reported to share the increased price but have since been refuted by the promotion which chalked it up to a technical glitch as the prices won’t reflect the UFC 168 price.