Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva 2: Odds and Predictions for UFC 160
Cain Velasquez is back on top of the heavyweight division and will look to successfully defend his championship for the first time at UFC 160.
Attempting to dethrone Velasquez on Saturday will be Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Silva earned a rematch with Velasquez by upsetting Alistair Overeem. In his first meeting with the heavyweight champion, Silva was taken down and pounded en route to a first-round finish.
Only 12 months after that disappointing UFC debut, Silva will now have a chance at redemption. However, he'll have to overcome significant odds to do so.
Heading into UFC 160, let's take a look at the current betting favorites and underdogs for all the main card fights.
Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons
Donald Cerrone may be having trouble earning his first UFC title shot, with losses to Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz in his past four fights, but "Cowboy" is still one of the very best in the 155-pound class.
K.J. Noons, on the other hand, is coming off a loss to the still-developing Ryan Couture. While that decision defeat was controversial, Noons' showing was not one many figured would earn him a UFC debut against a highly ranked opponent like Cerrone.
A former professional boxer who has had some good scraps with Nick Diaz, Noons can be dangerous when standing. However, when fighters like Josh Thomson and Jorge Masvidal decided they wanted to take Noons down, they did so with frequency and ground out decision wins.
While Cerrone isn't one to sit idle on top of an opponent, he is a deserving favorite in this matchup. His underrated grappling should be enough to score important points on the ground.
Donald Cerrone -310
K.J. Noons +240
Cerrone defeats Noons by decision.
Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant
Gray Maynard has been out of action for 11 months, but having only lost to Frankie Edgar inside the Octagon, he's still considered one of the top contenders in the lightweight division.
That's why a win over T.J. Grant at UFC 160 would earn him a shot at 155-pound champion Benson Henderson.
Grant has earned his spot in a title shot eliminator by winning four straight fights. Most recently, Grant demolished Matt Wiman with a series of elbows at UFC on Fox 6.
Over the course of his career, Grant has had the most problems with high-level grapplers, a group in which three-time All-American wrestler Maynard belongs. Grant's three UFC losses came against Ricardo Almeida, Johny Hendricks and Dong Hyun Kim. Those opponents scored a combined 18 takedowns on Grant over nine rounds.
A large lightweight with a scrappy fighting style, Grant is never going to make it easy for opponents to grind out a decision. However, Maynard is also a big 155-pounder with the wrestling to match some of those welterweights who controlled Grant on the ground.
Gray Maynard -210
T.J. Grant +170
Maynard defeats Grant by decision.
Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna
Coming off the biggest win of his career, a decision victory over Quinton Jackson at UFC on Fox 6, Glover Teixeira was matched up with Top-10 light heavyweight Ryan Bader. Unfortunately, Bader had to withdraw from that matchup due to injury and was replaced by the up-and-coming James Te-Huna.
Since being submitted by Alexander Gustafsson, Te-Huna has rattled off four straight wins. Against Teixeira, though, Te-Huna will likely be facing his toughest test since that loss to Gustafsson, who is now one of the top light heavyweights in the world.
While Teixeira's punching power has labeled him as a striker, the Brazilian is also skilled on the ground and already has a UFC submission win against Kyle Kingsbury.
Instead of risking a slugfest with a fellow heavy hitter, Teixeira may look to take this fight to the ground, where he could hand Te-Huna his fifth career submission loss.
Glover Teixeira -300
James Te-Huna +230
Teixeira defeats Te-Huna by submission in the first round.
Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
Much like the bout between Glover Teixeira and James Te-Huna, this heavyweight tussle between Junior dos Santos and Mark Hunt features two dangerous strikers—one Brazilian with potentially underrated grappling and one New Zealand native with a history of submission losses.
Either fighter could win this fight standing, as dos Santos and Hunt have the ability to knock any human unconscious with a single punch.
For that reason, dos Santos may decide to take the safest route to victory and look for a takedown.
With past takedowns of Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, dos Santos is more than capable of grounding Hunt, who has been taken down by Ben Rothwell, Chris Tuchscherer and others. Once he does, even with his lack of in-competition experience on the ground, dos Santos should be able to do what Sean McCorkle did before him and force Hunt to tap.
Junior dos Santos -400
Mark Hunt +300
Dos Santos defeats Hunt by submission in the second round.
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Cain Velasquez is on his way toward putting together one of the more impressive heavyweight resumes in MMA history, but he's still missing a successful title defense to cement him among the greats.
Against an opponent he's already beaten in Antonio Silva, Velasquez will have a great opportunity to improve his legacy at UFC 160.
Silva offered nothing against Velasquez in their first meeting, so it's hard to see how this matchup could play out much differently 12 months later. Silva's recent knockout win over Alistair Overeem was impressive, but it seemed to be more a product of his opponent's overconfidence than significant technical improvement on Silva's end.
As he did the first time around, Velasquez will look to take Silva to the ground and expose the Brazilian as a jiu-jitsu black belt who is only capable of threatening when he's on top.
Cain Velasquez -650
Antonio Silva +425
Velasquez defeats Silva by (T)KO in the first round.
Betting odds via Bovada.lv.