UFC 162: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman is one of the most highly anticipated cards of this year. It features the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time against the fighter whom most experts dub as the greatest threat to Silva's title reign.
The event also features two intriguing fights in the talented middleweight division and the fast-rising featherweight division. The main card is so stacked with gifted fighters that it is hard to predict who will win in each fight.
Nonetheless, predicting each fighter's way of winning is quite an easy task. Each mixed martial artist in the main card is well-known for a specific skill in which he is more likely to win by utilizing it.
The following slides show my analysis for each fighter.
Swanson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, is someone whom most fighters would be afraid to go on the ground with. More impressively, he is not a slouch in the stand-up position either. Thus, most of his opponents are trapped with the idea of standing up with him to avoid his ground game only to be on the losing end of a spectacular knockout.
In Swanson's last four fights, he finished three opponents via KO and TKO. To win his fight with Dennis Siver, the most likely strategy for him is mixing up his strikes in the stand-up department and threatening with submissions on the ground.
With his background in kickboxing, it's no surprise that Siver is one of the most technical fighters in the featherweight division in the stand-up department. He likes to mix punches with kicks, particularly a spinning back-kick, and has amazing accuracy.
By picking apart his opponent on their feet, Siver can route his way to a convincing unanimous decision. Nonetheless, he should try to avoid the ground game of his opponent as much as possible and utilize great take down defense.
Before being stopped by Constantinos Philippou in their December 2012 fight, Tim Boetsch was on a four fight winning streak against quality opponents, which includes Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. During that stretch, he was also considered as a prospective contender to the middleweight strap.
His durability and ability to strike back when being hit have been his assets throughout his career, and if he wins his fight against Mark Muñoz, it would likely be via a hard-fought unanimous decision.
Mark Muñoz is another prospective contender who will try to stay relevant in the middleweight division by winning his fight against Tim Boetsch.
Muñoz's wrestling and ground-and-pound game is one of the best in the UFC. When he is on his game, he seems to be unstoppable.
If he would win his fight against Boetsch, it should be by stoppage through smothering ground strikes. A win against his opponent would definitely propel him to the middleweight division rankings.
Roger Gracie's ground game is dangerous for most opponents, and his ability to drag opponents to the ground makes his grappling skills more terrifying.
Although his opponent, Tim Kennedy, has a decent jiu-jitsu game, going to the ground with Gracie would definitely not be a good idea.
Expect a submission of the night award for Gracie if he wins his fight.
Tim Kennedy has an impressive all-around game. His striking is good enough to go toe-to-toe with other great strikers, and he is no slouch in in the ground either.
To defeat Gracie, Kennedy should use his grappling to defend submissions and striking to pick apart his opponent in stand-up exchanges.
Jiu-Jitsu ace Charles Oliveira has won the majority of his fights via submission. His ground game is one of the best in the featherweight division, and his game plan coming into his fight against Frankie Edgar should definitely include submission attempts and ground control.
Expect Oliveira's ground wizardry to be a key factor in winning his fight against Edgar.
Frankie Edgar has proven that he has not lost his footwork and speed going down to the featherweight division. These two skills have brought him to two lightweight and one featherweight title shots and have also made him a force to be reckoned with in both divisions.
If Edgar could stick to his game plan of boxing his opponent and moving out to defend being hit and taken down, his chances of winning would be extremely high.
Chris Weidman is considered by most experts as the man to beat reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva. His all-around skill set is world class, and it could be enough to convince some fans that he will be the next big thing in the middleweight division.
Nonetheless, his chance of winning his fight against Silva would only come by taking down the ferocious striker and ground-and-pounding him until he makes him quit. He should also vary his ground attacks and threaten the champ with submission attempts.
Although it's hard to imagine Silva being beaten by anyone in the middleweight division, if Weidman would win, it should probably be by TKO via ground strikes.
Anderson Silva can win any fight in whatever fashion he wants. His talent and skills have proven to be miles away from most fighters in the UFC, enough for him to be dubbed as the greatest of all-time.
Guessing how he will defeat challenger Chris Weidman would be quite a hard task due to the many ways he can defeat opponents. From high-flying kicks you can only see in the movies to the highlight reel Muay Thai combinations and come-from-behind submissions, Silva's arsenal of tools to choose from to defeat his opponent is pretty deep.