UFC 163: Last-Minute Odds and Burning Questions for Pay-Per-View Card

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2013

August 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lyoto Machida during UFC on FOX at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The main card for UFC 163 is merely hours away, as Jose Aldo, Chan-Sung Jung, Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis headline the card from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

With the last prelims to ever air on FX starting at 8 p.m. ET and the main pay-per-view card kicking off at 10 p.m. ET, there's still some time to lock in some last-minute picks and take a look at the fights ahead. 

Here's what the card looks like, including the latest odds from Bovada along with the biggest questions waiting to be answered on Saturday's card. 


Can Thales Leites Make a UFC Comeback?

You may have noticed that Thales Leites will be making an appearance on the main card. No, you weren't swept away in a DeLorean; the year is 2013, and the former middleweight title challenger is back in the Octagon. 

Since losing back-to-back fights against Anderson Silva and Alessio Sakara in 2009, the 31-year-old has been fighting all over the globe in various promotions, going 6-1 with four submission victories to his name. 

Now he gets a shot at redemption with the largest promotion in the world. He'll take on Tom Watson, a fiery Brit with a 1-1 record in the UFC including a loss to Brad Tavares and a TKO victory over Stanislav Nedkov. 

Given Leites' hiatus from the Octagon, it will be interesting to see if he has a long-term future with the company or if his presence is a one-shot deal because of his Brazilian background. 


Is Phil Davis Ready to Become Elite?

There's been a lot of buzz around the career of Phil Davis as he's moved up the ranks. His long frame and extensive wrestling credentials drew comparisons to Jon Jones before "Bones" became the dominant champion that he is now. 

However, most of that hype died down after Davis was outclassed by Rashad Evans. Despite Davis' impressive wins over Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann, Alexander Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the image of Evans dominating Davis for five rounds at UFC on Fox 2 is hard to shake. 

Beating Lyoto Machida would change that. "The Dragon" is a former champion and is currently ranked No. 1 in the UFC's light heavyweight rankings.

Davis is lurking just outside the Top Five. UFC 163's co-main event is the perfect opportunity for him to show he's worthy of entering the discussion as a legitimate contender. 


Can the Korean Zombie Give Aldo Trouble?

Chan-Sung Jung enters Saturday night's main event as a massive underdog.

It's not because "The Korean Zombie" is a bad fighter. He's 3-0 in the UFC and has progressed from being the pure brawler who lost to George Roop and Leonard Garcia in the WEC to the well-rounded fighter who took down Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirier.

It's because Aldo hasn't lost in eight years and doesn't seem to be slowing down. 

The question still remains: Can the Zombie's pressing style and versatility give Aldo trouble? 

Jung lands 4.61 strikes per minute, according to FightMetric, which is a high average and better than Aldo's rate of 3.46. However, he's going to have to walk through some powerful blows to mount any kind of offense. 

If Jung can show off the toughness that has made him a fan favorite in this one, he could at least make this an exciting main event.