When UFC 168 goes live on Saturday, Dec. 28, in Las Vegas, the excitement surrounding the main event rematch between middleweight champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva will have the MMA world buzzing over the stacked main card.
Not only is the middleweight championship on the line, but the women’s bantamweight title will be defended by Ronda Rousey against her longtime foe Miesha Tate in a rematch of their own.
Add in the three other bouts featuring hard-hitting knockout artists and submission specialists, and there is little doubt that UFC 168 is shaping up to be one of the deepest and most interesting cards in recent history.
Here is all the vital viewing information, predictions and odds for the entire main card and a full preview of the main event.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
When: Saturday, Dec. 28, at 10 p.m. EST
Live Stream: UFC.com
|UFC 168 Main Card Odds and Predictions|
|Fighter 1||Odds||Fighter 2||Odds||Prediction|
|Anderson Silva||-165||Chris Weidman (c)||+135||Silva via TKO|
|Ronda Rousey (c)||-750||Miesha Tate||+475||Rousey via Submission|
|Josh Barnett||-210||Travis Browne||+170||Barnett via TKO|
|Jim Miller||-400||Fabrício Camoes||+300||Miller via Decision|
|Dustin Poirier||-230||Diego Brandao||+180||Brandao via Decision|
|Betting information via Bovada.lv.|
Main Event Preview and Prediction
The main event of the evening will be the rematch between Chris Weidman (10-0) and Anderson Silva (33-5) for the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Weidman stunned the world when he beat Silva to end the longest title reign in UFC history during the duo’s first fight on July 6, but it was how he earned the victory that shocked fans the most.
With Silva playing the typical mind games with his opponent and leaving his hands out of position to taunt, his lackadaisical approach to the fight saw Weidman throw a series of heavy punches with the last one landing flush on his chin.
The shot sent Silva to the floor, and with one more haymaker to his downed opponent, Weidman forced the referee to stop the fight. There were several experts who claimed Weidman would be a threat to end Silva’s reign, but few expected it to happen in such embarrassing fashion.
After being asked about which strategy Silva will utilize this time, Weidman told Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie about his mindset heading into the rematch:
Some of the questions I hear often are, ‘What do I think Anderson Silva’s going to do in this fight?’ ‘Do I think Anderson Silva is going to be playing around in this fight?’ ‘What do I expect from him?’ I don’t expect anything. I don’t really care, I’m just going in there to fight my fight, so when people ask me those questions, it’s the first time I really think about it. I don’t think about what he’s going to be doing.
Silva contemplated retirement following his first loss since 2006, but he was soon back in the gym training harder than ever for the rematch. Not only did he lose his title in the first bout against Weidman, but he also lost some of the respect he had earned over the years due to the way he handled himself in the Octagon.
That will not happen again.
The Brazilian has been one of the most consistent fighters of the last decade, and he had almost forgotten what it felt like to be handed a loss. With a new focus and a hunger to regain his title, this will be the most dangerous Silva MMA fans have witnessed in years.
Weidman is a great wrestler who has the heavy strikes to make a fighter pay for his mistakes, but Silva is the flat-out more talented competitor. The experience advantage will give Silva the mental edge and should be enough to plant the seed of doubt in the champion’s mind.
Using an eclectic mix of jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and elite striking, Silva is one of the best all-around fighters in the world. He was caught getting too cocky in the first fight, and he won’t make the same mistakes twice.
Silva will undoubtedly still taunt Weidman as he did in the first fight, but he won’t allow himself to fall into another trap. By using distance as his friend, the faster and longer Silva will keep Weidman on the move and hit him from every direction.
If the challenger can keep the fight standing up and protect himself throughout each round, Weidman will get caught in the Spider’s web.
Predicted Winner: Silva via third-round TKO