Chris Weidman Opens as 2-1 Favorite over Vitor Belfort

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2014

Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman weighs-in for his UFC Middleweight Title Fight against Anderson Silva (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Fresh off his second victory of 2013 over mixed martial arts legend Anderson Silva, UFC middleweight champion Chris "The All-American" Weidman already has his eyes set on defending his title against another top Brazilian contender in May or July.

While Vitor Belfort will never be as dangerous as Silva was, he possesses a different array of skills, physical capabilities and mental motivators.

However, that hasn't stopped the betting gods from already giving the favorite Weidman 2-1 odds. Weidman stands at minus-200, Belfort at plus-160.

“I think Weidman wins the fight and should be favored anywhere on the planet – even in Brazil,” said veteran MMA oddsmaker Joey Odessa, as reported by Steve Marrocco of MMA Junkie.  “He just beat arguably the best 185-pound fighter to step into the octagon two times and will get to defend in the United States.”

It was announced earlier this week that the UFC plans to host a Weidman vs. Belfort middleweight title fight in Las Vegas. That's fairly significant news in favor of the champ. Over the past few years, Belfort has exclusively fought in Brazil because of the country's loose testosterone replacement therapy regulation, which Weidman recently deemed "unfair."

But even though Weidman's home-field advantage does in fact benefit him, it's still surprising to see a fighter with only 11 professional bouts receive 2-1 odds over a legend and red-hot knockout artist like Belfort.

In any case, "The Phenom" will have his chance to prolong his three-fight win streak and try to avenge a 2011 championship loss to Silva that ended via an infamous front heel kick.

As for Weidman, a decisive victory over the best 185-pounder not sidelined by a broken leg should surely land him among the pound-for-pound best in the world.


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