Every sport has at least one athlete whose name will forever resonate with the members of its community. In mixed martial arts, Anderson "The Spider" Silva (33-6) is one of those guys.
On Saturday, in what will be the biggest UFC Fight Pass card in the streaming service's history, The Spider will face Michael "The Count" Bisping (28-7) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 84 from the latter's home country in London.
Silva is ranked fifth among middleweights in the UFC, and Bisping is seventh. So in addition to the commercial appeal of the bout, both men have to be considered legitimate contenders—at least on paper.
In the co-main event, former Silva foe and fellow Brazilian Thales Leites (25-5) takes on Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) in a crucial middleweight battle. Mousasi is ranked ninth and Leites 10th. The winner could face a top-five opponent in his next bout.
Here's a look at the entire card, viewing information and predictions:
|UFC Fight Night 84 Card, Stream Info and Predictions|
|Event starts at 12:45 p.m. ET only on UFC Fight Pass|
|David Teymur (3-1) vs. Martin Svensson (14-5)||Lightweight||Svensson by TKO|
|Teemu Packalen (7-1) vs. Thibault Gouti (11-0)||Lightweight||Gouti by decision|
|Daniel Omielanczuk (17-5-1) vs. Jarjis Danho (6-0)||Heavyweight||Danho by KO|
|Norman Parke (22-4-1) vs. Rustam Khabilov (17-3)||Lightweight||Khabilov by decision|
|Bradley Scott (10-3) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (16-1)||Middleweight||Jotko by decision|
|Arnold Allen (10-1) vs. Yaotzin Meza (21-10)||Featherweight||Allen by TKO|
|Scott Askham (13-2) vs. Chris Dempsey (11-3)||Middleweight||Askham by TKO|
|Davey Grant (9-2) vs. Marlon Vera (7-2-1)||Bantamweight||Grant by decision|
|Mike Wilkinson (9-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (12-2)||Featherweight||Amirkhani by submission|
|Francisco Rivera (11-5) vs. Brad Pickett (25-11)||Bantamweight||Rivera by TKO|
|Tom Breese (9-0) vs. Keita Nakamura (31-6-2)||Welterweight||Breese by TKO|
|Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) vs. Thales Leites (25-5)||Middleweight||Mousasi by decision|
|Anderson Silva (34-6) vs. Michael Bisping (28-7)||Middleweight||Silva by decision|
|Card per UFC.com, predictions by Mazique|
Amirkhani Is a Future Star
The UFC's featherweight division has a handful of up-and-coming stars. None of them is more exciting than Makwan Amirkhani. The 27-year-old from Kurdistan is 2-0 in the UFC with both wins coming by stoppage.
You may remember his dynamic six-second KO of Andy Ogle via flying knee back in January 2015 at UFC on Fox 14. Most recently, Amirkhani submitted Masio Fullen via rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 69 in June 2015.
The likable but deadly young prospect will move to 3-0 on Saturday, and another stoppage is likely.
Amirkhani faces 9-1 local product Mike "Warrior" Wilkinson in one of the more interesting bouts on the card. Wilkinson is 2-1 in the UFC, but he hasn't fought since October 2014. His power is undeniable, but the long layoff could be a factor.
Even if Wilkinson were without cage rust, defeating Amirkhani would be a tall order for him. Amirkhani's ground game is far superior to Wilkinson's, and his speed and diverse striking would seemingly best the 28-year-old's slightly above-average boxing.
Expect Amirkhani to gain momentum with another stoppage win. This one will likely come by submission in the first round.
Rivera Will Finish Pickett
Brad "One Punch" Pickett's last fight against the dynamic Thomas Almeida took years off his career. In July 2015, the 37-year-old was obliterated by a knee from the young Brazilian and knocked unconscious in one of the most devastating knockouts of 2015.
Pickett is climbing back into the cage to face Francisco Rivera, and something tells me this one won't end well for Pickett. By his own admission during the event's media day, Pickett said he's still fighting to provide a better life for his wife, son and dog. That is admirable, but at an advanced age, that's not the proper motivation for a fighter.
Check out Pickett and the other fighters' comments in the video from the UFC below:
Pickett will have the support of his countrymen on Saturday, but he won't be able to withstand Rivera's fierce striking.
Rivera has been dogged by injuries and bad luck over the last three years, but he's one of the better 135-pounders in the sport.
He has a 73 percent KO rate in his career, and Pickett looks like a prime candidate to become Rivera's latest victim. Pickett has lost three fights in a row and four of his last five. He's at the end of his rope, and Rivera will have no mercy.
Bet on a first-round finish for Rivera.
Mousasi Will Outpoint Leites
Despite Leites' advanced Brazilian jiu-jitsu game, he has become more of a brawler of late. As a result, he's taken a bit more punishment, but his fights have also been thrilling to watch.
When he faces Mousasi in the co-main event on Saturday, he won't be thrilled with the outcome.
Mousasi is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the middleweight division. He's cerebral, and he has the potential to be dominant on the ground.
Mousasi will not allow the fight to become a brawl. He'll trust his ground game by taking advantage of his opportunities to take the fight to the mat.
As good as Leites is on the ground, Mousasi is a little better. He'll grind out a victory based on top position and overall control.
Silva Will Win a Decision Over Bisping
The action in this fight isn't likely to match the spectacle or the hype. Silva looked cautious in his last fight against Nick Diaz back in January 2015.
After a layoff of more than a year, there's no reason to believe the 40-year-old legend will be in top form against Bisping. The Count is 36 years old himself and seemingly inching closer to a full-time analyst job with Fox Sports.
In the video above, Bisping doesn't speak like a fighter who is still seriously considering himself a contender. To beat Silva, he'll have to apply almost nonstop pressure, and that will put him in line to take one of the Spider's potentially dangerous counterstrikes.
Stylistically, Bisping's strike-heavy approach plays into Silva's hands. The Spider may not have the ability to pull off a highlight-reel finish at this stage of his career, but he should have enough to secure a unanimous-decision victory over Bisping on the strength of more effective striking.
Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter.
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