Strikeforce Fight Week Previews: Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva
Sorry I've been slacking on breaking down the Strikeforce Main Card this week; in addition to moving, writing revisionist histories on Brock Lesnar and trying to find a job has taken up all of my time.
Now that it's already Thursday, here's what we're going to do: two today, two tomorrow and Punch Drunk Predictions on Saturday, just like always.
With that out of the way, let's get down to brass tax and break down this bout.
Fabricio Werdum (12-4-1) vs. Antonio Silva (13-1-0)
As always, where each fighter trains is Step One in trying to figure out who is going to have their hand raised and who is going to be standing there grumpy and defeated.
With these two, we're talking about two very accomplished combat teams, as Werdum works out of the famed Chute Boxe Academy, while Silva trains with American Top Team.
Though both are top tier training camps, Silva gets the edge, as ATT is one of the very best teams in the sport and the presence of a heavyweight grappler like Jeff Monson who can mimic the offense Werdum will present is greater than anything Chute Box can offer their charge.
That being said, Werdum has a massive edge in experience and what we call "strength of schedule," the next two components.
Silva's greatest challenges to date have come in the form of former UFC fighters like Wesley "Cabbage" Correira, Ricco Rodriguez and Justin Eilers, with his lone loss coming at the hands of Eric "Big E" Pele, a fighter some might recall from his days on A&E's Inked.
Meanwhile, in addition to being a multi-time medalist at the Abu Dhabi Submission Grappling Championships, "Vai Cavalo" has faced the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Junior dos Santos, Gabriel Gonzaga, Minotauro Nogueira and Alistair Overeem.
Stylistically, these two are polar opposites, which could make for an interesting altercation.
Silva will surely look to keep this fight standing, as his powerful hands are his greatest weapon. Despite using an arm triangle to defeat Jim York last time out, taking this fight to the ground against Werdum is far from a good idea.
As mentioned earlier, Werdum is a championship-caliber submission fighter and will surely look to put his large opponent on the mat. While Silva is no slouch on the ground and working positions on a man of his stature isn't the easiest thing in the world, neither is winning the heavyweight division at the 2009 ADCC Championships, something Werdum did just two months ago.
One interesting wrinkle that presents itself and is certainly in the memory banks of fight fans is Werdum's crushing knockout defeat at the hands of Junior dos Santos.
Silva is equally as strong (if not stronger) than the young Black House standout and every fight starts standing up, so Werdum will most likely have to weather a storm initially before trying to transition to the ground where he will be in considerably less danger.
Whatever happens, this is going to be an interesting fight; Werdum is looking to keep building towards a marquee fight with either Fedor or Alistair Overeem and Silva is looking to return to title contention following a North American suspension and decimating weaker competition.
And honestly, the whole damn thing is on CBS for free and live fights are certainly more appealing to me than a night of main events I've already seen on Spike.
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