Wanderlei Silva Vs. Michael Bisping: A B/R UFC 110 Round Table Discussion

Erik FontanezCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2010


Erik Fontanez:

Wanderlei Silva is fighting for his MMA existence at UFC 110. With a record of 1-5 in his last six fights, the "Ax Murderer" is obviously on the down slope of his career. Having fought at 205 pounds and above for all of his career, the drop to 185 pounds could go one of two ways.

1) Silva can find new life in his lower weight if it provides him the quickness he's been lacking at light-heavyweight for the last four years. Being naturally bigger and stronger than the rest of the pool at middleweight can give him a slight advantage and we might see some knockouts at the hands of Silva like we did during the Pride years. Here's hoping!

2) The reduction in weight might backfire on Silva with a lack of stamina from dehydration. We all saw him against Rich Franklin at UFC 99 struggling to keep up and gasping for air in the second half of the fight. Mind you, that wasn't even at middleweight but a catch weight of 195. If Wandy loses this next fight at 185, there might be a need for some reflection and reconsideration of career moves.

As far as Bisping is concerned, the feeling is that he is still a bit bothered by that little incident with Dan Henderson at UFC 100. As testy as he is about being on the wrong end of the best knockout of 2009, the British fighter is preparing for this fight the right way by training with Rampage Jackson. If anyone knows Wandy, it's Rampage. If Bisping is going to learn Wandy's playbook inside and out, Jackson is the best source for that information.

It will be interesting to see how these two fighters match up with Silva coming down to middleweight for the first time in his career. Unfortunately for Silva, I think he's taken too much abuse for the last few years and Bisping will capitalize on it by controlling the pace of the fight and out pointing the Brazilian.

Robert Gardner:

Yeah, I have a hard time seeing Wandy winning this fight. Not because of skill or want but because I think the cut is going to be way to hard on him.

Bisping looked great against Kang and I think we may see a similar result when it is all said and done.

Bryan Levick:

Wandy, the man, the myth, the legend. The fighter everyone respects, and for the most part, everyone loves. He has had as good a career as anyone, but can he reinvent himself as a middleweight after an incredible run as a light heavyweight?

I don't know that I agree that he is on the down slope, nor do I believe the weight cut will effect him. He looked fine at 195lbs against Franklin, and has had eight months to prepare for this fight.

Don't discount the facial reconstruction surgery he had, he says it has helped him sleep, and breathe much better after suffering so many broken noses.

I don't agree that Bisping is still bothered by the knockout at UFC 100. He took his lumps in the first round against Kang, but rebounded very nicely. He showed a lot of heart, grit, and determination in that fight. He also showed improved jiu-jitsu defense and an even more effective ground and pound assault.

This will be an interesting fight, one that will electrify the crowd in Australia.

Robert Gardner:

Silva may have looked good at 195 but that extra 10 pounds is not as easy as it may seems. Considering that Silva walks around at a low body fat percentage those 10 pounds are going to come from his muscle mass; effecting both his cardio and strength. The extra time will help but I see it as one of the things to watch for in the fight.

I agree with you Bryan, about the vicious KO no longer being a real factor for Bisping. I'm sure it is still something that he keeps in the back of his mind but he has had a fight to shake it off.

What are you guys thinking Bisping will look to do in this fight? We all Wandy is going to do his thing and but is Bisping going to try and beat Wandy on the feet or maybe look to take the fight to the ground and take his chances with Wandy's BJJ?

Erik Fontanez:

I wouldn't give too much to Bisping for a win over Denis Kang. The American Top Team fighter looked horribly out of shape when he was gasping for air at the beginning of the second round in the Bisping fight. Doesn't take much to put away a guy like that. Very easy win for Bisping, in my critical, yet fair, opinion.

That being said, the Kang fight might have served it's purpose and given Bisping the confidence he needs against Silva. If Wandy is truly not at the down slope of his career, then he will clobber an overwhelmed Bisping because he is faster, stronger and, as you all know, a monster on his feet. If the weight loss slows him down and affects his cardio, then it will be the other way around but without the dramatic KO.

Imagine the effect a win for Silva would be if he can pull out the victory here. Looking at the division, even with all the loses of late, I'm thinking a W puts him in the mix with Chael Sonnen and Yoshihiro Akiyama. Maybe even the next in line for the title.

Bryan Levick:

I think Wandy has the perfect frame for 185, and if you ever watch any of his workout videos, the guy is an absolute beast. I wouldn't worry about his conditioning at all. You can count on him coming out and putting on the best performance possible.

What I took out of Bisping's fight with Kang is he showed a lot of resolve, he got tagged early and everyone was immediately taken back to UFC 100, but Bisping recovered nicely. Throughout the first round, Kang held all the advantageous positions and Bisping displayed excellent BJJ defense against a BJJ black belt.

Wandy is certainly stronger, but Bisping is quicker. He himself said that he will look to replicate a bit of his fight with Leben which involved a lot of sticking and moving. I think that will work for all of about two minutes before Silva gets his hands on him.

If Silva gets Bisping in the clinch he will wear him down. Bisping's best bet is to stay away and when the time is right take the fight down to the ground. Silva's jiu-jitsu is virtually non-existent, when was the last time he even attempted a submission? The last time he forced someone to tap was back in January of 2000! Not likely to happen here.

I wrote a story this week about the UFC's desire to return to Japan. The bout that has been talked about was Wanderlei Silva-Yoshihiro Akiyama. Both men have ties to Japan, and would be a great start for a UFC return to Japan. First Silva has to win.

Robert Gardner:

I guess I just see this cut playing a little more of a role in the outcome. Wandy is a legend, no question, but all of those wars he has been in over the years combined with the added weight cut strike me as a recipe for disaster.

No way does Bisping finish Silva but I do see him out pointing him to a decision by keeping Wandy off balance with some crisp striking and takedowns.

Erik Fontanez:

As far as predictions are concerned, fan-boy Erik says: WAAARRRR!!! Silva by TKO! With a lack of KO power behind his strikes, sensible Erik says: Bisping by unanimous decision.

Can’t wait for this fight.

In case you missed it, check out our last round table discussion Mirko Cro-Cop Vs. Ben Rothwell: UFC 110 Bleacher Report Round Table.