The UFC will conclude an epic week in Las Vegas with UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman on Saturday night.
In the main event, Anderson Silva defends his UFC middleweight championship against Chris Weidman. The main card also features Frankie Edgar-Charles Oliveira, Roger Gracie-Tim Kennedy, Mark Munoz-Tim Boetsch and Cub Swanson-Dennis Siver.
As a reminder, we will have complete coverage of the entire event – along with pre- and post-fight news – on Saturday.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
Dana Becker: The winner of this contest should place themselves among the top of the food chain in the division. Look for Cub Swanson to try and come out and make a quick statement, while Dennis Siver likely takes a more disciplined approach. Swanson’s desire to receive a rematch with Jose Aldo will push him in this one. Cub Swanson via first round KO
Joseph Lisnow: I think Cub Swanson is determined to land a title shot since Jose Aldo embarrassed him years ago. With Dennis Siver still new to the featherweight division, he seems like bait for Swanson. An impressive win could put Swanson one fight from a title shot. Cub Swanson via second round TKO
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
Dana: Will the old Mark Munoz show up? Heck, will the old Tim Boetsch show up? Both of these fighters appeared destined for title shots just a few short months ago. Now, they are in need of a victory to remain relevant in an ever-developing division. Munoz shed a lot of weight since his last fight, while Boetsch seems to believe he can take advantage of that. Mark Munoz via split decision
Joseph: A much more in shape Mark Munoz is back. The last time fans saw Munoz, he was riddled with injuries and fell quick to Chris Weidman. I feel Munoz might push the pace too much and Tim Boetsch will allow him to tire out. Tim Boetsch via decision
Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie
Dana: Tim Kennedy fighting on the Fourth of July weekend seems like an obvious victory in the pocket of the military veteran. However, he is going up against a stiff challenge in Roger Gracie. The submission wizard will want to take this to the ground, but Kennedy is no slouch there, either. Look for a grinding 15-minute battle to ensue between these two former Strikeforce veterans. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision
Joseph: There’s no doubt Roger Gracie wants to put this on the ground. While it favors Gracie to fight there, it doesn’t mean the end of Tim Kennedy. Kennedy may try to stand before choosing to grapple. Still, Gracie’s too good on the canvas and it should be a quick tapout. Roger Gracie via first round submission
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
Dana: Frankie Edgar has lost three in a row, but his standing has never wavered. He remains one of the top fighters in the world pound-for-pound. Charles Oliverira can make a sudden climb in the rankings if he can deal “The Answer” his fourth consecutive loss. Edgar’s familiar with the big-match atmosphere, but this one is only three rounds and he will need to get going quickly vs. Oliveira. Frankie Edgar via second round TKO
Joseph: Frankie Edgar has a tendency to gain momentum once the fight lingers on. The problem is Edgar only has three rounds this time. If Charles Oliveira makes it to the third round, Edgar will be the most dangerous at that point. The final round is critical for the outcome. Frankie Edgar via third round TKO
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman for Silva’s UFC middleweight championship
Dana: Is this going to be the end of Anderson Silva’s dominance in the middleweight division? Many believe so, but I am not one of them. Yes, Chris Weidman is a younger, stronger version of Chael Sonnen, but the Silva that went five rounds with Sonnen was nowhere near 100-percent. If “The Spider” is healthy, which all indications are that he is, there is no reason to bet against him now. Silva wants to go out on top, he wants to fight Roy Jones, Jr., and he wants to be the best of all-time. Anderson Silva via first round TKO
Joseph: I can’t go against the pound-for-pound best in the world. The faith people have in Chris Weidman is a little shocking, considering Silva has easily gone through each fighter placed in front of him. This could be similar to the first Chael Sonnen-Silva contest. Weidman needs to put Silva on his back and avoid strikes. If Silva can keep this standing, it’s an easy title defense. I keep thinking back a few weeks ago when reports said Silva was hurt and wonder if they’re true. He was injured when he almost lost to Sonnen. In the end, I can’t go against the best. Anderson Silva via second round KO