UFC 162 Observer Picks & Preview: Silva vs. Weidman



UFC 162



It's Convention Week in Las Vegas, a convergence of subscribers from this very site, people attending Fight Week, the UFC Fan Expo and tons more. There's also a big main event featuring the best fighter (arguably) of all time against someone that has been telling everyone he's going to finish him. 

It's UFC 162 on 4th of July weekend!

Our Panel:

Dave Meltzer (46-23 -- .667): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

Todd Martin (46-23 -- .667): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

Mike Sempervive (43-26 -- .625): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

Mike Sawyer (45-24 -- .652): ToughTalkMMA.com

- Josh Nason (49-20 -- .710): Wrestling Observer web editor, social media guy

Oliver Copp (42-27 -- .608) of combat sports insider fame

Bryan Alvarez (40-16 -- .714): Figure Four Weekly founder and writer - hasn't made picks as of publish time

*****

185-pound champion Anderson Silva (c) (33-4) vs. Chris Weidman (9-0)


The build to this main event has 99% been focused around the aspects of Weidman winning and how all kinds of fighters are picking him to win. In reality, he's fighting the best of all time. Tonight could be the night, but the oddsmakers don't think so.

A note that a lot of people aren't bringing up: Weidman hasn't fought in a year. Add that to the pressure of carrying out exactly what he said he was going to do and, oh yeah, the fact he's trying to take out Silva? That's a lot to overcome.

Silva: Nason, Copp, Martin, Meltzer, Sempervive
Weidman: Sawyer

Frankie Edgar (15-4-1) vs. Charles Oliveira (16-3-0-1)

Most guys that have lost three in a row might be in danger of being cut, but that doesn't seem to be the case for the former lightweight champion. However, he does need a win to get back on track Saturday -- the first time he hasn't fought in a title bout since December 2009 (seven fights).

After two submission wins after dropping to 145, Oliveira ran into the Cub Swanson train and was knocked out in less than three minutes. A talented submission artist, those two aforementioned wins were his only victories in his last six (2-3-1) after starting off his career 14-0. Edgar has never tapped out.

Edgar: Nason, Copp, Martin, Sempervive, Meltzer
Oliveira: Sawyer

Tim Kennedy (15-4) vs. Roger Gracie (6-1)

Amidst a bit of a controversy regarding fighter pay, the 33-year-old Kennedy makes his UFC debut. A winner in three of his last four, Kennedy last was seen submitting Trevor Smith in a dull January fight.

We get a Gracie in the UFC for the first time in a while as Roger makes his promotional debut. He is riding a two fight winning streak since dropping to 185, last submitting Anthony Smith on the January Strikeforce finale. No big surprise: he's got tapout wins in five of his six career victories.

Kennedy: Nason, Martin, Meltzer
Gracie: Copp, Sawyer, Sempervive

Mark Munoz (12-3) vs. Tim Boetsch (16-5)

A lot has been made of Munoz's physical transformation for this fight, going from a  ballooned up weight to a fit, firm 185'er. But bodies don't win fights and Double-M is coming off a year long layoff after getting decimated by Weidman in a 2nd round KO defeat.  Before that? Four straight wins.

He fights another guy that was nearing title shot consideration in Boetsch, a 32-year-old Maine native that saw his own four fight win streak snapped in December in a 3rd round TKO loss to Costa Phillipou.

Munoz: Nason, Copp, Martin, Meltzer, Sempervive
Boetsch: Sawyer

Cub Swanson (19-5) vs. Dennis Siver (21-8)


The unlikely resurgence of the 29-year-old Swanson continues in the PPV opener as he looks to win his fifth straight. In that stretch, the WEC transplant has three T/KO wins and last bested Dustin Poirier by u/d in February. One step away from a title shot? it's hard to argue otherwise.

In his way, the 34-year-old Siver who has gone 2-0 since dropping to 145 with u/d wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan. Known for his variation of spinning attacks, Siver has won six of his last seven but hasn't finished anyone since submitting Andre Winner in November 2010.

Swanson: Nason, Martin, Sawyer, Meltzer
Siver: Copp, Sempervive

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