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UFC London Anderson Silva vs Michael Bisping: The Observer Panel Picks

Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping

Saturday afternoon, UFC presents the biggest Fight Pass exclusive show in the history of the 2+ year streaming service as former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, widely regarded as the best MMA fighter of all time, is back in the Octagon against longtime top contender Michael Bisping in Bisping’s home country.

UFC London, aka Fight Night 84, starts at 12:45 EST with the main card kicking off around 4 PM EST -- all on Fight Pass. Top middleweights Gegard Mousasi and Thales Leites square off in the co-main, and the rest of the card is mainly UK vs the World. Note that the main card will also air on television in certain parts of the world, including the Fight Network in Canada.

Our panel is here to weigh in on their opinions on the top fights on the card and as you can see from the results below, they (for the most part) pick at a higher clip than the people who set the betting odds.

Here’s our panel with the 2016 records in parenthesis. We’ve also added a running tally of the records of the favorites going into the fights and the panel consensus picks.

  • John Pollock (15-5; .750) – Fight Network analyst, Live Audio Wrestling co-host, MMA Report co-host
  • Mike Sawyer (14-6; .700) – Tough Talk MMA
  • Josh Nason (13-7; .650) – Host of Josh Nason’s Punch Out; writer/editor WrestlingObserver.com , WON Twitter guy
  • Mike Sempervive (13-7; .650) – Wrestling Observer Live and Big Audio Nightmare co-host
  • Ryan Frederick (13-7; .600) – WrestlingObserver.com UFC reporter, WON Twitter guy
  • Consensus picks (11-7; .611)
  • Steve Juon (12-8; .600) – MMA Mania/Wrestling Observer writer. Angry Marks founder
  • Dave Meltzer (12-8; .600)– Wrestling Observer founder
  • Favorites (11-9; .550)
  • Front Row Brian (10-10; .500) – MMA newsbreaker, Beloved internet personality, Podcast host
  • David Bixenspan (10-10; .500) – Figure Four Weekly writer, podcast host
  • Paul Fontaine (8-12; .400) – MMADraws.com founder, WrestlingObserver.com writer

UFC London

Anderson Silva (33-6) vs Michael Bisping (27-7)

Silva is back after serving his one-year suspension for failing multiple tests prior to his January 2015 bout with Nick Diaz. With that win overturned to a no-contest, it’s now been nearly 3 ½ years since Silva last had an official win. And you have to go back over five years to find the last current UFC middleweight that Silva beat –- Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. Bisping, on the other hand, has never lost in his native England which includes five previous UFC fights. More recently, he’s won three of his last four. Despite all of that, Silva is a fairly heavy betting favorite.

- Silva (sizable favorite): Juon, Front Row Brian, Frederick, Sawyer, Meltzer, Pollock, Fontaine
- Bisping: Nason, Sempervive, Bix

Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) vs Thales Leites (25-5)

Mousasi was originally scheduled to face Bisping in the main event, but now takes on the man that Bisping beat in his last fight. Both are top 10 fighters and while not really in the title mix, they are just underneath that list of contenders. Mousasi is coming off a sudden KO loss in his last fight with Uriah Hall, one that he was winning up until he got laid out with a highlight reel kick. Leites’ loss to Bisping snapped a nine fight win streak, including three straight stoppages.

- Mousasi (sizable favorite): Front Row Brian, Frederick, Silva, Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Sempervive, Bix
- Leites: Juon, Fontaine

Brad Pickett (24-11) vs Francisco Rivera Jr (11-5)

Pickett is a huge crowd favorite in his native country, and he’ll need the support of those fans in order to overcome his recent results. He’s lost three in a row and four of his last five as the 37 year old’s career starts to wind down. He did beat Neil Seery in his last fight in the UK though.

Rivera has faced a higher level of competition and is also moving down from 135 for this fight. He’s in a slump, having lost three of his last four. It’s notable that his last four wins have all been by KO, although one of them was later overturned due to a drug test failure.

- Rivera Jr (moderate favorite): Juon, Front Row Brian, Frederick, Sawyer, Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Sempervive, Fontaine, Bix

Makwan Amirkhani (12-2) vs Mike Wilkinson (9-1)

Amirkhani, aka Mr Finland, may be the biggest star on this show outside of the main and co-main event. He’s won his first two UFC fights inside of two minutes, and became a huge crowd favorite with his promos and natural charisma. He’s got a bright future, especially if he keeps winning in such impressive fashion. Wilkinson is no pushover although his lone career loss was by submission to non-contender Rony Jason in a 2013 bout. Our panel doesn’t give him much of a chance, despite the betting lines being rather close.

- Amirkhani (moderate favorite): Juon, Front Row Brian, Frederick, Sawyer, Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Sempervive, Fontaine, Bix

Rustam Khabilov (17-3) vs Norman Parke (21-4-1)

This one could be sneaky-good. Khabilov is a beast at 155 who is on a two fight losing streak. However, one of those was a split decision and the other was to then-top contender Benson Henderson that snapped a six fight win streak. Parke is going to be a huge crowd favorite as he became popular in the UK by winning the TUF Smashes show a few years back. The only UFC losses on his record have been by split decision but he also has five wins and a draw since his official debut in December 2014.

- Khabilov (sizeable favorite): Juon, Front Row Brian, Frederick, Sawyer, Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Sempervive, Fontaine, Bix

Will Cooling will be providing coverage of the show live from cageside starting at 12:45 pm Eastern. In the meantime, check out the following content relating to this show: