The anticipation for UFC 200 has created a lot of buzz in the MMA world, and there is no shortage of fighters seeking a spot in that legendary card. However, there are a lot of interesting fights scheduled before July’s UFC 200. The most notable ones being Jones vs Cormier II, Weidman vs Rockhold II, Faber vs Cruz III, among others. All of those fights are amazing in their own right, and so are the cards for UFC 197 and 199. The problem is that the best card prior to UFC 200 just might be 198, and there is not a whole lot of people talking about it. The card is full of fresh, exciting, and fan friendly fights involving some of the biggest mixed martial arts fighters of all time. The event is scheduled to take place May 14th in Curitiba, Brazil. In addition to the great fights, the event will be held at Arena da Baixada, which will be the first UFC stadium event in Brazil. 

The undercard will likely have some main card worthy fights, such as Cris Cyborg’s UFC debut, and hot prospect Warlley Alves taking on Bryan Barberena. Rumors of Cyborg’s potential UFC debut have been thrown around quite a bit over the past few years. The speculation is over as she has been added to UFC 198 to fight Leslie Smith at a catchweight of 140 pounds. The anticipated match up with Ronda Rousey will not happen at her debut, but it is a huge step towards that potential fight. Cyborg has dominated Invicta FC’s featherweight division, and hopes to shake up women’s MMA in the UFC. Smith fought recently at UFC Fight Night Hunt vs Mir, and beat Rin Nakai via unanimous decision.  

On the other hand, the undefeated top prospect Warlley Alves is looking to move up the rankings in the very tough Welterweight division. Alves has finished his last two fights by submission both being guillotines, including the first round stoppage of Colby Covington at UFC 194. The talent of Alves is undeniable, but can he make some noise in one of the most stacked divisions. Bryan Barberena is no stranger to undefeated hot prospects, since his last fight was against Sage Northcutt. Barberena pulled a big upset against Northcutt, by submitting the young phenom in the second round. The question is can he do it again, or is Alves too skilled? 

Things get very interesting in the main card with important fights like Demian Maia vs Matt Brown, Anderson Silva vs Uriah Hall, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs Vitor Belfort, and the heavyweight championship bout between Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum. As mentioned before, the Welterweight division is super deep with talented young fighters as well as tough and skilled veterans. A clash of top ten ranked veterans could have title shot implications, as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wizard Demian Maia faces “The Immortal” Matt Brown. Brown has gone the distance against the last two Welterweight champions in the past, and he is looking to build on his latest submission win over Tim Means. He has a very tough task in the form of Maia, and this should be a very entertaining fight to watch. The winner will likely enter the top five and put himself in the position of fighting for a shot at UFC gold. 

If you enjoy striking battles, then you should love the matchup between Uriah Hall and Anderson Silva. It might be safe to say that nobody is shooting for a takedown in this on, but you just might see a knockout of the year candidate. Both fighters are coming off disappointing losses, but they are still top ten in the Middleweight division. The winner would take a step closer to a shot at the winner of  UFC 199’s main event, and most likely a spot in the top five. The fight should be very fan friendly and thrilling from start to finish, so make sure you don’t blink during this one.

The next fight has even more influence on the Middleweight division, as it should definitely provide the next number one contender. The number two ranked middleweight “Jacare” Souza will meet number three ranked Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort in the co-main event. Two guys with major knockout power, so this could easily be a quick one. There is nobody currently at middleweight or maybe even the entire UFC roster who has better Brazillian Jiu Jitsu than Souza, so If the fight goes to the ground he will certainly have the advantage. Souza lost his last fight to Yoel Romero in a very controversial fight, but he is looking to finally get that shot at the belt. Vitor’s last fight was a first round KO of Dan Henderson, and he hopes to get a rematch against either Weidman or Rockhold.

The main event is the Heavyweight championship of the world, as Fabricio Werdum defends his title for the first time against Stipe Miocic. Werdum was scheduled to fight Cain Velasquez in a rematch earlier this year, but Cain suffered a back injury. The UFC offered Miocic as a replacement to Werdum, but the champ was also injured. Nonetheless, they will fight in May and it should be a great fight between two warriors. Both men are very well trained and they can hit, so this could also be a quick fight as are most Heavyweight bouts. Fabricio’s tremendous ground game could be the x factor in this matchup, but it is not a grappling match so anything could happen. Two of the baddest men on the planet fighting for glory is a great way to close out an amazing card of fights. It is a great time to be an MMA fan, and the future looks very bright for the sport. 

Joao V. Gomes

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

Anderson Silva (33-7) will continue to search for a career resurgence as it’s expected to be announced that he’ll be meeting former TUF Finalist Uriah Hall (12-6) at UFC 198 on May 14th.  The matchup has the potential for some violent fireworks, it really depends on which version of each man shows up in Brazil.

Silva returned to action for the first time in over a year this past February when he headlined a UFC Fight Pass event against longtime UFC middleweight Michael “The Count” Bisping. Despite hurting Bisping on multiple occasions and coming very close to a finish, Silva ultimately lost a judge’s decision to the Brit.  Thanks to a failed drug test against Nick Diaz last January, Silva has now gone winless since a 2012 victory over Stephan Bonnar.  Anderson proved against Bisping that he can still fight at a high level and is capable of ending it in a matter of seconds.

In Uriah Hall, Anderson Silva is facing a man that at times can be the scariest dude on the planet, and at other times he’s a nervous wreck. No one will ever forget his spinning heel kick knockout of Adam Cella on TUF 17, or his recent finish over veteran Gegard Mousasi.  But since joining the UFC, Hall has also had some pretty lackluster performances against the likes of Kelvin Gastulem and John Howard.  Uriah is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker this past November, it was Hall’s 3rd fight in as many months.  Now that he’s had a bit of time off it’ll be interesting to see if he can return to old form against such a big star, Anderson Silva.

UFC 198 will take place at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil with a heavyweight championship main event. Fabricio Werdum will defend his title against top contender Stipe Miocic, also on the card, welterweight contenders Matt Brown and Demian Maia will do battle.  The main card will be presented on pay-per-view.  For more coverage of UFC 198 and everything MMA keep checking in with Pro Fighting Fans.

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

After an excellent showing at last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 83, B.S. Predictions has an overall record of 11-5. This week we have another Fight Night installment and another opportunity to continue improving our record. Predicting these fights is just one reason why you should tune in Saturday afternoon, Anderson Silva is the other.

 

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

This one is going to be a war, and the winner will be determined by who lands the big shot first. It’s not going the distance or to the ground, so what we’re left with is a one round stand up scrap. They are both coming off losses in fights where they had opportunities to win but ultimately fell short.

Pickett has lost 3 straight and Rivera has lost 3 of 4. Based on this and the fact that Pickett will be fighting at home, I see the Englishman landing the finishing blow early.

Prediction: Brad Pickett

 

Tom Breese (9-0) vs. Keita Nakamura (31-6)

Tom Breese is undefeated, fighting at home and training out of Tristar Gym in Montreal. He’s fighting someone with way more experience but the advantages end there for Keita Nakamura. Breese wins this one and makes it look easy.

Prediction: Tom Breese

 

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

This will be a matchup of saavy veterans. For most of his career Leites was a BJJ type fighter, since he returned to the UFC he’s become a well-rounded fighter with a much improved striking game. Mousasi is capable of finishing a fight no matter where it goes.

I see this one going the distance and the busier fighter will get the nod. Seeing as Leites says he’s learned from the mistakes he made against Michael Bisping, I’m going with the underdog in this one.

Prediction: Thales Leites

 

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

I like the underdog in this fight too. Michael Bisping has wanted this matchup for a really long time and he’s never lost a professional fight in the U.K. As long as Bisping can keep busy and push the pace he should be able to keep Silva from moving forwards.

Silva is definitely near the end of his legendary career but regardless of that he’s not getting easy fights. Unless he can create some distance and get a crazy knockout I really believe Michael Bisping has his number today.

Prediction: Michael Bisping

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

It’s fight week again, and this time around it’s a big one.  One of the craziest moments of 2013, and probably all time, was Chris Weidman knocking out Anderson Silva.  It was insane.  The second Dana White announced the immediate rematch the MMA world has been waiting for December 28th.  As far as rematches go, this might be the biggest one ever.  But, UFC 168 is stacked from top to bottom with great fights, including another epic rematch between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and her rival Miesha Tate.  Not to mention Poirier vs. Brandao and Barnett vs. Browne.  It should be a really exciting night, and a great way to cap off 2013.

Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao

This could be a wild one!  Both guys are top level 145lb fighters.  They are also very well rounded; both can roll on the ground and have solid standup attacks. I think Brandao has the more devastating knockout power of the two, but Poirier does have five career victories by TKO.  Poirier is 2-2 in his last 4 and if he can put together two straight wins he’ll remain relevant in the featherweight division.  Meanwhile, Brandao has won three straight fights since losing to Darren Elkins and Poirier represents a definite step-up in competition.  It’s going to be Brandao’s punching power that decides the outcome of this fight.  Even though Poirier might get an opportunity to submit his opponent, he won’t be able to take too many big shots from Diego Brandao.

Prediction: Diego Brandao via TKO round 2

 

Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes

This is a really good bounce back fight for Jim Miller.  While Fabricio Camoes does have a legitimate skillset, he won’t have an answer for Miller’s relentless pressure.  Plus, Camoes hasn’t fought in over a year.  Jim Miller is very well rounded and it will be his boxing that shines on Saturday night.  Miller will catch his opponent early and often, forcing a referee stoppage late in the first round.

Prediction: Jim Miller via TKO round 1

 

Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne

This is a huge fight in the UFC’s heavyweight division, no pun intended.  Browne has been on a hot streak since losing to Antonio Silva, he’s won two straight, knocking out Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem.  Then there is Josh Barnett, who finished Frank Mir in his return to the octagon after being away from the UFC for over 10 years.  Two very different fighters, there is no doubt about that.  Travis Browne is a very dynamic striker.  Josh Barnett is more of a submission artist, using his striking to get to a takedown.  If Barnett can get this fight to the mat he will dominate, I truly believe that.  Can he get past the striking prowess of Browne?  That’s the big question.  I like Barnett for the submission victory.  He’ll get a clinch early in the first round and secure a takedown from there.

Prediction: Josh Barnett via Submission round 1

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate

Finally, after months of trash talking and flipping each other off (mostly Rousey towards Tate) these two arch-rivals will meet inside the octagon.  Rousey is going to win this fight, but she might have to take a few punches first.  Tate will go in there wanting to smash her, and that aggression will only get her so far, until she falters and Ronda takes that split second to get the fight to the mat.  Once there, obviously Rousey will try to break her opponent’s arm, and there’s a good chance that it happens.

Prediction: Rousey via Submission round 1

 

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva

I have one piece of advice for UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman heading into his rematch with Anderson Silva; don’t try to prove what’s already been proven.  We know Weidman can knock Silva out so there is no reason for him to try and do the same thing a second time.  Let’s not forget, in the first fight he was able to take Anderson down almost immediately after the opening round began.  And, when he was in top position Weidman landed some pretty solid shots, his best chance of winning this rematch is to go back to the things that worked last time.  However, once you’ve knocked out the greatest pound for pound fighter in the history of the sport, there must be a ton of pressure to do it once more.  Unfortunately for Weidman I think he’s going to look to land another power punch, and it just won’t be there.  Silva is going to be on the attack, which won’t give Weidman many opportunities to take the fight to the ground.  In a perfect world, Silva wins this by knockout and everybody believes the first loss to Weidman was a fluke.  In a not so perfect world, Weidman wins and we’ll likely say goodbye to “The Spider” forever.

Prediction: Anderson Silva via 2nd round knockout

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

 

 

If the name of this column was ‘fallen stars’, we’d have a lot to write about after UFC 162, seeing as the biggest star of them all fell on Saturday night in Las Vegas.  I’m of course referring to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.  Despite being the end of an era, UFC 162 was an overall success.  There were some great fights and choosing three stars was difficult, it always is.  So, lean back in your chair, get comfortable and enjoy the first edition of Three Stars in the Chris Weidman era.

Third Star: Frankie Edgar

Holy cow!  Frankie Edgar finally won a fight.  I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen again, but it did on Saturday night.  It wasn’t the definitive stoppage some Edgar fans have been waiting for.  However, it was a very impressive performance from the former UFC lightweight champion.

We can’t forget about his opponent, Charles Oliveira, at the young age of 23 Oliveira proved that he may have what it takes to be a champion in the future.  The Brazilian looked good at UFC 162, and although he lost, Oliveira has nothing to be ashamed of.

I bet Frankie Edgar took a very deep breath once he got backstage.  His last win had come against Gray Maynard in 2011.  Then Edgar lost three straight title fights, two against Benson Henderson and the most recent loss came at the hands of Jose Aldo.  When it comes down to it, Frankie really needed a win at UFC 162.  It didn’t come easy either, Charles Oliveira game him all he could handle.  Edgar showed the heart and courage we all love, because of that “The Answer” earned my third star for UFC 162.

Second Star: Cub Swanson 

Featherweight Cub Swanson is a man on a mission.  He wants another fight with Jose Aldo and is taking out everyone the UFC puts in front of him.  Swanson and Aldo met when they both fought in the WEC, Aldo won that matchup with a flying knee, eight seconds into the first round.

Fast forward to 2013, Cub Swanson has now won five straight fights.  There aren’t too many guys ahead of him in the 145lb rankings.  He took out Dennis Siver in the third round of their UFC 162 battle.  Now that the fight is out of the way, Swanson will wait to see what happens when featherweight champion Jose Aldo meets Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 in August.  Swanson, who is trained by Greg Jackson, could face the winner of Aldo vs. Jung or rematches with fellow contenders Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas are also intriguing possibilities.  Regardless of what happens, Cub Swanson is on a tear and it will be hard for anyone to stop him.  Plus, he is my 2nd star from UFC 162.

First Star: Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman did it, he beat the unbeatable.  He dethroned UFC middleweight champion and
the pound for pound greatest fighter on the planet, Anderson Silva.  Yes, he definitely got some help from Silva’s foolishness.  Showboating never wins fights, but we can’t let that take anything away from Weidman’s performance, which was the stuff of legend.

Silva has been silly in past fights.  However, Weidman is the only opponent who didn’t allow Silva’s actions to mess with his head.  Weidman had a gameplan and stayed committed to it.  That is the main reason he was able to come away from UFC 162 as the new middleweight champion of the world.

Before the fight, I figured the only way Silva could lose was if he was outwrestled.  I never thought I’d see Anderson Silva get knocked unconscious, but that is exactly what happened.  He has been able to get away with showboating before and he obviously tempted fate one too many times.  He paid for it with a right hand to the chin along with some brutal ground and pound from Weidman.

The Chris Weidman era has officially begun in the UFC’s middleweight division.  Only time will tell whether or not Weidman has what it takes to hold on to the belt for any extended period of time.  The MMA world must wait to find out the answer to that question.  Hopefully the time spent waiting will heal the wounds of Anderson Silva and his many fans.

For now, we should all take Dana White’s advice, and just calm down.  It had been 7 years since Silva last tasted defeat; everything is going to be fine.  There are still many things to celebrate, including new middleweight champ Chris Weidman, and of course a new edition of Three Stars.  Keep your hands up fight fans, it could save your dignity, just ask Anderson Silva.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

There is no doubt that UFC 162 will be a big moment for MMA.  This event could be the beginning of a new era, or the continuation of a reign, when UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva meets undefeated challenger Chris Weidman.  Every UFC event always has questions surrounding the fights.  It’s natural, humans love to question everything.  So I thought about all the matchups and came up with my top 5 questions heading into UFC 162.  Now, I’ll try to answer them the best I can.

Will Chris Weidman live up to the hype?

He will live up to the hype, for a round or two.  Let’s face it; Weidman is taking on the greatest striker in MMA history.  Anderson Silva knocks people out with deadly accuracy.  Why would UFC 162 be any different, because Weidman is an exceptional wrestler?  He is a great grappler, I’ll give him that.  But I think about the guys he has faced and the only names that stick out are Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.  The Maia fight was on short notice and neither guy was impressive.  So that leaves the fight with Munoz, it was a beatdown, for sure.  I just don’t think Munoz is anywhere near the skill level of Silva.  Weidman will get takedowns, and he’ll do damage, but every round starts on the feet and it will only be a matter of time before Anderson catches him.  So to answer my question, yes Chris Weidman will live up to the hype, only long enough to get knocked out by the greatest pound for pound fighter in UFC history.

Will Frankie Edgar turn it all around?

We’ve seen the fights, heard the talk, we know the Edgar story by now.  He’s lost some really tough fights that could have gone either way.  He never gives up, yet he never really goes for the finish either.  Facing Charles Oliveira will not make life any easier for Edgar.  This is a really tough fight.  I’m not going to be shocked if Edgar gets defeated, racking up his fourth straight loss.  I’ll also not be surprised if Edgar puts together a good enough performance to get a decision victory.  Actually, I hope he does win.  I miss watching him win fights; he’s got such great heart and desire.  Will Frankie get back in the win column?  I’m going to say no, I think Oliveira has the right skillset to submit Edgar, but I’d be happy to be wrong about this.

Who is the middleweight contender, Tim Boetsch or Mark Munoz?

I’m leaning towards Munoz in this one.  I think he’ll be able to get the takedowns against Boetsch and land his heavy ground and pound.  If he wins, does it make him a middleweight contender?  Maybe, it depends on how he gets the job done.  If he gets the victory in exciting fashion, he’ll likely earn a top ten opponent.  However, Tim Boetsch is a warrior.  We can never count him out of a fight, heck, against Costa Philippou, Boetsch looked like a wounded soldier, yet he didn’t give up.    That’s why Munoz will get a decision victory.  He’s not a ‘contender’ with the win, but he’s one step closer.

Will Cub Swanson earn a featherweight title shot with a victory over Dennis Siver?

If Swanson doesn’t get a title shot with a win Saturday night, he should at least get Chad Mendes or Ricardo Lamas in a number one contender matchup.  I do think Cub Swanson will beat Dennis Siver, I also think Swanson should ask for a title shot.  It wouldn’t hurt, if he comes out on top at UFC 162, it will be his fifth straight win.  That deserves some recognition, especially since he’s done it at 145lbs, arguably one of the toughest divisions in the UFC.  Now, of course, there is always the possibility that Siver will be the victor Saturday night.  He will not get a title shot if that happens; he’d need to win at least one more fight to be considered a legitimate contender.  Whether Swanson gets a title shot with a win or a contender matchup, we might be seeing him in a title fight by the end of this year or early 2014.

Is this Chris Leben’s final fight in the UFC?

If he loses, yes Chris Leben will likely be cut from the UFC.  Which could very well lead to his retirement, but I don’t want to see that happen.  He is still one of my favorite fighters, when he’s in shape.  He has a tough test at UFC 162 when he meets Andrew Craig.  If Leben shows up with bad cardio, it could be a long night for him.  Craig has shown to be pretty dynamic in his striking attack.  But, as I said, I like Leben.  I want to see him come out swinging and land a bomb, just like the old days.  Please, Chris, do it one more time, for the fans!  I have faith that we will see Chris Leben inside the octagon again after Saturday night.

Well, I’ve tried to answer some of my own questions.  Let us know what you think @BrentHas2Write or @Profightingfans, we’d love to hear from you.  Keep your hands up fight fans.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Silva vs. Weidman is finally here!  That makes me happy, because it is another chance for me to redeem myself with B.S. Predictions.  I’m riding solo this time around, no Levesque, but that’s ok, at least I won’t get my butt kicked.  Anyways, I’m stoked for this event.  Whenever Silva fights there is a ton of hype, this time around is no exception, people are talking.  It should be a great night of fights overall at UFC 162 so let’s get to the predictions.

Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver

This is a very interesting fight.  I like watching both of these guys in the octagon.  Swanson is on a tear having won four straight.  Meanwhile, Siver has won 6 of his last 7 fights.  I think Swanson wants it more, he still remembers the beating Jose Aldo gave him back in their WEC days and wants to avenge that loss.  He’s going to be able to rock Siver early in the second round and get the TKO victory

Prediction: Cub Swanson via 2nd round TKO

 

Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz

Both men had four fight winning streaks snapped the last time they were inside the octagon.  It has almost been a year since Munoz fought Chris Weidman and Boetsch fought Constantinos Philippou in December.  This is a pretty tough fight to call because they are evenly matched.  If ring rust doesn’t affect Mark Munoz I think he’ll take it, but if Boetsch can land his heavy hands it could be a different story.  I’ll go with Munoz by decision.

Prediction: Mark Munoz via unanimous decision

 

Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy

We have a couple of Strikeforce crossovers in this one.  To be honest I’ve never seen Roger Gracie compete, but I did watch Tim Kennedy fight Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce middleweight title.  Kennedy has never been submitted in 19 professional fights and that streak will continue Saturday night.  I don’t think Gracie can get this fight to the mat and he will eventually get knocked out by Kennedy.

Prediction: Tim Kennedy via 2nd round TKO

 

Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

Despite what some people may think, this is not an easy fight for Frankie Edgar.  I think Charles Oliveira has the skillset to beat him.  The only question I have is can Oliveira put it all together on Saturday night?  The answer, yes!  Oilveira is going to submit Frankie in the first round and the crowd will be shocked.  If that doesn’t happen, well, I never claimed to be a “professional”.

Prediction: Charles Oliveira via 1st round submission

 

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman

I would much rather predict an Anderson Silva victory and be wrong, than to predict Weidman only to be disappointed when he gets knocked out.  Trust me, I’d love to see someone dethrone the champion, he needs a real test.  However, I’m with the group of people who think that Chris Weidman is over-hyped and will be exposed on Saturday night at UFC 162.  Silva is the greatest of all time, he will retain his title in dramatic fashion, what interests me most is what he’ll do next.  Is he serious about this Roy Jones Jr. thing? Why not Jon Jones?  Bring on the superfight!

Prediction: Anderson Silva via 1st round TKO

 

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Tell me what you think @BrentHas2Write or @Profightingfans

On Saturday, July 6, the MGM Grand will play host to UFC 162, where the “All American” Chris Weidman will attempt to unseat the Pound for Pound King and undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion of the World, Anderson Silva.  MMA Fanboys (and girls) have the internet positively buzzing about the potential threat that Weidman poses to “The Spider’s” 17 fight win streak and his throne.  But does Weidman really have what it takes to shock the world?

The statistics seem to stack up in Chris’ favor.  Weidman is a decade younger than the champion and, being a two time NCAA Division 1 All American, he has in his arsenal the one weapon proven to be most effective against the Spider, namely wrestling.  With his 9-0 record, he has out grappled the likes of Demian Maia on 11 days’ notice, proving that he is a legitimate threat on the ground, as if any proof was actually needed.  Weidman has utilized his grueling wrestling and relentless takedowns to neutralize strikers like Uriah Hall and Alessio Sakara and he is confident that he will do the same to Anderson Silva.

But that’s just it!  Anderson Silva is not your average striker.   Anderson Silva is not your average anything!

The Spider has not lost a fight since 2006 and at 38 years of age, he is showing absolutely no signs of deterioration.  He has cleaned out the entire Middleweight division.  As if that weren’t enough, he has also made three trips up to the Light Heavyweight Division, finishing all three of those fights in Round 1, seemingly at will, by shoving devastating knees and fists into his opponents’ chests and faces.  He has faced arguably the best wrestlers in his division, in Dan Henderson (UFC 82) and Chael Sonnen (UFC 117), and submitted both of them on the ground.  In fact, the biggest threat to Anderson’s crown came in his first fight with Chael, in which he demonstrated both tenacity and an uncanny will to win, finding a way to cinch in a 5th round triangle armbar after having been dominated the entire fight.  Perhaps in an effort to silence his naysayers, Anderson’s second fight with Chael was finished in an even more incredible fashion as he TKO’d him in round 2.

Weidman is not merely challenging for a title on July 6 under the lights of the MGM Grand, he is attempting to topple a living legend and arguably the best fighter in the world.

If he truly wants to do so, he will have to capitalize on his wrestling and keep Anderson Silva on his back.  He will have to take the fight to the champion and make it nasty!  He will have to maul the Spider with explosive takedowns and unyielding ground and pound in order to gain the decision or perhaps the finish.  Weidman absolutely CANNOT stay on the outside and wait for an opportunity to dive in.  This is where the fight favors the champion.  Every fight begins standing up and the P4P King has a huge advantage when it comes to striking.  Expect Anderson to feel Weidman out early, by throwing an exhaustible amount of feints while avoiding the takedown.  Silva will undoubtedly stay on the outside, peppering the All American with strikes, until he can exploit Weidman’s bad habit of dropping his hands when he throws a punch or a kick.  Anderson will also need to channel his inner Chris Brown and dance around the cage to further complicate the challenger’s takedown attempts.

In the end, I believe Anderson’s striking ability and experience in the cage (he has been winning for longer than Weidman has been fighting) will prove to be too much for the Serra-Longo Fight Team standout.  Look for Anderson to retain his belt by TKO in Round 4.

If you would like to keep the conversation going, follow me on Twitter @AarionB_622 and check out @ProFightingFans for the latest MMA news.

Aarion Browne

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

So currently the middleweight division is open, with multiple fights scheduled for the contenders, but none so far, involve the UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.

With the defeat Michael Bisping suffered to Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 to kick off this year, many fans have been claiming that No. 3 ranked contender Chris Weidman should be the next opponent for the champion.

Weidman, who has been asking for a fight with Anderson Silva, since his stunning knockout win over Mark Munoz in July 11th 2012 was forced to pull out of a December bout with Tim Boetsch , due to a shoulder injury.

He has been quoted in the MMA media, claiming; “I am the biggest threat to Anderson Silva’s title and he knows it.”

Many contenders have said similar things before about Anderson, and so far, all have come up short against the supposed, pound for pound best fighter in the world.

Jorge Guimaraes, Andersons’ manager, has turned down the bout against Weidman in late last year, claiming he wanted him to have a few more fights before fighting Anderson.

So far, Weidman’s most credible wins have been against Demian Maia, by Unanimous Decision and Mark Munoz by KO.

When you consider that Maia didn’t engage with Anderson, in their title fight and was still battered and that Munoz  was, according to many out of shape and had previously been KOed, brutally by Matt Hamill, you would not say that Weidman has any major proof that he will defeat Anderson.

Although you have to look at who else is out there. Belfort, who KOed Bisping in January is currently scheduled to fight former Strikeforce champion, Luke Rockhold. Philippou, who supprisingly KOed Boetsch in December, is currently scheduled to fight former Strikeforce and Dream star “Jacare” Souza, and Hector Lombard, who was slower than people expected to show his skill in the UFC, is scheduled to fight Yushin Okami, who Anderson easily finished in 2011.

So when you look at it nobody is really in a hurry to fight Anderson Silva, and they are preferring to take their time against the other contenders before fighting for the title. Well, all except Chris Weidman, who again does not seem to have anything that will immediately tell the MMA world that he will defeat the longtime Champion.

But seriously WHO DOES?

By Christopher McMillan

ProFightingFans.com Staff Writer

Posted in UFC.

You’ll have to forgive me as I attempt to comprehend the reasoning behind the Michael Bisping verses Vitor Belfort match up. I’m a little behind on this column so bare with me – I’m behind mainly due to my propensity to over analyze everything. As I sit in front of my overpriced MacBook Air, I do so baffled at the UFC’s attempt to formulate a number one contender within the middleweight division. I’m no Joe Silva but I’m starting to wonder if the UFC is losing sight of its own needs. Someone has to answer my questions and there’s only one person that will or can, me.

I’m going to ask three questions that keep revolving around in my mind regarding the UFC on FX 7 bout between middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort. I’ll then attempt to answer the very questions I posed – which is not the best situation but the only one I have at the moment.

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts, theories or general platitudes.

Why would you pair two fighters together and not reward either fighter with the same opportunity if victorious?

This question goes beyond the UFC on FX 7 match up and dives directly into the heart of the UFC’s matchmaking philosophy. Why would you pair two fighters together and not reward either fighter with the same opportunity if victorious?

By pairing fighters together who obtain the same opportunity if victorious the UFC could eliminate a growing concern regarding the sport’s integrity among fighters and fans alike.

Bottom line the UFC has done a terrible job of providing a frame work towards becoming a number one contender. UFC President Dana White likes to use the term “in the mix” but what that really means is “who we want will be next.” Case in point GSP vs. Nick Diaz. The UFC must do a better job at establishing a frame work for matchmaking and becoming a title contender.

Why did the UFC pair Michael Bisping with such a dangerous opponent in Vitor Belfort?

I’m still scratching my head over this one. Two opportunities were riding on this fight; a number one contenders spot and a chance to see Anderson Silva fight before the end of the year. One high kick saw both of those washed down the drain instantly. I’m not inferring Bisping should question his opponent choice nor blame anyone else for the loss except himself, but why fight Belfort?

Vitor’s coming off a submission loss to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152 in September. Less than five months later he stands across the cage from Bisping who, if victorious, will get his first opportunity at UFC gold. As it just so happened Belfort beat Bisping at UFC on FX 7 with a TKO victory 2:27 into the second round. My thought now – Why was Vitor ever asked to be apart of this fight?

What will happen to the UFC middleweight division now?

A great question Scott (inner dialogue: thanks Scott, those are the only ones I have). What will the UFC do with the middleweight division and middleweight champion Anderson Silva? The division is in the same state as it was before the Bisping/Belfort fight, static.

It’s clear the UFC isn’t going to give Belfort a second go-around with Silva just yet. In all fairness, Belfort asked for Jones instead of Silva during his post-fight interview. Did Belfort truly believe his plea would be granted by Dana? It’s Chael P. Sonnen were talking about, the greatest showman in UFC history. For now the middleweight division will continue to act like a sifter eventually grinding out a contender with enough name recognition to warrant a second look by champion Anderson Silva.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: This could take a while.

By Scott Levesque (@scottlevesque)

ProFightingFans.com Staff Writer