Saturday, August 27 – 9:00 p.m. ET
HSBC Arena – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Anderson Silva (28-4-0) vs. Yushin Okami (27-5-0)
UFC Middleweight Championship
Line: Silva -600, Okami +400
Whenever Anderson Silva takes the floor for UFC, all eyes are on him. The 36-year-old middleweight champion is one of the most prolific fighters in the sport’s history holding the longest winning streak ever in UFC at 13 matches. But, his last loss? January 20, 2006 against none other than his opponent on Saturday, Yushin Okami. The win for Okami was an important one for his resume, defeating arguably the best fighter in the sport, but it was hardly convincing – he only won due to a disqualification on Silva for an illegal kick. This rematch should be a proper way to settle the score between two of the sport’s best fighters and a belt on the line.
Play against the heavy favorite with OKAMI to win this rematch. Although Silva is the better fighter, the odds he is currently receiving are inflated by his popularity within the sport and his winning streak; they are not properly reflective of his actual skill, and while he is better than Okami, it is not to the degree that the current lines represent. Okami has defeated some talented fighters in his last two matchups including Nate Marquardt his last time out, proving he is ready for this level of competition. Odds.
“The Spider” Silva (28-4-0) is one of the two most recognizable names in MMA today, the other being Georges St.-Pierre. This is why Silva is receiving such short odds, along with his record winning streak and well-rounded skill set. Still, more than anything, he always brings top-notch striking to the table with 58% of his wins coming that way, 33% from submissions and only 9% from takedowns. At 36 years old, he’ll have to demonstrate he still has the quickness to keep up with the best in the game and extend his reign as champ. Scores.
Okami (27-5-0) has the youth in this battle at 30 years old, six years younger than Silva. While they are both 6-foot-2, Okami yields five inches to Silva in terms of reach at 72 inches, which could become a major factor in this matchup. He has a 1-1 record against current or former champions in his career, with the win coming against Silva in 2006. He is a more balanced fighter than Silva, however, with no more than 40% of his wins coming from takedowns, striking or submission – a reasonable balance. If he can get his ground-and-pound style of fighting going early, he should be in good shape to pull off the upset. Sports scores.