How to bet Weidman vs. Silva II

Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva

If you're an MMA fan, you probably hold one of two opinions following UFC 162 -- either then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva was unlucky and finally got caught in the midst of his ludicrous fight antics, or Chris Weidman legitimately had Silva's number and will be able to repeat the feat again Saturday night at UFC 168.

Regardless of your position, UFC 168's main event will be certain to define the sport, with the legacy of one of the greatest fighters in MMA history seemingly on referendum. In addition, undefeated women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will again take on Miesha Tate in a rematch of their 2012 bout.

Let's take a look at where to find value in the betting lines for Saturday night.


Anderson Silva (minus-135) versus Chris Weidman (plus-115)


While most will remember the epic left hook that ended Silva's undefeated run in the UFC and record 10 title defenses, the most important part of the first fight was what took place in the first round. Regardless of whether Weidman can again knock out Silva, the reigning middleweight champ certainly can take down Silva and do some significant damage on the ground. Because of this advantage, Weidman might not need to knock out Silva to silence the critics for his first successful middleweight title defense.

While the knockout was the most significant event in the first bout, the most important statistic in the fight was the nearly two minutes in which Weidman maintained dominant position on the ground, where he repeatedly delivered significant blows. Weidman's one takedown and one guard pass don't really illustrate his success, but it arguably led to Silva's desperate attempt to goad Weidman into a stand-up battle in the second round.

Still, Silva is a master off his back, and did indeed attempt a submission with two minutes left in the first round of their first bout. So Weidman's ground game still must be rock-solid. In terms of striking, Weidman out-landed Silva 16-14 in the first round despite Silva scoring with some shots standing up. So with the majority of Weidman's strikes coming from top position, the quality and power of those punches provided a giant discrepancy that definitively won Weidman the round with the judges. With an average 4.21 takedowns per 15 minutes at an extremely high 67 percent success rate, it wouldn't be surprising to see Weidman land a takedown in all five rounds should the second fight last that long.

With that ability to maintain top position for long periods -- and being able to deliver significant damage from there -- look for Weidman to repeat his success against Silva, relying on his superior wrestling skills to get the job done. Thus, given the underdog price of plus-115 for the champion, consider him a great bet to retain his belt in another classic on Saturday night.

Insider value pick: Chris Weidman

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