Will Anderson Silva claim his UFC title back? Does Chris Weidman has what it takes to shock the world once again?
Silva and Weidman will meet again at UFC 168 for the middleweight championship on Dec. 28, and MMAFighting.com asked 15 UFC fighters to break down one of the most anticipated rematch in the history.
Check out the pros picks for the UFC 168 main event, and post yours in the comments section below:
Renan Barao: I was shocked with what happened in the first fight, but we’re all humans and anything can happen in a fight. I didn’t believe it when I saw. But Anderson Silva will take the title back. Unfortunately that happened in the first fight, but that’s his fighting style. (Weidman) was lucky to connect that hand, but the next result will be completely different.
Fabricio Werdum: I see Anderson more focused, not playing around, and winning by knockout. He’ll beat Weidman standing, Weidman will go down and Anderson will punish him until the referee stops the fight. Focused, not playing around… But it’s a fight and anything can happen. Maybe there’s another surprise coming, but I don’t see this happening.
Wanderlei Silva: Anderson will win this fight. He won’t drop his hands to make it easier. If he goes there and uses his muay thai, it’s going to be an interesting fight. It’s the first time in a long time that he’s the challenger, so we have to wait and see how he’ll react to that. I hope he trained seriously because his title is not his responsibility, he’s carrying his whole country on his shoulder. He needs to take this fight seriously and bring the title back to Brazil. If he doesn’t want it anymore, win the fight, leave the belt on the ground and say "I’m done". If he wants to, fight to win.
Tarec Saffiedine: One of my friends trained with Anderson Silva a couple times and he said he looks like a monster right now, mentally and physically. I think Anderson is going to claim his belt back. Weidman didn’t respect his hands in the first one. Anderson is going to play that game a little bit, but he’s going to be more cautious this time. But betting against Weidman is tough, man. Weidman shocked the world and he might do it again. I think I’ll go with Anderson in this one.
Renzo Gracie: (Weidman) will win again, you’ll see. He’s really tough. Of course that Anderson has a big chance, he’s a fantastic man, but it’s a bad match-up (for him). Anderson uses that (taunting) to counter attack, that’s how he won a lot of fights. His history in MMA is amazing, he’s done amazing victories with that. He’s fast and hits hard, has a stand up game that nobody else can reach, but (Weidman) has a great wrestling and jiu-jitsu, and he won’t be afraid to fight standing. I always said that if someone had a chance to defeat Anderson was this kid, nobody else would.
Gegard Mousasi: I think Anderson Silva will win, maybe by decision. I believe Anderson will win this. He does that a lot of time and gets away with it and everyone recognizes him as one of the best of all times, and one time it didn’t go well. It’s a fight. Even the best fighter can lose once. I believe he’s the No. 1 guy in the division. It’s his way of fighting, but I think he’ll be more cautious this time.
Lyoto Machida: Anderson is taking his preparation really seriously for this fight. I haven’t spoken with him too much, but I know he’s training hard. He will surprise a lot of people in this fight and take his title back with a great performance. I was surprised (with the first fight) because Anderson showed he had all the tools to win, but sometimes a mistake can make you lose the fight. It always worked, but not that night. I don’t believe Weidman is that superior. I believe Anderson is way better, more experienced. Don’t get me wrong, Weidman is a nice guy, I always talk to him when we meet, and he’s a great fighter, a great champion, but Anderson is better.
Rafael "Sapo" Natal: It’s a tough fight, but Weidman will win. I knew his potential for a long time, his jiu-jitsu, wrestling and stand up game are great. But anything can happen in a fight. Anderson was completely dominating the first fight and Weidman did a great job by connecting that punch. I think it’s 50-50, but I believe Weidman has a great chance to win this fight again. If I had to pick one to win, I’d say Weidman.
Dan Henderson: Who knows? A lot depends on how Anderson Silva takes him seriously this time. I think he didn’t take him seriously before and he will now. Weidman has a great style and obviously hits hard. He looks dangerous and has the capability to beat him again. You can’t say that (doesn’t taking Weidman seriously) that is the reason he lost. He might lose again and doesn’t do that. But it definitely doesn’t help. I just wished he had done that when I fought him.
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante: Anderson uses that to frustrate his opponents. Imagine if you shoot five times against someone and they dodge four bullets? It’s frustrating. He’s really excited now. In my opinion, Anderson lost that fight to himself. He didn’t get in there to fight, actually. Anderson Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, nobody can beat him. He will knock out Chris Weidman.
Maurício "Shogun" Rua: It’s a tough fight for both. Chris Weidman is a really good fighter, undefeated, and Anderson Silva is a phenom. Anderson has a little advantage in my opinion. He will be more focused this time, won’t play around. He’s more well-rounded and wins by TKO.
Vitor Belfort: Weidman can’t play Anderson’s game. Anderson will bring him to his game. Weidman will try to fight his fight and the whole world will be watching it. The important thing is that I’ll be focused in my training. No matter who I fight, I’ll be better next time. I know it’s hard for you to believe I can get better, but I will. I’ve learned a lot of things that I didn’t use yet.
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: I believe Anderson Silva will come back stronger and hungrier. That loss was a fuel for him. It’s a battle of styles. He lost the last time, but he will make (Weidman) pay. He will bring the title back to Brazil with a knockout.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva: I’ve spent two weeks in Rio with Anderson, trained with him a couple times, and he’s really focused. He’s motivated, with a completely different mindset. Fighting seriously, Anderson is unbeatable. He has good escapes on the ground and I don’t need to mention his stand up game. Sometimes a loss is more important than a win in your career. You’ll see a different Anderson Silva. It’s hard to predict how this fight will go because Weidman is a tough and well-rounded fighter, but I believe Anderson will defend the takedowns and get the knockout.
Cristiano Marcello: I think we’ll see a knockout. Anderson was dominating the first fight, forcing Weidman to move around. He’s more focused this time and (Weidman) won’t last more than three rounds.