LAS VEGAS -- It was just a year ago when Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva fought for the first time. On Saturday, they will do it again, and we'll find out whether Silva took a lesson from the beating or if Velasquez is still a league ahead of him.
The betting public firmly believes the latter. The opening lines favored Velasquez as a 6-to-1 favorite, and the odds have only moved further in the UFC heavyweight champion's direction, as much as 8-to-1 in some spots.
The challenger has exuded confidence all week, saying that the difference is a full training camp this time around, instead of a few weeks as he had last time. If anything, the size is on his side. The 6-foot-4 Brazilian checked in at 263 pounds for the main event bout, making it official.
"I'm excited to fight tomorrow," Silva said. "I'm training hard and I'm going to win this belt, for sure."
Velasquez tipped the MGM Grand Garden Arena scales at 240. The American was the clear crowd favorite, and continued his businesslike approach to a fight that most are saying he should once again win decisively.
"Bigfoot is dangerous," he said. "I don't take him lightly. This means everything to me. Staying here, staying in this position and keeping the belt here."
The winner should know his next task after Saturday night, because the UFC 160 co-main event features another heavyweight match that should mint a No. 1 contender. The popular Mark Hunt will look to continue his Cinderella rise up the rankings with a fifth straight win. Hunt weighed 264, which is a significant weight advantage over former champ Junior dos Santos, who made 239.
In a lightweight fight that will determine the next challenger for champion Benson Henderson, Gray Maynard (156) out-weighed T.J. Grant by one pound. Maynard is hunting for his third crack at the belt while Grant is hoping to complete a quick rise through the division.
Two fighters missed weight. The first was Nah-Shon Burrell, who was 172 for his welterweight scrap with Stephen Thompson.
Khabib Nurmagomedov also missed weight, checking in at 158.5 for his lightweight fight with Abel Trujillo. To make matters worse for him, he shoved Abel Trujillo during their staredown. The action drew a smile from legendary boxer Mike Tyson, who was on stage during the proceedings, but seemed to take UFC president Dana White by surprise. White stepped in between them but appeared to be visibly angered by the brief scuffle.
UPDATE: After the conclusion of weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov decided not to try to make weight, and was fined 20 percent of his purse. Half of it will go to the Nevada state athletic commission, and half will go to Trujillo. In addition, Burrell was able to shed his final pound, making 171 to make his bout with Thompson official
Cain Velasquez (240) vs. Antonio Silva (263)
Junior dos Santos (239) vs. Mark Hunt (264)
Glover Teixeira (205) vs. James Te Huna (206)
Gray Maynard (156) vs. T.J. Grant (155)
Donald Cerrone (155) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
Mike Pyle (170) vs. Rick Story (169)
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Max Holloway (145)
Colton Smith (170) vs. Robert Whittaker (171)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (158.5) vs. Abel Trujillo (155)
Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Nah-Shon Burrell (172)
Brian Bowles (135) vs. George Roop (135)
Jeremy Stephens (146) vs. Estevan Payan (145)