UFC 162 takes place Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, headlined by a UFC middleweight championship bout between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Weidman's wrestling and submission game makes him the closest betting underdog to the dominant Silva in many years. Many in the sport, particularly fighters, feel Weidman is Silva's most dangerous challenger.
UFC middleweight title: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
Anderson Silva is unquestionably the most dominant fighter in UFC history, with a sparkling 16-0 record and rock solid legacy. Weidman at 9-0 has nothing resembling the resume of Silva but does possess a style that could give Silva difficulty. He is an excellent wrestler with a dangerous submission game as well. A big factor could be how Weidman deals with the mental pressure of fighting an opponent so feared and dominant. Many fighters have come into the cage against Anderson Silva already psyched out and Weidman has never fought in a fight remotely this high profile.
Round 1. The fighers don't touch gloves. Weidman shoots for a takedown and he gets it. He drops down some big punches and works into half guard. He drops down elbows to go with the punches and looks to isolate Silva's arm. Silva gets out of danger and Weidman has to posture up to land more punches. He begins dropping down punches from the feet and rolls for an ankle of Silva. Silva gets out and returns to his feet. Silva stands next to the cage and puts down his hands. He welcomes Weidman in and Weidman punches him. Silva says okay and then lands a few kicks to the legs. Weidman goes for punches that land on air and Silva just encourages him for more. Silva encourages him to throw leg kicks and taunts Weidman before throwing punches of his own. Silva is playing around but he lost that round. 10-9 Weidman.
Round 2. Silva is taunting Weidman and encouraging him on before th start of the second round. Perhaps he is trying to bait him into a standup fight. As Weidman throws a punch, Silva feigns that he is hurt and begins dancing around. Weidman goes for a takedown but doesn't get it. Silva lands some hard leg kicks. Weidman goes for a punch. Silva taunts him and encourages him to throw more. So Weidman lands a punch that knocks Silva out. Silva was bobbing his head around dodging Weidman's punches but then got hit with a hook he didn't see and that was it. Just a moment before Silva was knocked out he was wobbling his knees pretending to be hurt to mock Weidman.
Winner: Chris Weidman, KO, round 2.
Mike Pierce vs. David Mitchell
Pierce is one of the more underappreciated fighters in the UFC welterweight division, due in part to his style of fighting. He has won three straight fights and has only lost in the UFC to elite opponents. Mitchell is a submission oriented fighter with a 1-2 record.
Round 1. Pierce closes the distance early and pushes Mitchell against the cage. He grabs a double leg but isn’t able to take Mitchell to the ground. They remain in the clinch and exchange body shots. They separate and Pierce connects with a nice hook before looking again for the takedown. Neither fighter is able to gain an advantage so they remain tied up in the clinch. Mitchell lands a pair of nice knees to the body and Pierce responds with one of his own. They separate briefly and Pierce lands a nice straight punch and leg kick. Very dull first round. 10-9 Pierce.
Round 2. Pierce again instigates a clinch and again neither fighter is able to gain much of an advantage. Upon the break, Pierce connects with a few punches. This time, Mitchell goes for the clinch and throws a series of knees to the body. Upon a break from the clinch, Pierce lands a hard looping punch. Mitchell goes down and Pierce pursues him to the ground with a series of hammerfists that force the referee to stop the bout. That was a typical Pierce performance: grinding and unexciting but effective.
Winner: Mike Pierce, TKO, round 2.
Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon
Baczynski has been successful in the UFC following his stint on the Ultimate Fighter television show. He won four fights in a row with submissions and a knockout before dropping his last contest to Mike Pierce. Melancon is making his UFC debut, transferring over to the UFC from Strikeforce. He is only 6-2 in MMA but has fought for a number of prominent organizations including Strikeforce, Bellator, Legacy and now the UFC.