Anderson (the Spider) Silva defends his Middleweight Championship title against Chael Sonnen in UFC 117 with the betting odds favoring the Spider.

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If you’re looking for trouble then look to UFC 117, where Anderson (the Spider) Silva defends his Middleweight Championship title against Chael Sonnen.

Beyond holding the Middleweight Belt, Silva is widely acknowledged to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world. The stats and his record would seem to support that. Anderson is on a 12 match winning streak, has successfully defended his title 6 times and you would have to go back 15 bouts and 5½ years to find the last time he was bested by his opponent in the ring (his last lost was a disqualification). 

Silva and Sonnen UFC 117That’s why the odds on a Silva victory are at an uninspiring 1-6 with both William Hill and Victor Chandler.

The most interesting thing about Silva’s opponent is his pre-match trash talk. His prediction in a recent press conference was he would “throw him [Silva] on his back, and beat a hole in his face.” 

The softly spoken Brazilian responded with an understated “talking about me is easy, (but) try and beat me.”

Best Pound for Pound Fighter 

The record would suggest that Sonnen’s forecast was a false prophecy, as Anderson has never been knocked out in the octagon. 

If you fancy taking Sonnen’s word as gospel though, you can get 8-1 with Paddy Power.

Beyond the stats, it’s worth considering the fighters’ skills and attributes. The reason why Anderson is enjoying his current record-breaking run is because of his accuracy as a puncher and kicker The marksman-like southpaw has the speed and precision to land game ending blows, with feet, knees, elbows and fists.

Sonnen is every inch (all 6ft 1” of him) the wrestler, with a vicious hook thrown in, hence his “…hole in his face” quote. The only way the American is going to beat the odds is to take the Brazilian down on to the mat, pin him and lay into him.

Which is a lot easier said than done, with Silva being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.

Sonnen on Points 

Conversely, Sonnen's last 5 victories have all been on points with the fights going the distance. It would be a brave man who would expect the same thing to happen this Saturday, as Anderson is quite simply the more skilled and proficient fighter and if the fight goes for the scheduled 5 rounds the cream should rise to the top. Sonnen winning it in the 5th is at 28-1 with Paddy Power.

The odds on Sonnen going the distance and taking the belt are 6-1 whereas a points success for Anderson is at 4-1.

With all that in mind, is there a chance of the unpredictable happening? In a word “definitely”!

The “best pound for pound fighter on the planet” underwent a personality shift recently. Two fights ago he gave a commanding and crowd pleasing performance nailing Forrest Griffin in the first round. Taking the Fight of the Night and Knockdown of the Night awards. Comparatively, in his last fight (against Demian Maia) the champion barely seemed like an Ultimate Fighter. He spent more time dancing, taunting, weaving and ducking than actually hitting Maia, and refused to deliver the coup de grace the fight (and the fans) demanded. The spectacle was so bad that the crowd turned against Silva and the referee warned him for his (non-combative) conduct.

Anderson won by a unanimous decision, but the fans felt short-changed and Dana White (UFC president) said it was the most embarrassing (fight) he had ever seen during his tenure, and personally apologised to the fans.

Hopefully the real Anderson Silva will stand up on Saturday and deliver a fight equal to Chael’s scorn.

Prediction Silva in the third.