UFC 168 fight card primer: Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 168: Weidman vs Silva 2 in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the UFC 168 PPV main event: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title.

In the main event at UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2, UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman (10-0 MMA; 6-0 UFC) rematches the man he beat for that belt: Anderson Silva (33-5 MMA; 16-1 UFC). This five-round title fight caps off the five-fight main card live on PPV. The UFC Rankings have Silva as the #1 contender at Middleweight and #3 on the Pound-for-Pound list, with champion Weidman at #8 Pound-for-Pound. UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, December 28, with a fight time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for the PPV main card.

It's been an astonishing 7 years since any man other than Anderson Silva walked into the Octagon as the UFC Middleweight champion. But after his incredible UFC 162 upset KO win over the Spider, that's exactly what Weidman will do tonight. That win was one of the defining moments of MMA in 2013, and there are basically two ways of looking at it. Either Weidman was simply the better fighter, or Silva got sloppy and was caught. Both sides have their supporters - tonight we find out which one is right.

How do these two stack up?

Weidman: 29 years old | 6'2" | 78" reach
Silva: 38 years old | 6'2" | 78" reach

What have these two done recently?

Weidman: W - Anderson Silva (KO) | W - Mark Munoz (KO) | W - Demian Maia (UD)
Silva: L - Chris Weidman (KO) | W - Stephan Bonnar (KO) | W - Chael Sonnen (KO)

How did these two get here?

Undefeated Middleweight champion Chris Weidman is, incredibly, only a 4-year pro at MMA. When he made his professional debut, Silva had already defended the belt 4 times and was getting bored in the division. The past 4 years have been an incredible rise for Weidman, whose wrestling background, striking, and grappling from the Serra-Longo team have elevated him to the top. He is on an amazing run, and a win here would have to vault him close to the top of any Pound-for-Pound list.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 168

Anderson Silva was the champion for so long that it seems bizarre to talk about him as the challenger. The greatest striker in the history of MMA, the greatest champion in the history of the UFC, and probably the greatest fighter in the history of all of MMA, Silva is, simply put, special. He did things as champion that will be hard for anyone to replicate. But last time, he clowned Weidman, and he suffered. Was that clowning a sign of his skills slipping, either mental or physical? And if so, has he sharpened them back up for the rematch? These will hopefully be answered tonight.

Why should you care?

The greatest of all time looking for vengeance against the unlikely dragon-slayer in what could potentially be his last fight ever (maybe). What more could you possibly ask for?

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