Silva vs. Maia
The main event of Saturday’s UFC 112: Invincible pay per-view is a battle for the UFC Middleweight Championship as champion Anderson Silva faces challenger Demian Maia.
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Silva enters the fight as the clear favorite with a betting line of -800 with Maia given a line of +550 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. at 1PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Strengths: Silva is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world as he mixes striking and submission skills as well as anyone in MMA. Silva has a lot of power with his striking and he is very accurate. Rarely does he waste energy throwing a punch, kick, or knee that won’t land on point. Silva also has shown tremendous jiu-jitsu skills as he trains with the Nogueira brothers and is a black belt. Silva is also tremendous at avoiding damage. He is Matrix-like with his ability to dodge punches, as he displayed against Forrest Griffin in his last fight back in August.
Weaknesses: It is hard to say that Silva has a weakness, but he has shown that he can be taken down in the past by fighters like Dan Henderson, Travis Lutter, and Nate Marquardt. While Maia is not a tremendous wrestler, he will want the fight to get to the ground and Silva will need to be prepared to fight off his back.
Last Five Fights:
First round KO win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009
Unanimous Decision win over Thales Leites at UFC 97 on April 18, 2009
Third round TKO win over Patrick Cote at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008
First round KO win over James Irvin at Ultimate Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008
Second round submission win over Dan Henderson at UFC 82 on March 1, 2008
Demian Maia (12-1):
Strengths: Maia is one of the best submission fighters in the world. He has shown a tendency to make short work of his opponents when they offer their neck or arm to him. Maia isn’t afraid to exchange strikes with his opponents because he knows it leaves them vulnerable to takedowns and he also is willing to fight off his back because he is that confident in his submission skills. Maia has just one loss to his credit and it was a first-punch knockout against Marquardt, but otherwise he has been very difficult to get past.
Weaknesses: Maia is not a strong striker which will be his biggest problem in this fight. He can’t afford to try and mix it up on his feet with Silva. He also can’t leave himself wide open like he did with Marquardt, or he will be quickly disposed of again. Maia will have to be competent enough on his feet to not be one-sided with Silva, but he will have to work quickly and intelligently to get the fight to the ground, where he can do his best work.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 2010
First round KO loss to Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009
First round submission win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009
First round submission win over Nate Quarry at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008
Third round submission win over Jason MacDonald at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008
Who will win: Maia is the kind of submission fighter that can beat Silva, but Silva has become so superior on his feet to anyone, that a lot of times opponent won’t even try to mix strikes with him, which leads to boring fights. If Maia wants to win, he will have to be aggressive and not let Silva get comfortable. Silva likes to feel out his opponents for the early minutes and then pick them apart. Maia will have to get inside Silva and get the fight to the ground where he has the edge. Unfortunately, Silva will be prepared and likely have the right strategy in place to keep the fight standing where he should be able to win in the first round by TKO. However, if Maia takes a very conservative approach, look for Silva to win a five-round decision in a very uneventful fight.
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Posted: 4/8/10 4:52PM ET