Silva vs. Griffin

The co-main event of UFC 101: Declaration is a battle between middleweight champion Anderson Silva who will move up a weight class to face former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.

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Silva enters this fight as the favorite at -340 over Griffin at +245 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this championship bout.

Anderson Silva (24-4 MMA Record):

Strengths: Silva is considered by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Silva has diverse striking as combines boxing, kickboxing and muay thai into one seamless striking game. If his striking wasn’t good enough, Silva is also a jiu jitsu black belt who has submitted some of the best fighters in the world. Silva’s reach and length make him dangerous in any position and hard to get inside of while striking.

Weaknesses: If Silva has a weakness, he has yet to show it in the UFC. His last two fights have left something to be desired, but more so because his opponents have not wanted to trade with the dangerous striker. In his only weak moment in the octagon, Silva was taken down and controlled for one round by Dan Henderson, showing that he could be susceptible to takedowns. Silva is also going to be the smaller fighter against Griffin, as he is moving up a weight class from 185 pounds to 205 to face Griffin, who should weigh around 215-220 pounds at the time of the fight.

Last Five Fights:

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

Second round TKO win over Rich Franklin at UFC 77 on Oct. 20, 2007

 

Forrest Griffin (16-5 MMA Record):

Strengths: Forrest Griffin is a fan-favorite with all MMA fans, not just for his fighting style, but for his attitude. Griffin doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he also never backs down from a fight. There hasn’t been a boring Forrest Griffin fight to date, and he is always making things competitive, no matter who he faces. Since winning the Ultimate Fighter debut season, Griffin has greatly improved in all areas of MMA. His striking is much crisper and he has added devastating leg kicks that have helped him pick up wins in the past. His ground game has improved, as has his submission skills, as he choked out Shogun Rua in September of 2007. Griffin may not have a single thing he is the best at, but he is very good at every area.

Weaknesses: Griffin sometimes can’t get caught up in throwing punches in bunches, which leads him to get caught. A knockout loss to Keith Jardine was a classic example of that. Following that loss, Griffin became more disciplined in his boxing, which led to better success in the cage. Griffin also seems to lack knockout power with his strikes, but they still have the ability to wear opponents out. Griffin’s chin is also a little suspect, as both of his last two losses came by TKO.

Last Five Fights:

Third round TKO loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008

Unanimous Decision win over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008

Third round submission win over Mauricio Rua at UFC 76 on Sept. 22, 2007

Unanimous Decision win over Hector Ramirez at UFC 72 on June 16, 2007

First round TKO loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 66 on Dec. 30, 2006

 

Who will win: Silva is the clear favorite for a reason, but Griffin relishes the underdog role. Against Rua and Jackson, Griffin was a big underdog, but pulled out the victory in both instances. Silva may be the toughest fighter Griffin has faced, but Griffin has a solid camp at Extreme Couture to help come up with a game plan for this fight. I think Griffin will make this Silva’s toughest challenge yet, but ultimately, I see Silva’s superior and accurate striking catching Griffin towards the end of the fight, giving Silva a TKO in the third round.

Additional Line: Over/Under 1.5 rounds for the fight. Over (-220), Under (+160)

UFC 101 takes place from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Penn. on Saturday, Aug. 8.

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Posted: 8/07/09 1:35PM ET

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