Evans vs. Silva
The main event of UFC 108 is a contest between two top light heavyweight contenders as Rashad Evans faces Thiago Silva.
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The former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Evans, enters the fight as the favorite with a money line of -200 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Silva has a money line of +160. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Rashad Evans (13-1-1):
Strengths: Evans is a very quick fighter that can throw some powerful punches. Evans used his quick hands to defeat Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Despite the quick hands, Evans base is his wrestling, as he was a very successful collegiate wrestler at Michigan State University. Evans used his wrestling skill to get started in the UFC and has since developed his striking.
Weaknesses: Evans is a rather small light heavyweight, as he could clearly fight at middleweight if he chose to. The size won’t be a problem in this fight as his opponent isn’t really big either. Another area that could be a concern for Evans is in submission fighting. Evans hasn’t really had his submission defense tested, and that could be a big key to this fight, as Silva is an excellent ground fighter out of Brazil, the home of jiu jitsu.
Last Five Fights:
Second round KO loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
Third round TKO win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008
Second round KO win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 on Sept. 6, 2008
Split decision win over Michael Bisping at UFC 78 on Nov. 17, 2007
Draw against Tito Ortiz at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007
Thiago Silva (14-1):
Strengths: Silva is a tough fighter that isn’t afraid to slug it out with anyone, but Silva’s real strength is his ground-and-pound and submission ability. Silva isn’t the most refined striker, but his punches pack a lot of power and they usually set up Silva gaining a dominant position on the ground where he finishes his opponents with strikes.
Weaknesses: Silva’s lone loss came against Lyoto Machida, who was able to out-strike Silva and avoid having the fight go to the ground. Machida was much quicker to the punch than Silva, and Evans may be able to match that speed with his striking. Machida showed that Silva can be knocked out.
Last Five Fights:
First round KO win over Keith Jardine at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009
First round KO loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009
First round submission win over Antonio Mendes at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008
First round TKO win over Houston Alexander at UFC 78 on Nov. 17, 2007
Second round TKO win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75 on Sept. 8, 2007
Who will win: Neither fighter tends to let their fights go to a decision, so look for someone to win decisively. Evans has the speed edge on Silva and just needs to land one punch to end the fight. Silva will have to work a little harder to earn a stoppage, but if he can get the fight to the ground, he should be able to win. Because both fighters have shown tendencies to stand up, we suggest going with Evans, who we think will win with a knockout in the second round.
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Posted: 12/31/09 11:27PM ET