The UFC will be back in action this weekend when UFC Fight Night 84: “Bisping vs. Silva” kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 27, live from O2 Arena in London, England. The now legendary Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva will make his return to the Octagon for the first time in over a year at UFC Fight Night 84 when he takes on veteran Michael Bisping in a UFC betting odds pairing that looks like it could turn out to be a real gem of a fight. Now, let’s take a look at the top three fight for UFC Fight Night 84.
— MMA News Source (@MMANewsSource) February 23, 2016
Best Picks for UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs Bisping
Welterweight Tom Breese -950 vs Keita Nakamura +575
Tom Breese (9-0) has recorded three wins via KO and six by way of submission in his brief MMA career. The 24-year-old from Birmingham, New England holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Firas Zahabi. Brees enters this bout looking for his third straight first round win.
The 31-year-old Keita Nakamura (31-6) has won five straight fights and took out Li Jingliang with a third round submission (rear naked choke) to win the Fight of the Night honors at UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs. Nelson in September. Nakamura has recorded six wins via KO, 17 by way of submission and eight via decision. The Japanese superstar has also suffered six losses in his career with one coming by way of knockout, one via submission and four by way of decision. Nakamura will make his debut for his second stint in the UFC in this bout.
Fight Analysis: There’s a reason why Tom Breese is the biggest favorite on the entire UFC 84 card and it’s because he’s not going to lose this bout against an older, slower and less versatile Nakamura. Breese has won two straight via first round KO’s that came on a series of punches, following three straight submission wins, so clearly Breese can win by a number of means, but I’m going with a third round submission.
The Pick: Tom Brees via Third Round Submission
Light Heavyweight Gegard Mousasi -325 vs Thales Leites +250
Gegard Mousasi has recorded 19 of his 37 wins via KO, 12 by way of submission and six via decision while suffering six career losses with three of those coming by way of submission, to via decision and one by way of knockout. Unfortunately, the 30-year-old Mousasi is coming off a humbling second round KO loss (flying knee) at the hand of Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs. Nelson in September.
34-year-old Thales Leites has recorded 14 of his career wins via submission, four via KO and seven by way of submission. Leites has also been on the wrong side of four decision losses and one submission loss.
Leites had his eight-fight winning streak snapped in his split decision loss against Bisping at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites in July, but he’s the easy pick to stop Mousasi if you ask me.
Fight Analysis: Leites is an excellent striker that uses an abundance of freaky leg kicks and should be able to beat Mousasi whether standing up or on the ground, which is where Mousasi would like to get this bout. I like Leites via second round submission.
The Pick: Thales Leites via second round submission.
Middleweight Anderson Silva -305 vs Michael Bisping +235
All eyes will be on Anderson Silva as the former dominating champion returns from year-long absence. In January 2015, The Spider bounced back from a potentially career-ending leg break to beat Nick Diaz. Unfortunately, it was shortly thereafter that Silva was caught taking illegal supplements and suspended for a year. Now, at 40-years-old, Silva will look to take out the experienced Bisping, a fighter he’s never faced despite joining the UFC just months apart a decade ago.
The Brazilian-born superstar is one of the best Muay Thai fighters of all-time and can beat opponents in myriad ways as his 20 career KO wins, six submission wins and seven decision wins suggest. Silva won an insane 16 straight fights between 2006 and 2012 before losing a pair of fights to Chris Weidman in 2013.
36-year-old Michael Bisping is the younger and broader fighter in this bout and he’s won two straight, including his win over Leites in July. Unfortunately, Bisping has also lost three of his last seven bouts including losses to Vitor Belfort, Tim Kennedy and Luke Rockhold.
Bisping has recorded 15 of his 27 career wins via KO, four more via submission and eight by way of decision. Bisping has also been on the wrong end of two KO losses, one submission loss and four decision losses.
Fight Analysis: It’s kind of hard to predict what we’re going to see out of Anderson Silva after such a long time away, but I’m going to urge you to back him for several reasons.
First, I don’t believe that Silva is coming back to the UFC at anything less than what he considers his very best. Silva is a professional that also knows he can’t afford to lose this bout and remain significant as far as a legitimate title contender. I’m thinking Silva will win this bout via a third round submission after Bisping gets tired.
The Pick: Anderson Silva via third round submission