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UFC 162: Many Predict Anderson Silva’s Middleweight Demise

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ANDERSON SILVA AT UFC 73 prayerAnderson “Spyder” Silva’s perch at the top of mixed martial arts as the best pound for pound fighter is not debated much.

Despite consensus that Silva is the best MMA fighter today, tomorrow most experts are picking Chris Weidman to topple the king.

Wow.

Brazil’s Silva (33-4) defends the UFC middleweight title against the undefeated Weidman (9-0) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday July 6. UFC 162 will be televised on pay-per-view beginning at 7 p.m.

Silva, 38, has dominated since first stepping into the Octagon back in June 28, 2006 when he knocked unconscious Chris Leben with a vicious knee in Las Vegas. It was Knockout of the Night on that occasion and soon his legend soared.

Four months later Silva defeated Rich Franklin to wrest the middleweight title and has pounded his way to 14 consecutive victories since that day in October 2006. Champions have come and gone and come back again as Silva dominated the 185-pound landscape with his combination of kicks, elbows, defense and submission holds.

Now experts are crossing onto the other side of the street and predicting Weidman will beat Silva.

Why?

“If you look at what my UFC Tonight co-host Chael Sonnen did to Silva – he won all five completed rounds over two fights – and not just kind of slightly won. He dominated, and Weidman is a bigger, stronger, younger and harder-hitting version of Chael,” said Ken Florian. “I don’t think there is any fighter in the world who can hope to beat Anderson on the feet, but I think Weidman can and will get this to the ground and, once there, I expect him to be in a huge position to win the fight.”

Most experts feel Silva’s weakness is on the ground where wrestlers have the superiority. Though Silva has beaten wrestlers in the past, they do have a pretty good record in remaining conscious against the Brazilian and have always given him a rough time in the Octagon.

“Weidman will be able to take Anderson down, and do serious damage when he does so. Weidman has a great ground game, and that’s where Anderson has shown vulnerabilities, said Michael Bisping. “Also, you have to factor in that Anderson has been doing this for a very long time now. He’s put his body through a lot in the gym over the years and we all get old eventually.”

Most point toward Weidman’s success as a NCAA wrestling champion in college. His best pro MMA win came against Mark Munoz a year ago.

“I believe it’s a bad matchup for Anderson Silva. Very bad, style wise. Anderson’s weaknesses are Weidman’s strengths. I’ve trained with Weidman and his wrestling is on another level,” said Canada’s Georges St. Pierre, who many consider the second best MMA fighter today. “Not only is Chris Weidman going to beat Anderson Silva, I believe he’s going to finish Anderson.”

Other bouts

Former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-4-1) fights Charles Oliveira (16-3) in a featherweight scrap.

Palm Springs Cub Swanson (19-5) continues his quest for a featherweight title shot and has Dennis Siver (21-8) in his way.

Roger Gracie (6-1) tries out hard-hitting middleweight veteran Tim Kennedy (15-4).

Tim Boetsch (16-5) battles Mark Munoz (12-3) in a middleweight conflict.

Veteran Chris Leben (22-9) fights Andrew Craig (8-1) in a middleweight match.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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