The Ultimate Fighting Championship has had a few cards in a row now where the headliner has been, well, predictable. That trend continues this Saturday as UFC 153 goes live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when Anderson "The Spider" Silva takes on Stephan "The American Psycho" Bonnar in the main event.
Silva is a heavy favorite in this headline fight, entering with -1200 odds against Bonnar's +700. Silva is going for his 16th consecutive victory. Bonnar has claimed that he'll be taking Silva to hell with him during this fight, and we can take that as a silent admission that he knows how badly the odds are stacked against him.
Silva doesn't stand to gain much from this fight in terms of career advancement. The 37-year-old UFC Middleweight Champion is merely trying to extend his record winning and title defense streaks which stand at 15 and 10, respectively. His last loss came against Yushin Okami on January 20, 2006 via disqualification due to an illegal upkick. Silva's career certainly is winding down, but chances are that his decline won't begin this Saturday night.
Prior to the main event, Glover Teixeira and Fabio Maldonado will face each other. While not as one-sided as the headliner appears to be, this looks to be far from the most evenly matched bout on the card. Teixeira enters as the -400 favorite, which makes Maldonado a decent pick for an upset, which pays +300.
These light heavyweights have taken very divergent paths to Saturday's fight. Teixeira lost two of his first four MMA fights, but has gone 16-0 since. He's 1-0 in UFC bouts, having demolished Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146 this past summer. Only one of his fights during his streak has gone the distance.
Maldonado, on the other hand, has lost his last two fights, both by decision (one of which came against Kingsbury). While Maldonado is 1-2 in his UFC career (18-5 overall), he has won eight straight fights in Brazil.
Many have their eyes on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who will face Dave Herman. At age 36, Nogueira is continuing a lengthy career that has stalled as of late, as he's lost three of his last five fights. As a heavyweight contender, he'll have to rely on his crafty skills, and Herman may be the right opponent to get Nogueira back in the win column. The Bovada Sportsbook has Nogueira listed as the -340 favorite against Herman's +260 odds.
Other fights on the main card include Erick "Indio" Silva taking on Jon Fitch. While expected to be close, the Brazilian Silva is the -145 favorite to Fitch's +115. Preceding that, Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis looks to make short work of Wagner "Caldeirao" Prado with odds set at -365 to +275, respectively. Finally, Demian Maia holds a slim advantage at -155 over Rick “The Horror” Story's +125.