Many regard Anderson Silva as the greatest fighter of all-time. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Chris Weidman had not yet appeared in a professional mixed martial arts match when Anderson Silva captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight crown on Oct. 14, 2006. Nevertheless, their paths will cross in the UFC 162 main event this Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas -- Silva the venerable champion, Weidman the hungry challenger.
Sherdog.com touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 162 headliner:
Justin Salas: Chris Weidman by youth and hunger.
Tom DeBlass: I have to go with the home team. Let’s go, Chris.
Benji Radach: Would love to see a new champ but don’t see it happening in this fight.
Jason Dent: Can’t pick against Anderson; I don’t believe I ever have. Win or lose, he is a living legend at this point. I believe Anderson will win by TKO because if it stays on the ground, I’m not sure Anderson can catch Weidman.
Ricardo Liborio: Anderson wins, but I have a feeling that this will not be an easy one.
Joe Duarte: While we all complain about gas prices, Anderson’s car runs on Obsession by Calvin Klein. Anderson wins by TKO in round four.
Keith Berry: Everyone stop dreaming. Silva wins by KO in the third.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: Weidman bit off more than he can chew, in my opinion. It only takes one shot from Anderson to end your night. Weidman is still relatively unproven, with his biggest wins over [Demian] Maia, who fights at 170 pounds now, and [Mark] Munoz, who was injured and ballooned up to 260. Anderson might lose sooner or later, but I doubt a 9-0 guy will be the first to do it in the UFC. I will take Anderson by TKO within two rounds. His timing and accuracy with his punches, kicks, elbows and knees are just too much for almost anyone to handle. His Thai clinch is scary, and he has high-level MMA-style Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Don’t be surprised if he submits Weidman after hurting him with strikes.
Michael Guymon: I’m actually going against “The Spider” in this fight if Weidman is aggressive and doesn’t sit back. I believe that is the only way to fight Anderson. If Weidman isn’t aggressive and attacking, he will get picked apart on the feet. I say Weidman wins by KO, if he’s aggressive. If he is not, Anderson wins all day.
Travis Wiuff: I always take the wrestler. I’m taking Weidman to win a five-round fight. It will be very similar to what Chael [Sonnen] did to Anderson in their first fight.
Eric Prindle: Anderson wins.
Erik Paulson: Well, Weidman has never been KO’d before, but he’s never fought Anderson, either. Maybe by the second or third round, we’ll see a KO from Silva.
Robert Drysdale: Weidman wins.
Ed Herman: I have Weidman. I said it a year ago, and I’ll say it again: I think he subs Silva if he fights without fear. The key is, most guys beat themselves before they even step foot in the cage with Silva. With all due respect to the champ, I think his time on top is over.
Yves Edwards: Man, it’s hard to pick against Anderson -- very hard -- but I think Weidman has the necessary tools. He probably has the best wrestling of anyone Anderson has fought and a better ground game than anyone that’s ever been able to put him on his back. He also has better standup than most other wrestlers, but that still puts him light years behind Silva in that department. I think if his standup is good enough to protect him until the takedown, he has the best shot of beating Anderson of anyone ever. Always hard to pick against “The Spider,” but I’m taking Weidman in the fourth.
Kyle Kingsbury: Weidman is going to finish Silva. When was the last time you saw a Silva opponent that was only a 2-to-1 underdog? Vegas knows it, too.
Travis Lutter: Anderson is a hard puzzle to figure out, but his weakness is exactly what Chris’ strength is. With that being said, Anderson is also the luckiest fighter to ever be in the UFC. If Anderson knocks him out coming in, nobody will say anything other than Anderson is the best ever, but I’m going with the challenger in this one.
Colton Smith: As always with Anderson, my heart says whoever his opponent is, but my mind says Anderson. With that being said, it’s time to dethrone the king. Weidman wins by decision.
Nam Phan: Anderson wins.
Georgi Karakhanyan: Chris is a great fighter, and this is a big test for him. However, I’m picking Anderson by finish in later rounds.
John Gunderson: I have to go with Anderson by KO. Though Chris has all the tools to upset the champ, you can’t bet against Anderson after all he has accomplished; but, what goes up must eventually come down.
Mitch Clarke: I’m picking Silva by something crazy we haven’t seen before round two.
Steven Siler: I think Anderson wins this; he’s the Greatest of All-Time for a reason, and he will prove it.
Bristol Marunde: Is this the fight Anderson loses? Everyone has said that much of his career, and eventually he will lose. I don’t foresee that happening in this fight. Nothing in Anderson’s recent performances indicates he won’t be anything but 100 percent. Anderson wins by decision.
Igor Araujo: Anderson takes it by KO.
Luke Barnatt: Anderson by whatever he wants. I don’t know how anyone can doubt him.
Zach Makovsky: I’m taking Weidman.
Pros Picking Silva: 16
Pros Picking Weidman: 10
No Pick: 1
Follow Mike Sloan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikesloan19.