Anderson Silva – 1½ (-145) +120
Derek Brunson – 1½ (+125) -140
Silva is a legen-wait for it-dary fighter, but so was Rocky Balboa when he faced the much younger Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon and we all know how that turned out. The Spider recorded the longest title streak in the history of UFC spanning 2,457 days, with 16 straight wins and 10 middleweight championship defenses. As it turns out, though, Silva has yet to win a single bout since losing the title to Chris Weidman in July, 2013. Silva was awarded a unanimous decision win against Nick Diaz in early 2015 which was overturned when Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Nonetheless, UFC head honcho recently told that bulwark of journalism that is TMZ that Silva is the “Tom Brady of UFC.” More like Russell Wilson, to be fair. While Silva took the fight with Brunson for “the challenge,” he seems to have bigger fish to fry – such as a fight with Conor McGregor. Guess that would actually smaller fish to fry. The odds of that fight happening are only slightly better than a McGregor-Mayweather boxing match, but then again he has also said he would like to “win an Oscar.” Given that he is set to host Sylvester Stallone’s Ultimate Beastmaster, maybe he was referring to a DVD copy of Oscar.
And speaking of UFC betting odds, let’s talk about Brunson. The 33 year old is coming off a loss to Robert Whittaker on November and “was expecting a little lesser name” that Silva. Not to worry, the returns on that name are gradually diminishing. Brunson was on a five-fight winning streak before he got KTFO by Whittaker in the first round of their match in Australia. Brunson himself was going for his fifth KO win in a row, and he paid the price. “I fell in love with the knockout,” he told The MMA Hour. “I was in a relationship with the knockout.” You know what they say; the knockout is a fickle mistress. It’s still not as bad as falling in love with an operative system like Joaquin Phoenix, though. “I feel faster than Anderson, I’m stronger than Anderson, my wrestling’s better, my cardio is good. I can grind, I don’t think Anderson can grind with me,” Brunson is quoted as saying on BJPenn.com. However, Brunson still expects the best Anderson Silva to show up; the Anderson Silva who beat Yushin Okami at UFC 134. Considering the five-year gap between that Silva and this Silva, Brunson may want to not hold his breath. All things considered, many fans who bet on UFC will also probably be waiting and hoping for a latter-day renaissance of Anderson Silva, but as far as the UFC betting odds are concerned, Brunson is the favorite and Silva the underdog.