The Insomniac: Silva to set alight UFC 134 on home territory
UFC 134 represents the first time the company has hosted one of its marquee events in Brazil in 13 years and Anderson Silva should ensure fireworks with a successful defence of his middleweight title against Yushin Okami.
Silva is unbeaten in all of his 13 fights in the UFC and is making an unmatched ninth defence of his belt against an opponent that was the last to beat him.
It is 1/5 in the UFC odds that Silva beats Okami and this result is virtually guaranteed if the Brazilian champion can remain standing and utilise his unbelievable striking skills.
Okami’s victory over Silva was back in 2006 and was secured in a slightly clouded way, with Silva being disqualified for using an illegal kick from the guard position.
If Okami is to repeat this success, then he must get the fight to the ground and his best strategy may be to attempt to frustrate the champion in the early stages and force him into making a mistake.
The Japanese star is 4/1 to win the title, but the best bet seems the 21/20 that Silva makes a successful defence with a KO victory inside the five rounds.
Picking a winner in the light-heavyweight bout elsewhere on the card between Mauricio Rua and Forrest Griffin is far more difficult and the latter certainly represents the value bet.
Both are coming into the fight low on confidence, although Rua should have no problem getting up for the fight as it is his first at home in eight years.
Rua is 10/23 to beat Griffin and has the added incentive for a defeat against the same opponent back at UFC 76, when arguably more at the top of his game.
Griffin without doubt has the edge in the stamina department and 39/20 looks a big price if he can keep the fight busy and keep the pressure on Rua.