UFC 147 Preview & Odds
UFC 147 takes place at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The event’s main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) vs. Rich Franklin (28-6)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Franklin -155, Silva +125
Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin will headline the UFC 147 card in a 190 lb. catchweight bout on Saturday night in Brazil. Vitor Belfort had to step out with a broken hand, making room for Franklin.
Silva is the ultimate MMA veteran with 46 fights under his belt, and is coming off a strong TKO victory against Cung Le. Franklin, a former UFC middleweight champ, is coming off a loss to Forrest Griffin. These two fighters squared off in 2009 with Franklin earning a unanimous decision victory. In his prime, Silva used to be a reckless fighter who had a chin as tough as any, able to absorb hits as he would brawl and defeat his opponents. Since he has aged however, he has had to become more careful, something he has been figuring out. Franklin has not fought in over a year due to a shoulder injury, but before he was hurt, was a good wrestler who could work his kickboxing into any fight effectively. As of last year, Franklin was probably the stronger fighter, but it is tough to know how well he will be able to fight without having seen him battle for so long.
With 34 wins in his career, “The Axe Murderer” Silva has won every which way. But knockouts are his most common method of victory, with 24. He’s still an aggressive striker but he’s no longer as wild, as his technique and experience has developed in order to make up for his diminishing power. Still, three of his past four wins have been knockouts. He is still the loser of six of his past nine fights, showing he is not the fighter he once was. But at 35 years old, he is fighting somebody who is 37.
Without having fought in almost a year and a half (Feb. 5, 2011), it’s tough to know exactly how “Ace” Franklin will come out in this fight. He has never been the most aggressive fighter, but he has always been one of the sport’s toughest. If Silva wants to knock him out, he’s going to have to earn it. Like Silva, Franklin is an elite striker who is generally well-rounded. Fifteen of his career wins have been knockouts, while 10 have been submissions.
Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1) vs. Mike Russow (15-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Werdum -600, Russow +400
Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow will square off in the lone heavyweight bout on UFC 147’s main card Saturday night in Brazil.
Russow enters this bout the winner of 11 in a row including his first four UFC promotion fights. Two of those UFC wins have been knockouts, including an incredible KO of Todd Duffee that really placed him on the map. Werdum has won four of his past five bouts, having fought all the best heavyweights in the world, a much tougher schedule than Russow. He made headlines with his submission of Fedor Emelianenko three fights ago (June 26, 2010), and in his return to UFC in his last bout, he defeated Roy Nelson in a unanimous decision. Werdum’s Jiu-Jitsu is top-notch and has a great chance for a submission in this fight. Both of these combatants have 15 career victories and have the same breakdown of four knockouts, eight submissions and three decisions. With the experience against the best in the world and wins against many of them, Werdum is understandably favored in this one. But his odds are too short, considering the chance Russow has to nail a KO blow or even outlast him for a decision win.
Werdum’s usual weakness is against a fighter who can be strong on his feet, which does not describe Russow. “Vai Cavalo” Werdum has shown time and time again that his ground game is as good as anybody’s in the world. At 6-foot-4, he also holds three inches over Russow. Depending on how this fight plays out, that could turn out to be a relatively important advantage.
Russow is 35, one year older than his opponent, and has shown he can surprise with a knockout, but always looks for the submission. A former Division I wrestler, he can take down the best of them, and may be forced in trying to do that against a fellow ground aficionado in Werdum. This is a tough matchup for him against another ground fighter, but he certainly has a chance for a submission, knockout or even a decision win.