Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva already is a 2-to-1 favorite over the man who just took his title, Chris Weidman, should a potential rematch happen.
Veteran oddsmaker Joey Oddessa on Tuesday confirmed the opening lines with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Oddessa said the line opened at -175, but within the first few hours already had been bet up to -200 for Silva.
Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC) put his title on the line against Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at this past Saturday’s UFC 162. After a first round that saw Silva win on one judge’s scorecard, but Weidman on the other two, Silva started the second by continuing a pattern he has shown in the past – trying to bait his opponent in by ducking and dodging and asking Weidman to hit him.
But right after getting hit and playing possum, Silva got hit with a Weidman left that put him on the canvas, and a few quick shots on the ground later his 16-fight UFC win streak and 10 middleweight title defenses had gone by the wayside.
UFC President Dana White said following the event that he’ll be pushing for a rematch – even though Silva said Weidman is the new champion and he doesn’t want to fight for the title anymore. A rematch between the two, White said earlier this week, could happen at UFC 168 in Las Vegas this December.
“There’s nothing much to say – it’s pretty simple,” said Oddessa, who can be found at @mmaodds on Twitter. “We all watched the first fight and formed different opinions. In the first fight, Silva didn’t fight intelligently. He got caught speeding with his hands down. If he fights smart in the rematch, he wins.
“I love Chris Weidman the man, the champion, the overachiever, the mixed martial artist, and New York wrestling alumni, but I don’t like him in the rematch.”
Silva was nearly a 3-to-1 favorite at some online sportsbooks for Saturday’s fight against Weidman. But even still, in the leadup to the fight, those were the most consistently closeodds for any fight involving him since he fought Dan Henderson at UFC 82 in March 2008.
Some talk after the fight centered on a theory that the fight was fixed – that Silva took a dive, considering the way he played around in the octagon, encouraging Weidman to hit him, and the way he talked after the fight, calmly saying Weidman was the new champion and he didn’t have interest in fighting for the title anymore.
White, of course, said such conspiracy theories are the talk of “f—ing idiots,” and Oddessa agrees.
“There’s been a lot of nonsense talk about fixes,” he said. “Those beating that drum sicken me. I’d bet my life against it. The fight wasn’t fixed. People look to explain the unexpected by conspiracy theories. No one threw anything except Weidman in the form of a left that landed at a perfect spot, and he put ‘The Spider’ to sleep. It happens. And no individuals or syndicate combined bet $1 million on Weidman. It’s nonsense, just like many of the now debunked Floyd Mayweather wagers.”
Silva losing and opening as a favorite over the new champion is not necessarily unusual. When current welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre lost his title to Matt Serra at UFC 69, he was a 4-to-1 favorite in the rematch at UFC 83 – and took his title back with relative ease. When B.J. Penn lost his lightweight title to Frankie Edgar at UFC 112, he did so as a 7-to-1 favorite. In the rematch, he came in around -250 – but still lost to Edgar, who went on to hold the title for two fights against Gray Maynard before losing it to current champ Benson Henderson, then losing the rematch, as well.
Oddessa said there will be plenty of opinions on both sides of the Weidman-Silva line leading up to the rematch, if it winds up happening. And considering the fight could become one of the biggest in UFC history, most analysts expect it that to be the case.
“There are tons of ‘what-if’s,’ but if Silva played around and KO’d Weidman or beat him, people would be calling Weidman overrated,” Oddessa said. “Silva’s now the media machine’s ‘overrated.’ As usual, hindsight will be 100 percent when they fight again, and everyone will have a strong opinion either way.”
For complete coverage of UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.