With losses in four of his past six fights, Wanderlei Silva will look to prove he has something left in the tank against Brian Stann as the headline bout of UFC on FUEL TV 8 Saturday in Japan.
Stann has dealt with struggles of his own lately, losing two of his past three fights. But the two defeats were to two top fighters, Chael Sonnen (2nd-round submission) and Michael Bisping in a decision loss. In between, Stann defeated Alessio Sakara with a fierce first-round KO. Silva beat Bisping in 2010, but has lost two of three since then, falling to Chris Leben (1st-round TKO) and Rich Franklin in a unanimous decision. Both of these fighters have had their struggles, but have done so against elite competition. Ultimately, while the 6-foot-1 Stann owns a two-inch height advantage over Silva, they have extremely similar track records recently and both own the power to end this fight early. Given how close this fight should be, take SILVA and the money for the win.
The MMA Odds Breaker crew gives their fight predictions based on the opening lines for this bout:
Silva is as much of an MMA veteran as they come, having first fought for UFC in 1998. He then worked his way up to a light heavyweight title shot against Tito Ortiz in 2000, but lost in a fifth-round decision. From there he went to dominate in Japan, where he should feel more comfortable than Stann for this bout. If he wins, he likes to do it quickly, with 24 of his 34 career wins coming via knockout. "The Axe Murderer" Silva is among the best kick-boxers in the sport with strikes making up the majority of his attacks. He combines that with some of the strongest punches in the game and elite Jiu-Jitsu to form a well-rounded assault. Take this 36-year-old veteran to outlast his opponent that is younger by four years.
Since losing the WEC light heavyweight championship to Steve Cantwell in 2008, "All American" Stann has been a part of UFC, going 6-4 in his 10 bouts since then. The former US Marine lieutenant is also a dominant striker and employs similarly strong kickboxing skills, as nine of his 12 career wins have been knockouts. While Silva may have an edge in pure strength, the younger Stann (32) may have the advantage as the more athletic fighter in the Octagon. He will have to outwork Silva in this one to prove he is worthy of being the favorite.