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UFC 168 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Silva still favored to beat Weidman in the rematch

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L.E. Baskow

Fighter Chris Weidman offers his belt to opponent Anderson Silva following the press conference for the upcoming UFC 168 at the MGM Grand, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013.

The narrative that Anderson Silva got unlucky the first time around against Chris Weidman extends to the betting market.

Going into the rematch, Silva is again established as the favorite in sports books with only a slight adjustment considering his knockout loss five months ago. Oddsmakers are giving Silva, at minus-150, approximately a 58 percent chance of earning his title back from Weidman, who’s a plus-130 underdog.

Sports books had Silva at a 68 percent likelihood before UFC 162, where Weidman became the first fighter to defeat “The Spider” in more than seven years.

But it felt like more people were getting behind the undefeated phenom back then. The Las Vegas Sun picks panel, for example, featured three of the five prognosticators calling for the Weidman upset.

Only one was bold enough to pick against Silva in the final event of the year.

Check below for a breakdown, odds and picks of every fight from ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (139-63 year to date), Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (130-72), ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (128-74), Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (128-74) and KSNV’s (125-77).

Anderson Silva

  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 16-1
  • MMA record 33-5
  • Out of: Curitiba, Brazil
  • Betting line: -150

Chris Weidman

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 6-0
  • MMA record 10-0
  • Out of: Baldwin, N.Y.
  • Betting line: +130

Middleweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Second-round knockout loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 162.

Punch list: One loss has done nothing to taint The Spider’s legacy. He remains a near-unanimous choice as the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. And he’s still ranked ahead of Weidman in the UFC’s pound-for-pound poll, at No. 3 to the champion’s No. 8.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Silva

Cofield: Silva

Last fight: Second-round knockout victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 162.

Punch list: The second fight was always part of the deal. The former Hofstra wrestler knew he would have to defeat Silva twice for any chance of getting the recognition as the world’s best middleweight fighter. The confident Weidman offered the rematch before the two ever stepped into the octagon, and it’s come to fruition.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Weidman

Brewer: Silva

Okamoto: Silva

Miesha Tate

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 13-4
  • Out of: Yakima, Wash.
  • Betting line: +600

Ronda Rousey

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 7-0
  • Out of: Riverside, Calif.
  • Betting line: -900

Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Third-round TKO loss to Cat Zingano at “The Ultimate Fighter” 17 finale.

Punch list: Rousey got in Tate’s head before the first time they fought. That’s coming from Tate herself, who says it won’t happen again. “Cupcake” believes she’s the one with the upper hand in “mental warfare” this time around after Rousey’s capricious stint coaching against her on “The Ultimate Fighter”.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Rousey

Cofield: Rousey

Last fight: First-round submission victory over Liz Carmouche at UFC 157.

Punch list: Seven have tried. Seven have failed. In the same fashion. No matter how it’s sliced, the former Olympian judoka finishing all of her opponents in first-round arm bars is an incredible feat. Tate was the fifth victim, lasting 4:27 in a Strikeforce bout in March 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Rousey

Brewer: Rousey

Okamoto: Rousey

Travis Browne

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 255
  • UFC record 6-1-1
  • MMA record 15-1-1
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: +150

Josh Barnett

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 250
  • UFC record 5-1
  • MMA record 33-6
  • Out of: Fullerton, Calif.
  • Betting line: -170

Heavyweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Knocked out Alistair Overeem in the first round at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: “Hapa” is in a hurry to get to the top. He could reach it in one year if this fight goes like his other two in 2013. The Hawaiian native has finished both opponents this year, Overeem and Gabriel Gonzaga, by first-round knockouts.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Barnett

Cofield: Barnett

Last fight: Knocked out Frank Mir in the first round at UFC 164.

Punch list: Newer fans may not realize Barnett’s ties with the UFC go back further than anyone on the card. He debuted at UFC 28, and eventually won the heavyweight title by defeating Randy Couture 11 years ago. A failed post-fight drug test stripped him of the belt.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Browne

Brewer: Barnett

Okamoto: Barnett

Fabricio Camoes

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-2-1
  • MMA record 14-7-1
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: +300

Jim Miller

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 11-3
  • MMA record 22-4
  • Out of: Whippany, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -360

Lightweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 148.

Punch list: Despite middling returns from a relatively inactive UFC career, no one wants to mess around in Camoes’ guard. Half of the third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s wins have come by submission.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Miller

Cofield: Miller

Last fight: No-contest against Pat Healy at UFC 159, overturned from a third-round submission loss.

Punch list: Miller got a reprieve with Healy testing positive for marijuana after their Fight of the Night performance. He had appeared to fall further out of contention after twice being one win away from a lightweight title shot but now has a chance to reestablish himself in the division.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Miller

Brewer: Miller

Okamoto: Miller

Diego Brandao

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 22-8
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: +190

Dustin Poirier

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 6-2
  • MMA record 14-3
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: -220

Featherweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Beat Daniel Pineda by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: The Greg Jackson-trained, Brazilian-born brawler doesn’t refer to himself as “crazy” for nothing. Brandao will stop at nothing to win a fight and has all the tools necessary to become a star, from black-belt level jiu-jitsu to relentless striking.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Poirier

Cofield: Poirier

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Erik Koch at UFC 164.

Punch list: Prepare for a war to start the main card. The Louisiana-native feels like he’s rounded a corner since losing to Chan Sung Jung lsat year, going 2-1 since moving his training to American Top Team. The Diamond” has a blitzing style he expects to deliver him to the top.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Poirier

Brewer: Poirier

Okamoto: Poirier

Uriah Hall

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 8-4
  • Out of: New York
  • Betting line: -300

Chris Leben

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 12-9
  • MMA record 22-10
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: +250

Middleweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Split-decision loss to John Howard at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: Talk about the best-laid plans going awry. Earlier this year, Chael Sonnen declared Hall could beat Silva after watching the prospect rough up the competition on “The Ultimate Fighter” 17. Now Hall can’t even win a fight, and will lose his job with another defeat.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Hall

Cofield: Hall

Last fight: Split-decision loss to Andrew Craig at UFC 162.

Punch list: “The Crippler” infamously welcome Silva to the octagon seven years ago, getting knocked out 41 seconds into the fight. It hasn’t gotten much better for “The Ultimate Fighter” 1 veteran in the aftermath, as he’s 7-8 since facing the man who would go on to become the best fighter in UFC history. This could be Leben’s final bout.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Hall

Brewer: Hall

Okamoto: Hall

Michael Johnson

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 5-4
  • MMA record 14-8
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: +130

Gleison Tibau

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 13-7
  • MMA record 37-9
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: -150

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: Going into the year-end card last year, “The Menace” was talking about title contention while on a three-fight win streak. Alas, he’s only gone 1-2 since then and will need to beat a crafty veteran to continue on the path of getting back to his previous heights.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Tibau

Cofield: Johnson

Last fight: Defeated Jamie Varner by split decision at UFC 164.

Punch list: Tibau made his UFC debut more than seven years at UFC 65, against Nick Diaz nonetheless. While he’s never worked his way up to being considered an elite fighter, the Brazilian has done something right to stick with the promotion for this long.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Tibau

Brewer: Johnson

Okamoto: Johnson

Manvel Gamburyan

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’5”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 4-5
  • MMA record 16-8
  • Out of: Hollywood, Calif.
  • Betting line: +210

Dennis Siver

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 10-6
  • MMA record 21-9
  • Out of: Mannheim, Germany
  • Betting line: -260

Featherweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: “The Anvil’s” preferred method of attack is judo. A longtime confidant and training partner of Rousey, Gamburyan has six career victories by submission and is on a two-fight winning streak.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Siver

Cofield: Siver

Last fight: Third-round TKO loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 162.

Punch list: Get ready for kicks galore. That’s Siver’s modus operandi, as he comes at his opponents with his legs. He had won both of his fights at his new home of featherweight before running into Swanson.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Gamburyan

Brewer:Siver

Okamoto: Siver

Siyar Bahadurzada

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 21-5-1
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: -140

John Howard

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 21-8
  • Out of: Boston
  • Betting line: +120

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Lost by unanimous decision to Dong Hyun Kim at UFC on Fuel TV 8.

Punch list: “The Great” signed with the UFC behind a steam of hype, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy enough to maintain it. He’s fought only twice in two years, knocking out Paulo Thiago in the first round before the Kim loss.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Howard

Cofield: Bahadurzada

Last fight: Split-decision win over Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: Reunited with the UFC, “Doomsday” pulled off a major upset on short-notice in August. Now he gets a full camp to further prove his belief that the UFC should have never let him go in the first place.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Bahadurzada

Brewer: Howard

Okamoto: Bahadurzada

Bobby Voelker

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 24-10
  • Out of: Kansas City, Mo.
  • Betting line: -165

William Macario

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: +145

Welterweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Knocked out by Robbie Lawler at UFC on Fox 8.

Punch list: A three-fight win streak at the tail end of Strikeforce’s existence now feels like a distance memory. Voelker will need to get his striking on point early to secure a win and further UFC employment.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Voelker

Cofield: Voelker

Last fight: Submitted by Leonardo Santos at UFC on Fuel TV 10.

Punch list: None of the prospect’s seven fights have made it to the third round. The runner-up on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” has five wins by knockout and one by submission.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Macario

Brewer: Voelker

Okamoto: Voelker

Estevan Payan

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 14-4
  • Out of: Tempe, Ariz.
  • Betting line: +160

Robbie Peralta

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 16-4
  • Out of: Escondido, Calif.
  • Betting line: -180

Featherweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Lost to Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision at UFC 160.

Punch list: A former member of the U.S. Army who spent three tours of duty in Iraq, Payan has thrived as a fighter since becoming a civilian. His technical striking ability had led him to seven straight wins — with one no-contest mixed in — before joining the UFC.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Peralta

Cofield: Peralta

Last fight: Lost to Akira Corassani via unanimous decision at UFC on Fuel TV 9.

Punch list: “Problems” suffered his first loss in four years his last time out, though it was closer than the judges’ scorecards indicated. Some media members gave the Swedish main-card clash to Peralta, while mostly everyone was in agreement the bout could have gone either way.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Peralta

Brewer: Peralta

Okamoto: Peralta

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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