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UFC 162 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Chris Weidman is the choice to beat Anderson Silva

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Anderson Silva pretends to pant during a workout for the media Wednesday, July 3, 2013 in advance of UFC 162.

Based on the sheer number of outspoken backers in support of Chris Weidman, it’s fascinating that he’s stuck as a 2-to-1 underdog in local sports books.

It’s not just the fighters who are overwhelmingly taking Weidman to end Anderson Silva’s seven-year hold on the middleweight championship in the main event of UFC 162 Saturday night. The media have also lined up on the underdog.

Never a group to be left behind, the Las Vegas Sun picks panel is as bullish on the 29-year-old Weidman as everyone else. Three of the five prognosticators are calling for the belt to switch hands at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

That’s right: 60 percent think the best fighter in the history of mixed martial arts will get beaten in the UFC for the first time in his 17th fight.

Some must still believe in Silva, though, because the line hasn’t shifted much. William Hill sports books have stayed strong with Silva a minus-240 (risking $2.40 to win $1) favorite and Weidman at plus-220 (risking $1 to win $2.20) on the comeback.

Find William Hill betting odds on all 11 UFC 162 fights below along with a breakdown and picks from KSNV’s Kevin West (65-28 year to date), Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (62-31), ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (61-32), Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (60-33) and ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (59-34) below.

Chris Weidman

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 182
  • UFC record 5-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: Garden City, N.Y.
  • Betting line: +200

Anderson Silva

  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 16-0
  • MMA record 33-4
  • Out of: Curitiba, Brazil
  • Betting line: -240

Middleweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Second-round knockout victory over Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4.

Punch list: The biggest, or only, knock on Weidman is the competition he’s faced to get to this level. Naysayers would claim it’s not suitable preparation for a shot at Silva. But there’s another side too. It’s easy to forget Munoz was riding high on a four-fight win streak before Weidman demolished him. Weidman also won every round, albeit not in a picturesque fashion, against previous top-contender Demian Maia.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Weidman

Cofield: Weidman

Last fight: Second-round knockout victory over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153.

Punch list: This is an irregular main event when taking into account the lengthy layoffs both fighters are coming off of. While Silva’s time away isn’t quite as long as Weidman’s year, it might as well be. “The Spider” took on a clearly overmatched opponent in Bonnar his last time out and picked him apart without much effort in front of his home country crowd. It won’t be as easy for the greatest fighter of all-time against Weidman in Las Vegas.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Weidman

Brewer: Silva

Okamoto: Silva

Charles Oliveira

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 146
  • UFC record: 4-3
  • MMA record: 16-3
  • Out of: Sao Paulo
  • Betting line: +450

Frankie Edgar

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’6''
  • Weight: 144
  • UFC record: 9-4-1
  • MMA record: 14-4-1
  • Out of: Toms River, N.J.
  • Betting line: -600

Featherweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Knocked out by Cub Swanson in the first round at UFC 152.

Punch list: No reason not to call it like it is: “Do Bronx” has been a disappointment to this point of his career. Touted as a potential future champion upon joining the UFC at 19-years-old, Oliveira has instead retreated to a lower weight class and never won more than two fights in a row. The good news? All of that is forgotten with a win over Edgar. It’s something Oliveira dreamed about years ago when both fighters were in the 155-pound division.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Edgar

Cofield: Edgar

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 156.

Punch list: How long has Edgar been at the top? This will be the former lightweight champion’s first non-five round main event in seven fights and three-and-a-half years. He’s infamous for starting slow, which could be a death sentence with only 15 minutes as opposed to his familiar 25. Edgar comes in technically on a three-fight losing streak, but few believe he actually lost both meetings with Benson Henderson.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Edgar

Brewer: Edgar

Okamoto: Edgar

Roger Gracie

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 186
  • UFC record: 0-0
  • MMA record: 6-1
  • Out of: London
  • Betting line: +120

Tim Kennedy

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 15-4
  • Out of: Austin, Texas
  • Betting line: -140

Middleweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: Second-round submission victory over Anthony Smith at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffidiene.

Punch list: It just feels right to have a Gracie back inside the octagon. As one would expect with that last name, Roger Gracie is inherently dangerous when fighting on the ground. All but one of his fights — a unanimous-decision over Keith Jardine — were won by submission. He’s a Strikeforce veteran and nephew of UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Gracie

Cofield: Kennedy

Last fight: Third-round submission victory over Trevor Smith at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffidiene.

Punch list: It’s probably in Kennedy’s best interest to put on one heck of a performance Saturday. The Strikeforce crossover is currently on UFC President Dana White’s mind for all the wrong reasons. Before even fighting in the octagon, Kennedy complained about UFC fighter pay and claimed he would make more as a garbage man. One loss might not be enough to lead to his termination, but it’s not unprecedented for the UFC either.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Kennedy

Brewer: Gracie

Okamoto: Gracie

Tim Boetsch

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11''
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record: 7-4
  • MMA record: 16-5
  • Out of: Sunbury, Penn.
  • Betting line: Even

Mark Munoz

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’0''
  • Weight: 186
  • UFC record: 7-3
  • MMA record: 12-3
  • Out of: Lake Forest, Calif.
  • Betting line: -120

Middleweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Lost by TKO to Costa Philippou at UFC 155.

Punch list: Had “The Barbarian” defeated Philippou, it’s not totally outlandish to suggest he may have been in Weidman’s position challenging Silva this weekend. It would have kept him undefeated with five straight wins at middleweight. The fight was close, too, as Boetsch won the first round but faded from there.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Munoz

Cofield: Munoz

Last fight: Knocked out by Chris Weidman in the second round at UFC on Fuel TV 4.

Punch list: By the time Munoz steps on the scale Friday, he will have lost 71 pounds from the beginning of this year. He ballooned up to 261 pounds after losing to Weidman and undergoing foot surgery. Munoz said he ate out of depression before he was able to take another fight, which was the trigger to get himself healthy again.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Boetsch

Brewer: Boetsch

Okamoto: Munoz

Dennis Siver

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record: 11-5
  • MMA record: 21-8
  • Out of: Mannheim, Germany
  • Betting line: +195

Cub Swanson

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 146
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 19-5
  • Out of: Palm Springs, Calif.
  • Betting line: -225

Featherweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Beat Nam Phan by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 5.

Punch list: Like Swanson, Siver is calling for a title shot if he comes away victorious Saturday. The kickboxer is unbeaten since dropping to the 145-pound division, but it’s only two fights so he might have some more work to do. Both of his featherweight wins have also come by decision, as it’s been four years since Siver knocked an opponent out.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Swanson

Cofield: Swanson

Last fight: Defeated Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision at UFC on Fuel TV 7.

Punch list: The Greg Jackson-trained fighter’s biggest obstacle might be not overlooking his opponent. Swanson was devastated when an injury to featherweight top-contender Anthony Pettis didn’t lead to him getting promoted into a title shot. The reality is, despite his current four-fight win streak, Swanson lost to champion Jose Aldo in eight seconds. It’s going to take quite a run to get him in the conversation for a rematch.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Swanson

Brewer: Swanson

Okamoto: Swanson

Andrew Craig

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 8-1
  • Out of: Houston
  • Betting line: -150

Chris Leben

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 12-8
  • MMA record 22-9
  • Out of: Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Betting line: +130

Middleweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Rony Markes at UFC on FX 7.

Punch list: This could only be described as a golden opportunity at an convenient time for Craig. He gets the biggest-name opponent of his career coming off of his first-ever loss. Craig is a big, physical wrestler, or in other words, exactly the kind of fighter Leben has struggled with.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Leben

Cofield: Leben

Last fight: Lost a unanimous decision to Derek Brunson at UFC 156.

Punch list: While the vast majority of his “The Ultimate Fighter” 1 castmates drift into retirement, “The Crippler” trudges on. A loss here, however, might force his hand to join them. Leben has lost two straight, to Brunson and Mark Munoz, and this looks like a last-ditch effort to see if the former star can remain relevant.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Leben

Brewer: Craig

Okamoto: Craig

Kazuki Tokudome

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 12-3
  • Out of: Tokyo
  • Betting line: +160

Norman Parke

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 17-2
  • Out of: Bushmills, Northern Ireland
  • Betting line: -180

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Defeated Cristiano Marcello at UFC on Fuel TV 8.

Punch list: Tokudome is the type of fighter who could be valuable to the UFC as it continues its push for popularity in Asia. He’s a well-rounded fighter, known for boxing but having won his last two fights before getting into the UFC by armbar.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Tokudome

Cofield: Parke

Last fight: Beat Colin Fletcher by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 6.

Punch list: Parke fights for the first time since winning “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” “TUF” winners aren’t currently on a positive run of improving once they get off of the show, but Parke hopes his high-level jiu-jitsu makes him the exception.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Parke

Brewer: Tokudome

Okamoto: Parke

Dave Herman

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’5’’
  • Weight: 244
  • UFC record 1-3
  • MMA record 21-5
  • Out of: Temecula, Calif.
  • Betting line: +200

Gabriel Gonzaga

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 261
  • UFC record 9-6
  • MMA record 14-6
  • Out of: Ludlow, Mass.
  • Betting line: -240

Heavyweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Second-round submission loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 153.

Punch list: After previously failing two drug tests for marijuana, Herman had to pass one before getting licensed for UFC 162. The UFC isn’t known for giving third chances, which makes it somewhat surprising Herman is even on this card. He’s lost three straight, all by stoppage.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Gonzaga

Cofield: Gonzaga

Last fight: Knocked out by Travis Browne in the first round at “The Ultimate Fighter” 17 finale.

Punch list: Gonzaga’s clearly not the fighter who challenged Randy Couture for the heavyweight title six years ago. But he’s still as lethal as ever on the ground. Before Browne dispacted him quickly in April, Gonzaga had submitted two straight opponents since returning to the UFC.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Gonzaga

Brewer: Gonzaga

Okamoto: Herman

Rafaello Oliveira

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 2-4
  • MMA record 15-5
  • Out of: Charleston, S.C.
  • Betting line: +425

Edson Barboza

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 5-1
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -550

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Yosilandy Izquierdo at UFC 148.

Punch list: Despite two unremarkable stints in the UFC, one facts remains about Oliveira: It’s not wise to go to the ground with him. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt can grapple competitively with most of the UFC roster. He’s vulnerable on the feet, but only been knocked out twice.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Barboza

Cofield: Barboza

Last fight: Knocked out Lucas Martins in the first round at UFC on FX 7.

Punch list: This seems like pretty deep down the card for a fighter as talented as Barboza to appear. It’s just another reminder of how much one loss can affect fighters in the UFC. Barboza is still trying to work his way back into fans’ good graces after the lasting image of getting upset by Jamie Varner last year.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Barboza

Brewer: Oliveira

Okamoto: Barboza

Brian Melancon

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record: 0-0
  • MMA record: 6-2
  • Out of: Houston
  • Betting line: +240

Seth Baczynski

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record: 4-2
  • MMA record: 17-7
  • Out of: Apache Junction, Ariz.
  • Betting line: -280

Welterweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Felipe Portela at Strikeforce Challengers 19.

Punch list: One of the more anonymous Strikeforce imports, Melancon fights for the first time in nearly two years at the MGM. In addition to fighting, he works as a physical therapist. Melancon trains under former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Baczynski

Cofield: Baczynski

Last fight: Lost to Mike Pierce by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 6.

Punch list: “The Polish Pistola” might be one of the most underrated welterweights in the UFC. For evidence, consider he owned a four-fight win streak before the setback against Pierce. Included in that streak was a win over current fringe top-10 fighter Matt Brown.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Baczynski

Brewer: Baczynski

Okamoto: Baczynski

David Mitchell

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 12-2
  • Out of: Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • Betting line: +475

Mike Pierce

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 8-3
  • MMA record 16-5
  • Out of: Portland, Ore.
  • Betting line: -650

Welterweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Beat Simeon Thoresen by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 6.

Punch list: With nine career wins by submission, Mitchell is a grappler first. He’s put in time on his striking, but has yet to register a knockout. His last win snapped a two-fight losing streak, the first two defeats of his career and both by submission.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Pierce

Cofield: Pierce

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Seth Baczynski at UFC on FX 7.

Punch list: This is new. The biggest favorite on the entire card isn’t usually in the first fight of the night. The grinding wrestler has assembled quite the résumé with his only losses to Jon Fitch, Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck. The latter two were both close split decisions.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Pierce

Brewer: Pierce

Okamoto: Pierce

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

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