Silva, Okami Top UFC 134 Betting Card
By: Matty Simo
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Rio de Janeiro will take center stage on Saturday when the Ultimate Fighting Championship visits Brazil for the second time ever with a native-stacked UFC 134 card. The main event will be a middleweight title clash between Brazil’s very own Anderson “The Spider” Silva against Japan’s Yushin “Thunder” Okami at HSBC Arena, one of 11 bouts featuring Brazilian fighters.
Pay-per-view television coverage of the main card begins at 6:00 p.m. (PT), with preliminary card fights broadcast earlier on Spike TV and Facebook.
Silva (28-4) is a heavy 600 favorite against Okami (27-5-0), who is the last man to technically beat him more than five years ago though it was due to disqualification. Okami (+400) took a kick to the face from the guard position at Rumble On The Rock 8 in Hawaii back in January 2006, a move Silva later disputed because he said he did not know it was an illegal strike.
Rather than continuing to fight, Okami took the DQ victory while Silva has since beaten his last 14 opponents.
Okami ended up losing to Jake Shields in Rumble On the Rock 9 three months later by a majority decision and also has unanimous decision losses to Rich Franklin and Chael Sonnen among his past 14 fights. However, he has won his last three bouts and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 122 last November.
Silva is still widely considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and appears to be running out of challengers. He followed up a disappointing win over Sonnen at UFC 117 with a stunning first-round knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 on February 5, silencing his critics for the time being.
Another easy victory against Okami could mean a superfight matchup with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre if both win their next fights.
Two other intriguing bouts on the main card include Brazilians looking to bounce back from losses against the current champions in their respective weight classes.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 No-Contest) has not fought since getting knocked out by heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez in the first round at UFC 110 in February 2010. Nogueira is a +200 underdog against Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (9-1), who has won four straight since losing to Roy Nelson in The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Finale via first-round knockout.
Schaub is a 260 favorite and knocked out Mirko Filipovic in the third round of his last bout at UFC 128.
Former light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-5-0) will also be back in action for the first time since losing his belt to Jon “Bones” Jones in March at UFC 128. Rua was knocked out by Jones in the third round of the title bout after splitting a pair of fights against Lyoto Machida, the second of which earned him the championship.
Forrest Griffin (18-6-0) will be Rua’s next opponent after he topped Rich Franklin with a third-round unanimous decision victory at UFC 126. Griffin (+200) has fought just twice since losing to Silva at UFC 101 a little more than two years ago. Like Schaub, Rua is also a 260 favorite against Griffin.