The annual Independence Day weekend event in the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be held on July 6 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The event is headlined by the UFC middleweight title fight between Anderson “Spider” Silva and Chris “The All-American” Weidman. Also on the card are fights involving Frankie Edgar, Mark Munoz, Cub Swanson and more. With a couple weeks left until the big event, what are the current odds and who do we think are the best bets?
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman for UFC Middleweight Championship
Ever since he made a memorable debut in the UFC knocking out Chris Leben at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5, Silva has made a major impact on the world of mixed martial arts. In his second fight, he beat Rich Franklin to win the UFC middleweight title and hasn’t looked back ever since. He has won the most consecutive fights in the history of the UFC with 16 and has the most consecutive title defenses in the history of the promotion with 10.
His opponent is the upstart Weidman. Training under Matt Serra and Ray Longo, the undefeated Weidman will be trained and ready for the biggest fight of his career. He is 9-0 thus far including five straight wins inside the Octagon. In his last two fights, he has picked up memorable and decisive wins against Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.
UFC Betting Tips Pick: This is one of those fights that could go either way, but it all depends on how serious Silva takes his opponent. If Silva comes in and treats Weidman with no respect like he did in the first Chael Sonnen fight, he could lose his title quickly. If he goes in prepared to lose and is ready for anything the powerful wrestler throws his way, he should get the win easily. Our pick is the champion with 4/11 at WilliamHill.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
The former UFC lightweight champion Edgar is finally not getting a rematch with an opponent for the first time since 2010. At 15-4-1, Edgar has now dropped three straight fights including two fights to current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and his last fight to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Depending on whom you ask, many people thought he won all three of those fights, but officially, they are all losses and Edgar must work his way back up the rankings.
For Oliveira, this is a chance to make a major wave in the UFC and walk away with what would easily be called the biggest win of his career. He is 16-3 in his career, but is just 2-3-1NC in his past six fights. Two of those losses were to two of the top fights in the lightweight division, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller. In his most recent fight, he failed to make weight and lost to Cub Swanson via KO in the first round.
UFC Betting Tip Pick: With this fight, the state of the featherweight division could change forever if Oliveira can pull off the upset. Oliveira has the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu talents to submit almost anyone in the 145 pound weight class. If he can take down Edgar, who is a world class wrestler, he might be able to get a submission locked on and get the finish. We don’t see it happening and would take Edgar with 1/4 odds at WilliamHill.
Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz
This is as interesting of a fight as any other at UFC 162. With Boetsch, there is a fighter that was 4-0 in the middleweight division until he met Constantinos Philippou. Before losing via TKO, he had many people thinking he could actually be competition for Silva and the world title. Despite the loss in his last fight, Boetsch is still a talented fighter that has fared exceptionally better than he did during his first stint in the UFC.
With Munoz, you’ve got a fighter that has twice been knocking on the door steps of a title shot with Silva and twice has gone down in defeat. In his last fight where a win against Weidman could have set him up for a title shot, he was knocked out early in the second round. The first time he got close was in 2010, but Yushin Okami took him out in three rounds.
UFC Betting Tip Pick: This is a fight that both men desperately need to get a win in. With both fighters coming off losses, another loss could derail both their chances at ever fighting their way towards a title shot. In the end, it comes down to which fighter can take the other down or if they decide that they want to stay standing, who can take a punch better. We’re going to say Boetsch at Ladbrokes with 6/5 odds.
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson
This featherweight contest features two of the best in the division. In Siver, the MMA fans get a chance to see a fighter that has won six of his past seven fights and were it not for a loss to Cerrone at UFC 137, would have fought for the UFC lightweight title already. Instead, Siver has recovered to win his last two fights against Diego Nunes and Nam Phan in his first two fights in the featherweight division.
Swanson is riding one of the most impressive winning streaks of his professional MMA career. Many people remember Swanson for being the man who was knocked out by Jose Aldo in World Extreme Cagefighting with a double knee. At this stage in his career, a win against Siver could give him a chance to avenge that loss and get inside the Octagon against the champion.
UFC Betting Tip Pick: Siver is one of the most powerful kickboxers in the world and has the ability to end any fight with just a kick to the abdomen or head. Swanson is still only 29 and has a chance to do big things in the sport and it starts with this fight. We’re going with Swanson and his 2/5 odds at WilliamHill.