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UFC Fight Night 84: Betting Odds Preview

The UFC travels across the pond to the O2 Arena to stage their first European event of the year on Saturday. Michael Bisping will step in front of his home crowd to finally square off against Anderson Silva in the main event of the card. Gegard Mousasi and Thales Leites will meet in the co-main event with both veterans coming off losses.

Main Event: Anderson Silva vs Michael Bisping

This fight would have been huge a few years ago, but father time and drug testing have made this bout shrink in significance. Anderson Silva has fought once in the past two years and that fight was deemed a no contest after he failed a drug test. Bisping has largely become a gatekeeper for the middleweight division, but the Brit still holds out hope for a title shot in the crowded weight class.

Silva is one of the greatest counter-strikers to ever compete in MMA. He has a level of patience and calmness that has never been seen before and has used those attributes to land precision strikes to disrupt his opponents. Though it is rarely used, the Brazilian has a solid wrestling game, but does a good job at working off of the cage in the clinch. The biggest question is whether or not the aging fighter is able to compete in the UFC anymore. Silva did not show the amazing reflexes he exemplified in his early career against Nick Diaz and many question his abilities following the positive drug test.

Bisping has always been an excellent boxer that relies more on volume than he does on one punch power. He has used his conditioning and aggression to grind out victories or swarm his opponent leading to a stoppage. The Brit has proven to be hittable on his feet when he is not able to push forward and fight in a phonebooth. Bisping is more than serviceable in the wrestling game, but he has usually preferred to stick to the striking game.

Silva has the advantage in pretty much every aspect of the game on paper, but we still don’t know what to expect from him. Silva has always been very reliant on his reaction time and movement, but those deteriorate with age. If Bisping can stay inside of Silva’s range, avoiding kicks, than you can expect his boxing skills to provide a big problem for ‘Spider.’

Co-Main Event: Gegard Mousasi vs Thales Leites

Gegard Mousasi was stunned in his last fight out when he was hit with a flying knee versus Uriah Hall. Mousasi has always been a great technical striker, showing brilliant usage of his jab and a jab-cross combo, which routinely allows him to control position when standing. The Dutchman has a black belt in judo and phenomenal submission skills, which makes grappling with him a difficult task. Mousasi has tightened up his defensive wrestling ability, but it can still be called into question.

Leites suffered his first loss since 2010 in his last outing when he lost a split decision to Bisping. The knock on Leites used to be his striking, but the Brazilian has worked hard on the craft and has learned how to control his one-punch knockout power. He prefers to clinch up with his opponents and use a trip to bring his opponent to the ground where he is the most dangerous. 14 of Leites’ 25 career wins have come via submission with the Brazilian Ju-Jitsu black belt excelling at submitting his opponents.

Both Mousasi and Leites need a win here to stay relevant in the stacked middleweight division. The standing game sees the technical fighter vs the power puncher while the ground game features two of the better submission fighters in the weight class go one-on-one.

Rest of Main Card

Undefeated welterweight prospect Tom Breese has ended all of his nine professional fights by stoppage, including winning both of his UFC bouts within the first round. Breese’s long limbs have proven to make his submission game lethal, though his striking needs some work. Veteran Keita Nakamura will look to end the undefeated streak and get a marquee win during his second stint with the company. K-Taro is a submission fighter himself with each of his past three victories coming via sub.

The main card opens when crowd favorite Brad Pickett faces off against Francisco Rivera. Pickett has always garnered love for his aggressive fighting style, but he is 37-years-old and has lost four of his past five fights. Honestly, Pickett is likely on the roster because he is a big draw in England. Rivera is not doing much better of late as he has dropped three of his past four contests. Each of Rivera’s last three wins have come by TKO. 

UFC Fight Night 84: O2 Arena, London England

Odds as of February 26 at Bovada

  • Anderson Silva -305
  • Michael Bisping +235
  • Gegard Mousasi -335
  • Thales Leites +255
  • Tom Breese -1000
  • Keita Nakamura +600
  • Brad Pickett +155
  • Francisco Rivera -190
  • Makwan Amirkhani -190
  • Mike Wilkinson +155
  • Davey Grant -190
  • Marlon Vera +155
  • Scott Askham -340
  • Chris Dempsey +260
  • Arnold Allen -335
  • Yaotzin Meza +255
  • Krzysztof Jotko -170
  • Brad Scott +140
  • Rustam Khabilov -250
  • Norman Parke +195
  • Daniel Omielanczuk -130
  • Jarjis Danho EVEN
  • Thibault Gouti -135
  • Teemu Packalen +105
  • David Teymur -160
  • Martin Svensson +130