Anderson “The Spider” Silva will help salvage UFC 200 by taking on light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on only three days notice, however oddsmakers don’t give the 41-year-old former titleholder and precision striker much of a chance.
Just when the biggest pay-per-view event in UFC’s history seemed ripe to tank, the legendary Silva has stepped up on very short notice to salvage UFC 200’s main event and take on Cormier Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Since the matchup was named on extremely short notice, the 37-year-old Cormier will not put his title on the line against Silva and they are scheduled for only three rounds.
Cormier was originally set to rematch interim light heavy champion Jon Jones in a unification bout, however the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found a banned substance in Jones’ system and UFC pulled him from the main event. Jones has denied taking any performance-enhancing drugs, but the pending investigation means he will sit out the fight with rival Cormier.
Though the shock of Jones' ouster from the main event continues to reverberate around mixed martial arts, UFC 200 will still carry several monster and important bouts that could change the landscape of the top divisions.
Here’s a quick breakdown and the odds for each of the top fights at UFC 200. With the main event as the only exception, all the lines are drawn from Bovada.lv.
Daniel Cormier (-565) vs. Anderson Silva (+375)
According to OddsShark, Cormier is an overwhelming favorite to beat Silva. In congruence with sitting atop the division and being four years younger, the former Division I wrestler Cormier does have the stronger mat arsenal and will have a weight advantage over Silva. However, should the Brazilian manage to turn the bout into a slugfest he does have a chance for the upset.
Brock Lesnar (+145) vs. Mark Hunt (-175)
Ranked No. 8 in the heavyweight division, Hunt appears to be favored over Lesnar due to recent success and Lesnar’s half-decade absence from the octagon, based off Bovada.lv’s line. Lesnar’s suffered two straight first-round TKO defeats, with the last coming in 2011. Hunt does have 10 losses in his career, but he’s coming off consecutive knockouts of Antonio Silva and Frank Mir over the last 10 months
Miesha Tate (-260) vs. Amanda Nunes (+200)
Riding a five-match winning streak, Tate puts her women’s bantamweight crown on the line for the first time since defeating Holly Holm by submission in March, while Nunes sizes up the first championship opportunity of her eight-year career. With nine career knockouts, Nunes does possess the power advantage, but oddsmakers clearly believe Tate can either submit Nunes or earn a decision should the fight go the distance. Winner likely welcomes Ronda Rousey back to UFC.
Jose Aldo (-110) vs. Frankie Edgar (-120)
Interim featherweight titleholder Aldo and No. 2 ranked Edgar vie for the chance to be Conor McGregor’s next opponent, and it’s one of the most difficult fights to gauge on the card. Aldo suffered his first loss in 10 years to McGregor in his last bout, but the speedy, powerful, and durable Brazilian brawler has a slight edge as he looks to drop Edgar for the second time. However, the New Jersey native Edgar has won five straight fights, with quality wins over B.J. Penn and Chad Mendes in that span. Half of Edgar’s 20 career victories have come by way of decision, so if he can draw out the fight he has the chance at the title.
Cain Velasquez (-305) vs. Travis Browne (+235)
Former heavyweight champ Velasquez can keep his career from further derailing by taking down No. 7 ranked Browne. Clearly oddsmakers believe Velasquez should prevail since he possesses the second-best line of the night. But Browne’s 14 career knockouts will keep him in the fight as long as he avoids early mistakes.