Before I really became a hardcore UFC fan, I was somewhat amused about a number of fighters who just seemed to “hang around” in the UFC. They never really became anything close to a title contender, but they never got cut from the promotion either. They usually didn’t make it onto the main card of the pay per view broadcast, but sometimes they did, and sometimes they were featured on a UFC Fight Night show. One example of this fighter is Alessio Sakara: a guy who’s been around for a long time now, but has never really seemed to matter in the grand scheme of things. And until recently, another example of this kind of fighter was Dennis Siver.
Yes, Siver had good striking, and yes, Siver’s performances against guys like Andre Winner were impressive, but there would always seem to be a loss that kept him from making any real progress in the division. Whether it was a loss to Jess Liaudin or a loss to Ross Pearson, Siver just seemed destined to be “another guy” in the deep lightweight division.
Then Siver beat George Sotiropoulos at UFC 127, and did so in impressive fashion. Most observers, including myself, felt that Sotiropoulos would win that fight: he had a clear advantage on the ground, and after beating Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Lauzon, Dennis Siver didn’t seem like a much tougher opponent. As it turns out, Siver’s combination of striking and takedown defense shut Sotiropoulos down, and Siver won a clear unanimous decision. Now, all of a sudden, Siver is rising in the rankings, and it’s not hard to see how he could be placed squarely in the title picture with one or two more impressive victories.
Enter Matt Wiman, another fighter who’s seemed to “just be there” in the UFC the last few years. Even though Wiman is a strong 7-3 in the UFC, he hasn’t gotten many chances to face some of the tougher competition in the lightweight division. In his toughest fight, Wiman lost a unanimous decision to Jim Miller at the UFC’s first “Fight For The Troops” event. Since then, Wiman has lost a decision to Sam Stout while winning decisions against Shane Nelson and Cole Miller and winning in very controversial fashion against Mac Danzig.
But none of Wiman’s wins are as good as Siver’s win against Sotiropoulos, right? Well, as I explained in my preview of Sotiropoulos’s upcoming fight against Rafael dos Anjos, Sotiropoulos may be quite a bit overrated as a fighter. In fact, I now think that Siver’s win at UFC 127, while impressive, wasn’t particularly amazing, or necessarily better than Wiman’s wins against Cole Miller or Thiago Tavares.
SILVA PREDICTION: MATT WIMAN (32.33) OVER DENNIS SIVER (30.51)
Siver is the overrated fighter now. SILVA sees Wiman beating him in a close one. If the fight stays standing, Siver probably has the advantage, while Wiman likely would be the better man on the ground. But I’ll be honest, when it comes to predicting this fight, you could probably flip a coin and have just as much idea of who’s going to win as me or anybody else. For me, it’s a 50-50 fight, so if SILVA likes Wiman to win… then why not? Wiman it is.