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Intelligent, unique MMA analysis
I normally have a distaste for snark, but I’ll admit I got a bit snarky in my discussion of Andy Ogle vs. Charles Oliveira. In that post, I explained why I felt Ogle was being underrated and had more hope of beating Oliveira than he was getting credit for. In this fight, however… it’s just hard to see Takenori Sato being competitive.
I’ve been on record as saying that Erick Silva is overrated in the past. I still feel that way as I believe Silva’s hyper-aggressive and crowd-pleasing style also leads to him making critical mistakes and having compromised conditioning later in the fight. What’s undeniable about Silva is his raw talent and his ability to finish fights quickly. I have to think a quick finish is exactly what will happen in this fight.
Sato enters the UFC with an overall record of 17-8-7. That’s right, seven draws. Before you get too perplexed, consider that draws are much more common in Japanese promotions like Pancrase and Shooto than they are almost anywhere else.
Sato has a lot of fights against opponents like Keiichiro Yamamiya, Kiichi Kunimoto, Kengo Ura, and Yuki Kondo. Kondo is a fighter who was once considered one of the better light-heavyweights in the sport (although he would be badly undersized for the division today) but the other names are fighters who struggle to maintain a winning record in Japan. Against this type of competition, Sato has 17 wins in 32 fights. And now he’s expected to compete against Erick Silva?
I don’t see it. Silva is simply beyond Sato – he’s at another level. If I had to come up with a way for Sato to win this fight, it would be to somehow survive long enough for Silva to gas himself out, then capitalize for a submission victory. I have to think Silva finishes Sato the vast majority of the time.
Pick: Erick Silva by TKO
DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER
Silva is a -1100 favorite to win and probably deserves it. I have zero interest on betting on Sato at +700. I’m tempted by Silva by TKO at -185, but I paid a similar price for Overeem by TKO last time and got burned for it. I’m just going to pass; Silva is the overwhelming favorite and should be the overwhelming favorite. There’s nothing more I can do about it.