UFC on FUEL TV 6: November 10, 2012 CotaiArena, Cotai, Macao UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Thiago Silva (-305) Profile: At one point one of the most fascinating fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division, Thiago Silva (14-3, 1 NC) brought his intimidating swagger and striking into the organization with style, ending his first four opponents with strikes. This brought him to 13-0 and earned him a spot across the cage from Lyoto Machida for a chance to enter the UFC’s upper echelon. Then, Machida unmercifully knocked him out at the very end of the first round, and he has never been the same. The 29-year-old Brazilian rebounded quickly with a KO win over Keith Jardine only to find himself on the wrong end of a frustrating unanimous decision loss to Rashad Evans. Silva then walked away with a No-Contest due to a failed drug test following a UD win against Brandon Vera and followed that up with another loss to Alexander Gustafsson. It is tough to decide if he is on the decline or if his head simply has not been in the game. Regardless, Silva’s physical skills have not diminished much, and he still has some of the best training in the world with the Blackzilians. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Stanislav Nedkov (+235) Profile: The pride of Bulgaria, Stanislav Nedkov (12-0) is the latest striker from Eastern Europe to make waves across the globe and into the UFC. It has been nearly a year since his stop/start relationship with Zuffa kicked off at UFC 134 with an impressive TKO victory over Luiz Cane. But with a quality opponent like Thiago Silva standing in front of him for his sophomore effort, he will need put on another good showing to stay unbeaten. The 30-year-old Nedkov is solid on the ground with a good base he can use defensively or offensively, and he especially shines when he can open up and throw his fists with reckless abandon at his opponent. Opening UFC on FUEL TV 6 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Silva a solid -305 favorite (bet $305 to win $100) while Nedkov opened as a +235 underdog (bet $100 to win $235) according to the MMA odds. This is a huge fight for Silva to prove the last few years have not been the beginning of the end for him. He is still fairly young and came into the UFC with great promise before the loss to Machida seemed to hurt him more mentally than physically. Four years ago, Silva was 13-0 and looked like he was going to be holding a title belt someday. Now he has the opportunity to spoil the dreams of another unbeaten fighter who is in a similar situation and can hand his opponent his first career loss. Nedkov will be facing a big step up in competition here, and we will know a lot more about him when he enters the Octagon in Macao. The Bulgarian has spent almost his entire career fighting in his home country and in Japan, with his first UFC victory coming in Brazil. This will be his first real test, and a difficult one at that. Nedkov has finished 10 of his 12 opponents while Silva has done the same to 13 of the 14 he has beaten. However, Silva has seen his last three fights go to the judges, which could actually help him despite the fact that two of them resulted in losses. He needs to turn those negative experiences into a positive to rebound.
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