Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at a welterweight clash between Brazilian Erick Silva and Canadian Nordine Taleb. Silva looks to rebound off a split decision loss to top 15 welterweight Neil Magny, while Taleb is looking to get back on track after he was submitted by Warlley Alves in his last outing. Erick Silva (Record: 18-6, -220 Favorite, Fighter Grade: C+) Erick Silva trains out of X-Gym and Team Nogueira of Brazil and has been a training partner for the likes of Anderson Silva and Jacare Souza. He’s been fighting professionally for 10 years and has been with the UFC since 2011. At one point Silva was considered one of the top prospects in the UFC. He’s one of the best starters in the UFC. All of his wins in the UFC have come inside the first round. Silva is a fighter that puts on a relentless pace early on and has fantastic killer instinct. He not only has very good hands, but he’s very aggressive and a creative, dangerous submission game. Jason High and Josh Koscheck are examples of the quality of fighters that Silva has been able to put away early in fights. Silva’s problem unfortunately is that as the longer a fight goes on, the lower the likelihood that he will be able to win. His conditioning is rather poor and he struggles to keep pace in the second and third rounds. Furthermore, his defensive wrestling is a significant shortfall and can be exploited by opponents. Silva is a very good fighter, but has real deficiencies. Nordine Taleb (Record: 11-3, +180 Underdog, Fighter Grade: D+) The French born Canadian has been fighting professionally since 2007. He’s fought in two of North America’s largest promotions in Bellator and UFC. In addition to those organizations, he appeared in two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), but lost early in both competitions. The Tristar Gym trained fighter holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) under the highly respected Firas Zahabi. Taleb is a big welterweight at 6’1” and a 74 inch reach. He’s had a decent run in the UFC with three victories prior to his loss to Alves in his last outing. His striking is fundamentally decent, but it has been his consistency that has allowed him to do well. He fights at a pretty steady pace throughout each contest. He lacks real finishing ability, so he’s reliant on pace, mixing in takedowns with his improving striking. He’s had success against the bottom rung of the UFC, but when faced against fighters that are better athletes with explosive striking, he’s struggled. Match-up Like any Erick Silva fight, I expect this to end one of two ways: an early finish or he loses on the scorecards. During his stint in the UFC, Silva has lost to top 15 fighters at welterweight, while obliterating lower ranked opposition. As Taleb is neither ranked nor possesses finishing power, I expect Erick Silva to have a strong showing and get the finish in the opening round. Silva’s aggressiveness will fluster Taleb and create openings. Look for Silva to work the fight to the ground where he can make use of his black belt BJJ skills. Once on the ground, Silva will look to use strikes to setup a submission attempt and finish the fight early. I see a major advantage for Silva on the ground and I think that’s his easiest opportunity to get the fight finished early. The Silva ITD line is just (-113) for a guy that has finished all his opponents in the UFC. The way I see it, you’re getting Silva to win at nearly even money; a great price given the situation.
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