UFC 78: Houston Alexander vs Thiago Silva

By Paul Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Sports Betting at Sportsbook.comHouston Alexander (8-1) has quickly become a ticket seller after his quick and impressive TKO's of Keith Jardine and Allesio Sakara. His abilities behind a microphone haven't hurt his public image either. At 35 Houston has suddenly found himself exactly where he wants to be, in the UFC aiming for the top of his division.

His fighting style was best described by Mike Goldberg at UFC 75 "That dude is violent!". His first two UFC fights were so short it's hard to say much else. His boxing and Muay Thai looked very good, especially against the slower paced Sakara. His ground game however is completely untested on the UFC stage. His game plan for this fight is to keep it standing and work his inside game. Hopefully we'll get to see his conditioning in this fight.

Thiago Silva (11-0) holds a black belt in Brazilian Jui Jitsu and trains with the Chute Box team. As with most of this Brazilian team his Muay Thia is very strong and suprisingly he likes to keep his fights standing 9 of his wins coming by way of TKO. Of course as a well trained fighter he will likely be looking to find out how weak Alexanders ground game is.

Although Thiago is 2-0 in the UFC his bouts have slid under the radar. Espcially the win over Irvin who blew his knee out early in the first round. His last fight against Tomasz Drwal showed his ability to stand with a heavy puncher. What was lacking was his energy in the second round and his takedowns didn't look that sharp. His pace in all of his fights is methodical, but he puts a lot of power behind his punches and knows when to pour it on.

On paper these two match up pretty tight with no significant size or reach advantages. Silva holds an advantage in terms of training, experience, and overall skill set. Houston's only visible advantage is his "violence". His agression will be an immediate test for Thiago and if that storm is weathered, we'll all finally get a good look at the rest of his game. Quick fight keys: Silva will need to watch for knees on his double leg takedown attempts and Houston needs to drop his chin and work on his head movement.

My personal line on this fight is Silva (+120) Houston (-130). The bookmakers should be releasing odds for this fight within the next 5-6 days so we'll see if there's any value to be had.

***UPDATE***Looks like the odds are coming in around +160 for Silva and -215 for Houston. The official lines should be released by 11/13. There's some solid value on a bet for Silva at +200 on up.

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

2 comments to ''UFC 78: Houston Alexander vs Thiago Silva"

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  1. Patrick1:55 PM

    I would drop the house on houston if those were the lines. I think that guy will continue to be a force.

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  2. It will be interesting to see how much credit the bookmakers will give Houston.

    Although Silva is unbeaten his last 2 wins didn't really impress, and Houston's fights were both spectacular.

    The lines I set are pretty realistic, but I think the books will make Houston a heavy fav...probably -250 or more.

    We'll see.

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