Friday, February 23, 2007

Head2Head: Silva vs. Henderson

By Roberto and Elias Cepeda

Elias:The main event for Pride 33, the Japanese organization’s second show on US soil, happening Saturday, February 24th in Las Vegas Nevada, will feature Pride welterweight (183-lbs) champion Dan Henderson challenging Pride middleweight (205-lbs) champion Wanderlei Silva for his title belt.

This will be the second time Silva and Henderson are meeting, the first time happened in 2000 and Silva won a hard fought decision, and there is a lot of drama and history in this rematch. Both men looked like they had gone through a mid-level car crash after the first fight and Henderson, though smaller and known for his wrestling prowess, stood toe to toe with Silva, even knocking him down on one occasion.

Now, six years later, with Pride having adopted what they call the welterweight class, Henderson has been able to fight people his own size and is the organization’s champion. But his goal has always been the middleweight title that Silva went on to win only months after their first fight, and has held ever since.

Now it will be champion versus champion, with Henderson having the opportunity to be the first mixed martial artist to simultaneously hold championship belts in two different weight classes. Unfortunately for Henderson, all of this drama probably won’t help him win.

His refrain has been that he has improved dramatically since the first fight six years ago, but anyone who has carefully watched Silva also realizes that he has improved as well, and in areas that will be of particular use against Henderson. To no real fault of Henderson’s, I’m betting that in the end Silva’s size will just be too much for Henderson.

I’m picking Silva by 4th round TKO. Why, Mr. Cepeda, do you feel things will go differently?

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