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A pair of veterans clash in the Welterweight division, as Nicolas Dalby takes on Claudio Silva. Returning to the octagon for the first time in 2022, Dalby will look to rebound from a loss to Tim Means. Having faired better during this second UFC stint, with a pair of big wins over Daniel Rodriguez and Alex Oliveira, Dalby is a victory away from re-positioning himself for an opponent near the top fifteen. Meanwhile, Silva comes into this fight on a two-fight skid. A first in Silva’s career, who had previously won fourteen straight, with five of those coming inside the octagon. Nearing an end to his fighting career, the 39- year old can’t afford to drop another fight.

This is an intriguing fight, that could go either way. Silva is a ground specialist, who has exceptional grappling and submission abilities. Having landed a takedown in all seven of his UFC bouts, Silva has parlayed that into five victories, including one over Leon Edwards. With good though comes bad, as Silva’s cardio is problematic. Slowing down in the later rounds, Silva’s takedowns become less effective and he becomes more vulnerable to being tagged on the feet. A blueprint to beating the Brazilian that Dalby will certainly look to capitalize on. A well rounded fighter, Dalby is adept to fight wherever the fight goes. With a karate background and some good boxing skills, Dalby makes it a priority to attack the body and chop down the legs. Using his physical strength, Dalby looks to control opponents against the cage and look for a takedown. More often than not however, he has lacked in successful getting the fight to mat.

There are several scenario’s that could play out in this fight, which makes it hard to predict. For example, if this fight were to end early, it would be because Silva got the takedown and submitted Dalby. However, if Dalby weathers the initial storm, he should be able to outpoint a visibly gassed and wild striker in Silva. Given the Brazilian’s age and his recent skid, I’m going to side with Dalby. So with that said, I predict Dalby wins via decision.

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