Lots of people picking Hendo here, so let me set you guys straight
I could actually see Anderson winning this in several ways. If this fight stays on the feet, then it's only a matter of time before Hendo goes down. Yes, Hendo has a great chin and a hard head, but He's never faced a stiker of the caliber of an Anderson Silva, and yeah, Hendo HAS faced some deadly strikers. However, I think Anderson's Technique, accuracy and Quickness Are Probably the best in MMA as far as stand up fighting is concerned. However, What impressed me about Silva, especially in the second franklin fight, is his stand up defence. He'll block 50% of what you throw at him, and dodge another 30%, which is why you see he's never been knocked out. Now, Hendo Has a Big right hand, and we all know, But Can he connect with silva? I personally don't think so. I think Silva Quickness and Defence makes it near impossible to connect with a big fight-ending shot. Morevoer with Silva's Quickness, I think he'll use that to keep the fight on his feet as much as possible. If he can do that, henderson will go down.
Henderson's strength is obviously his greco. He loves the clinch. The clinch will be the most intriging part of this fight: Henderson's Greco vs. Silva's Muy thai. Will hendo be able to get in close enough to silva to use it without getting his nose broken via knee to the face? Will silva be too quick for him? I'm gonna give Henderson the benefit of the doubt and say he'll be able to get him down at least once or twice. Once he's there, I don't know if he'll be able to finish Silva. Silva is VASTLY underrated on the ground, and is pretty good at advoiding damage if you wanna look at the marquart or franklin fights. He's good at sweeps and it's not easy to pass his guard (Please don't talk about the Lutter fight where Silva had two surgecally repaired knees). That being said, Henderson's JJ game is underrated too, But Seeing that they are both pretty good at BJJ, I don't see either ending this by sub, but I think Silva has the better chance of it. Yes, Hendo has only been subbed twice, but who did It? Big Nog and Lil Nog, Silva's Training Partners. Just throwing it out there...
I agree that this fight has the potential of going 5 rounds. I think Hippysmacker nailed it on the head though: If the fight DOES go 5 rounds, I don't see how silva doesn't inflict enough damage on Hendo not to come out on top, if not stop him. The one thing I think might play huge here is the mindstate. Anderson is the most humble fighter I've ever seen, and has said after every fight "I need to find ways to improve, I am far from perfect" or something to that extent. After the Franklin fight, he traveled to the US to Train in JUST wrestling for a month or so, and has been working JUDO with The All Brazilian Judo team. He truly believes every fight is dangerous, and trains his ass off as if he was an up-and-comer trying to earn his shot. Hendo on the other hand is ALWAYS deadly confident. He knows his strengths and there's not usually a question on what hendo will try to do. However, that might also be his weakness. Before the rampage fight, he was talking like he'd easily beat Rampage ("all i gotta do is go get the new belt"), and he's saying the same thing now ("I'm gonna easily beat silva up"). Now, the talk and the fight are two different things, but If someone walks into a fight against silva overconfident, It's not gonna be pretty.
Basically, the only possibility of henderson winning this fight IMO is By a UD. He'd have to take silva down, try to hold him there, and try to use enough GNP to win 3 rounds. I don't see him doing that. I think Silva's Stand up AND ground defence is too goo for that to Happen. I wouldn't se Stunned if silva pulled off an armbar or triangle off his back, either, and I would expect to see stand ups awarded due to silva not allowing him to pass guard. That being said, every round is started On the feet. Anderson has improved his takedown defense with his wrestling focus, and I don't see Henderson taking down silva enough to win this. ANother Key point, Dan has said he's willing to stand with silva, and if he does, silva will pick him apart. Even if Silva doesn't finish him on the feet, silva will win at least 3 rounds on the feet if given a chance.
It'll be a great fight, but I'm gonna say:
Silva by late round stoppage/UD.
Final food for thought: Henderson Has never been KO'd before. Neither Had Leben or Marquart...