“All-American” Chris Weidman defends middleweight title on Fourth of July Weekend; Ronda Rousey puts her title on the line against BJJ Black Belt
The UFC returns home to Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday to present one of their biggest card of the year, UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida. The “All-American” middleweight champion Chris Weidman defends his title against the Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. This is Weidman’s first title fight/defense against an opponent not named Anderson Silva. Weidman was initially scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort, but after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) banned Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Belfort was forced to pull out of the title fight.
UFC 175 will also feature women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending her title and perfect record against the scrappy Jiu-Jitsu black belt Alexis Davis. Rousey has defended her title three times and has acted in three films in the last seven months. Will the seemingly perfect champion continue her dominance or will her busy schedule catch up with her?
The lone heavyweight bout features the return of Stefan Struve from a scary heart condition. He will be facing off against the former NFL defensive tackle Matt Mitrione. Also; the exciting but at times underwhelming, Uriah Hall will meet Thiago Santos in a middleweight bout. Completing the pay-per-view main card is bantamweights Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane. Here are TXMMA’s fight-by-fight preview and predictions:
UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida – Main Card Preview and Predictions
185 lbs.: Chris Weidman (11-0) vs. Lyoto Machida (21-4)
As previously mentioned, this is Chris Weidman’s first title fight not against Anderson Silva. Even before he beat the greatest fighter of all time twice, Weidman looked impeccable. He’s proven to be the complete package, as he’s never been out struck in any of his fights at the same time having the fourth highest takedown accuracy in UFC history. Machida will not simply roll over to the champion’s accomplishments with Machida having some significant accomplishments himself. The former light heavyweight champion has the fourth most knockdowns in UFC history and has stuffed the takedown 81.8 percent of the time. After his title run at the light heavyweight division came to an end, Machida dropped to middleweight and has looked even better. I think the deciding factor in this fight will be the pace of the fight. If Machida can make this a slower fight, which he is accustomed to, he will be crowned the new champion most likely after five rounds of fighting. If Weidman pushes the pressure and finds the range, this fight will end before the fifth round.
PREDICTION: Chris Weidman over Lyoto Machida, TKO RD4
135 lbs.: Ronda Rousey (9-0) vs. Alexis Davis (16-5)
Ronda Rousey is the overwhelming favorite and there is no reason for her not to be. She has a perfect armbar finisher, a perfect record, and won her last fight by TKO in the first. However, Alexis Davis, a black belt in both Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, might stop her perfect armbar. Davis is the toughest opponent Rousey has faced. She’s scrappy and constantly brings the pressure as the fight continues. Rousey has also been very busy this year preparing for life after the cage. Even with some of the factors swinging Davis’ way, I still see Rousey winning this one, albeit her hardest win yet.
PREDICTION: Ronda Rousey over Alexis Davis by Unanimous Decision
265 lbs.: Stefan Struve (29-6) vs. Matt Mitrione (7-3)
After a scary rare heart condition sidelined Stefan Struve, the 7’0 Dutchman appropriately nicknamed “Skycraper” will make his long-awaited return to the UFC against former Matt Mitrione. Struve is currently ranked #12 in the heavyweight division, while Mitrione is not ranked in the top-15 at all. Even with Mitrione not being ranked I expect “Meathead” to come out swinging and yes, catch the 7-footer and put him on his back. It’s a great comeback story for Struve, but I don’t think he pulls this win out.
PREDICTION: Matt Mitrione over Stefan Struve by TKO, RD3
185 lbs.: Uriah Hall (9-4) vs. Thiago Santos (9-2)
Uriah Hall, known for his gifted striking ability and flashy knockouts, seemed to be the next star while on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), but after losing two straight fights, including The Ultimate Fighter Finale, Hall found himself almost walking the plank into unemployment. After UFC President, Dana White, made notice to Hall that he would be cut if he lost his next fight, Hall put on an MMA clinic against now-retired Chris Leben. He now faces Thiago Silva, a fighter willing to standup and strike with Hall. Silva lost his debut against Cezar Ferriera, but bounced back with a TKO finish over Ronny Markes. Silva is all about the finish. Either his opponent is getting finished or he is getting finished. This will be an interesting fight.
PREDICTION: Uriah Hall over Thiago Santos by TKO, RD2
135 lbs.: Marcus Brimage (6-2) vs. Russell Doane (13-3)
Instead of having the former main eventer Urijah Faber vs. the animated Alex Caceres, the UFC followed Faber’s wish to let him fight on the preliminary card. Now UFC fans get to pay to see Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane. Both fighters like to stand up and fight. Brimage likes to wear opponents down throughout the fight, winning four of his fights by decision. Brimage, however, does retreat quite a bit when faced with an active attack and Doane is active with his attacks, boasting six career wins by KO. Doane should win this one after three rounds.
PREDICTION: Russell Doane over Marcus Brimage by Unanimous Decision
UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida – Preliminaries Preview and Predictions
135 lbs.: Urijah Faber (30-7) vs. Alex Caceres (10-5, 1NC)
Ronda Rousey might not be the biggest favorite in her matchup on this card. Urijah Faber is 30-7 and those seven losses were all championship fights. That’s the biggest knock on Faber, that he simple cannot win UFC gold, but other than that he has torn apart competition placed in front of him like a lion in a herd of antelopes. Alex Caceres, you are the antelope. Caceres is on an impressive five-fight winning streak, highlighting some fancy standup and some skillful submissions, but is too early in his career to fight someone at Faber’s level. It should be a great learning experience for Caceres.
PREDICTION: Urijah Faber over Alex Caceres by Submission, RD1
170 lbs.: Kenny Robertson (13-3) vs. Ildemar Alcantara (20-6)
This welterweight matchup features two fighters who like inflict the most damage from the top position while on the ground. Robertson is a wrestler with underrated standup, and Alcantara is a very legitimate threat as a grappler. Both fighters will look to get this on the ground. Robertson’s wrestling should prove to be the finer ground game in this bout.
PREDICTION: Kenny Robertson over Ildemar Alcantara by split decision
185 lbs.: Chris Camozzi (19-7) vs. Bruno Santos (13-1)
After winning four straight Chris Camozzi has found himself on the losing end of two straight fights. Bruno Santos was a perfect 13-0 before making his UFC debut, a loss by unanimous decision. Camozzi, an entertaining striker, will use his six-inch height and reach advantage over Santos. Camozzi also has good takedown defense which should help him against Santos. Santos has an excellent single-leg takedown. This fight will be decided by whether or not Camozzi can defend Santos’ aggressive pursuit to score the takedown.
PREDICTION: Chris Camozzi over Bruno Santos by split decision
135 lbs.: George Roop (15-11-1) vs. Rob Font (10-1)
UFC vet George Roop will welcome newcomer Rob Font to the UFC in this bantamweight battle. Another fight that features a significant height advantage as Roop will have five inches over Font. Both Roop and Font exhibit powerful standup striking. Roop uses his range really well and has finished the likes of Chan Sung Jung and Brian Bowles. Font is an aggressive striker on a nine-fight winning streak, prompting the UFC to sign him. Experience will play the significant factor in this fight.
PREDICTION: George Roop over Rob Font by TKO, RD2
175 lbs.: Luke Zachrich (13-3) vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos (3-1)
Luke Zachrich has the experience edge but looked completely undermatched in his last outing vs. Caio Magalhaes. Guilherme Vasconcelos has less experience in the cage but is a good prospect with a seasoned submission game. He might be the one to pick here and might have the higher ceiling overall.
PREDICTION: Guilherme Vasconcelos over Luke Zachrich by submission, RD1
185 lbs.: Kevin Casey (8-3) vs. Bubba Bush (8-2)
College Station’s Bubba Bush makes his UFC debut fresh off dismanting of Alfonso Gonzales in his last Legacy fight. Bubba’s been on a finishing streak Legacy while Casey has done likewise in RFA. This is an interesting matchup between two grappling based fighters. On paper Casey might actually have the edge there having training with luminaries like Rickson Gracie and others. The one thing that can’t be measured however is heart and Bush has that in abundance. This is a tough matchup for him for his first time out but we’re pulling for the Texan to get the win here by any means necessary.
PREDICTION: Bubba Bush over Kevin Casey by TKO, RD3