UFC 175 goes down this Saturday night live on pay-per-view and is headlined by a Middleweight title fight between incumbent champion Chris Weidman and challenger Lyoto Machida. The card will also feature a double dip of title fight action as the only Women’s Bantamweight Champion in UFC history Ronda Rousey will look to defend her belt for the fourth time against Canadian Alexis Davis. Take a look below for our predictions for the entire UFC 175 card.
UFC Middleweight Championship: c. Chris Weidman (11-0) vs. Lyoto Machida (21-4):
This is an interesting fight on multiple levels. For one, the question still remains as to how legit Weidman really is. Were his wins over Anderson Silva legit, or were they flukes? This will also be Weidman’s first fight against a devastating striker with great takedown defense. Most of Weidman’s wins have come against fighters who have excelled in one area but may have been lacking in others. Silva is the greatest MMA striker of all time but lacks takedown defense, Mark Munoz is a great offensive wrestler but his scrambles and striking need work, Demian Maia is an ace on the ground but his striking game and offensive wrestling were not great at 185 pounds. Weidman’s opponent this Saturday, Machida, excels in every facet of MMA. We’ve seen him pull of stunning knockouts in the Octagon, rag doll Tito Ortiz for three rounds, and pull off some crafty submissions. Machida also boasts a great record against former wrestlers.
This fight will be won or lost with Weidman’s ability or inability to push the pace and not get hit by a sneaky Machida counter. We’ve seen over-anxious wrestlers like Ryan Bader try to push the pace on Machida, only to be taking a nap in the middle of the Octagon seconds later. If Weidman can avoid similar mistakes, he will prevail and retain his Middleweight championship. I think that’s exactly what will happen.
Prediction: Chris Weidman to defeat Lyoto Machida via submission in round 3.
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship: c. Ronda Rousey (9-0) vs. Alexis Davis (16-5):
UFC 175’s co-main event features arguably the UFC’s biggest star as Ronda Rousey takes on Alexis Davis for the Women’s Banamweight Championship of the world. Davis brings an interesting wrinkle to this fight as she is the first of Rousey’s opponents to have earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Unfortunately for her, I don’t think it will matter much. Rousey is the far better grappler in this match-up and may even be the better striker on the feet. Davis has looked good in slugging out decision wins over Jessica Eye and Liz Carmouche, but something tells me that Rousey has more than meets the eye in her striking game.
Some may find it hard to get excited for a Ronda Rousey fight due to how far ahead she is of every other female bantamweight in the UFC, but I think her fights are fascinating. Sit back, enjoy some chips, and watch one of the world’s best athletes put on the performance of a lifetime this Saturday.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey to defeat Alexis Davis via submission in round 1.
Heavyweight Bout: #12 Stefan Struve (25-6) vs. Matt Mitrione (7-3)
The night’s swing bout features an excellent heavyweight pairing as Stefan Struve returns after over a year on the sidelines to take on knockout artist Matt Mitrione. Both of these men enter the Octagon with a finish or be finished mentality as only three of their combined 41 fights have gone to decision. Struve’s long layoff concerns me, but I think he should have enough in the tank to beat Mitrione. Mitrione is a solid striker in his own right, but I have doubts about his ability to get inside Struve’s reach and connect with a hard punch to the seven footers skull. It definitely can happen, but I think Struve will be able to keep Mitrione out of striking range before connecting with a big punch to end it.
Prediction: Stefan Struve to defeat Matt Mitrione via TKO in round 2.
Middleweight Bout: Uriah Hall (8-4) vs. Thiago Santos (9-2)
One of the five bouts featured on the UFC 175 main card pits Ultimate Fighter Season 17 finalist Uriah Hall against surging Brazilian Thiago Santos. Both of these men displayed brutal striking power in their last bouts which makes this one almost a gurantee to not make it to the judges scorecards. Hall hasn’t been stopped by strikes since a 2010 loss to current Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman while Santos was dropped by Cezar Mutante in his UFC debut and submitted in under a minute. I think the chin of Hall’s will be the more sturdy of the two and lead to a performance of the night winning bout for Hall.
Prediction: Uriah Hall to defeat Thiago Santos via knockout in round 1.
Bantamweight Bout: Marcus Brimage (6-2) vs. Russell Doane (13-3):
The opening bout on the UFC 175 main card features a bantamweight bout between former featherweight Marcus Brimage and UFC sophomore Russell Doane. Doane was impressive in his UFC debut victory over Leandro Issa, but I believe that Brimage is the brighter prospect of the two. Brimage was stopped by Connor McGregor in his last bout but I believe the drop in weight will be a great move for “The Bama Beast.”
Prediction: Marcus Brimage to defeat Russell Doane via decision.
Preliminary Card Quick Picks:
Urijah Faber to defeat Alex Caceres via second round submission.
Kenny Robertson to defeat Ildemar Alcantara via decision
Chris Camozzi to defeat Bruno Santos via decision
George Roop to defeat Rob Font via decision
Guilherme Vasconcelos to defeat Luke Zachrich via first round knockout
Kevin Casey to defeat Bubba Bush via first round submission