UFC 175 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida
This is a very interesting title fight and will be a good test to see whether Weidman has what it takes to be a permanent fixture at the summit of the middleweight division.
Weidman is well rounded, with wrestling being his main calling card, but his striking is also up to speed and he backs that up with a good gas tank that allows him to push the pace and pressure his opponents for the duration of the fight.
So far he’s been successful with that, but he’s never fought anyone quite like Machida before who’s a unique puzzle that few fighters have been able to solve. The Brazilian’s sense of range, movement and timing will be invaluable against Weidman, allowing him to limit the champions takedowns while also having ample opportunities to utilize his natural counter-striking style where his speed advantage will pay dividends.
I do favor Machida to win by decision here, but it’s always risky counting on ‘The Dragon’ to get the nod on the judges scorecards as he usually only does ‘just enough’, and if Weidman is constantly trying to walk him down and looks like the busier fighter then that could swing the fight in his favor in some judges eyes.
Lyoto Machida to win by decision.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis
Davis will be hoping that her black belt in BJJ will help her fend off Rousey’s infamous fight-ending armbar submission in this title fight, giving her a chance to test what else Rousey has in her locker.
Rousey’s hands are still a work in progress – she looks good in training, but in her past fights she has been found to be quite hittable. Davis is tough, but I don’t thinks she has the offensive output or power to really threaten her though.
In the end though this fight will boil down to whether Davis can stop two things – Rousey’s judo throws and the inevitable armbar attempt that will follow. Davis is good from the clinch and skilled on the mat, but in my opinion not good or skilled enough to stop this fight going the same way as all of Rousey’s other previous fights inside of three rounds at most.
Ronda Rousey to win by submission in Rd2.
Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione
The fact that Struve has been out of the Octagon for over a year with a potentially career-ending heart issue is certainly a cause for concern heading into this fight, as is the fact that his already questionable chin was dismantled by Mark Hunt last time out.
That’s a real concern against a hard-hitter like Mitrione who also moves fairly well for a heavyweight and has good reach. Those last two points are significant as Struve doesn’t use range well at all despite his height and reach advantage.
So, if Struve opts to stand with Mitrione for long it could end badly for him. Luckily his real strength is in his ground game with submissions and that happens to be his opponent’s biggest weakness which leads me to lean towards the ‘ Skyscraper’ emerging as the winner here, though it concerns me that he’ll get sucked into a stand-up battle.
Stefan Struve to win by submission in Rd1.
Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Hall is one of the most enigmatic fighters on the UFC roster – clearly a highly talented striker and a very good athlete, yet painfully lacking in the killer instinct required to succeed at the top level. Yet, at the same time he managed to make the ultra-tough Chris Leben quit on his stool after a single round last time out.
Santos doesn’t have the same level of talent as Hall, but he is a fairly well-rounded fighter who’s willing to throw himself into the heat of battle and be aggressive, so he’ll be a good test for Hall to see if he’s overcome his apparent mental block.
It always feels like a gamble picking Hall, but I’m going to take it here as I do believe he’s the better fighter and even if he doesn’t put his foot on the accelerator, he should still be able to outstrike Santos to a win on the scorecards.
Uriah Hall to win by decision.
Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
This is a fairly well matched fight. Brimage is making his bantamweight debut and he could end up being one of the harder hitters in the weight class and is quick too.
Doane looked good in his UFC debut and long with being a submission threat on the mat he’s also shown himself to be dangerous in the striking department at times as well.
He hasn’t fought the same level of competition as Brimage though, so this is a step up for him and while there are some concerns over Brimage’s long layoff I believe he’s better than his quick loss to Conor McGregor last time out would suggest and can claim a TKO stoppage here.
Marcus Brimage to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Bruno Santos vs. Chris Camozzi
George Roop vs. Rob Font
Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush