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UFC 175 Preview – Weidman Vs Machida

UFC 175 preview

Check out our FGB UFC 175 preview.

All year, we’re keeping track of our picks for most of the UFC main card fights. In addition to the FGB crew, included in our picks will be John LaRocca, president of Premier Wrestling, Heidi Fang from MMA Fight Corner, and Alex Goff from Online World Of Wrestling.

Here’s how we’re doing so far:

Duan: 34-8
Jim: 31-11
GG: 30-12
John: 29-13
Heidi: 29-13
Alex: 27-15
Alan: 26-16

Duan continues to pace us and Jim passed me to take over second. Heidi and John are coming on strong and Alan had his best showing last month too.

In addition to picking the main card for UFC 175, we’re also choosing the main event for this weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter finale.

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

Duan: Marcus Brimage
Alan: Marcus Brimage
John: Russell Doane
Heidi: Russell Doane
Alex: Marcus Brimage
Jim: Russell Doane
GG: Marcus Brimage

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

Duan: Uriah Hall
Alan: Uriah Hall
John: Thiago Santos
Heidi: Uriah Hall
Alex: Uriah Hall
Jim: Uriah Hall
GG: Uriah Hall

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

Duan: Stefan Struve
Alan: Stefan Struve
John: Matt Mitrione
Heidi: Stefan Struve
Alex: Matt Mitrione
Jim: Stefan Struve
GG: Stefan Struve

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

Heidi: Ronda Rousey
Being the one to dethrone Ronda Rousey takes a superior skill-set and strong mental attitude. Though Alexis owns two black belts (one in BJJ and one in Japanese jiu-jitsu), she hasn’t convinced me that she’s ready for it mentally. In other words, she hasn’t sold me that she has the confidence to stop the most dominant woman we’ve seen in the octagon.

At UFC 170, she took a split decision over Jessica Eye, but the defeat was not convincing. Many thought Davis has faltered in the third round and let Eye back into the fight. Those kinds of errors will cost her the chance to win the title. What also resonates with me is that she’s lost twice to Sarah Kaufman. Kaufman lasted less than one minute against Rousey, leading me to believe if she can’t get past Kaufman, she won’t get past Rousey.

Alex: Ronda Rousey by 1st round submission
Alexis Davis is a tough and gritty fighter who has been through wars in her fighting career. On the Showtime Extreme portion of the Strikeforce show that was main evented by Ronda and Miesha Tate, Alexis and Sarah Kaufman had an amazing stand up war. Sarah Kaufman is one of the best women currently fighting in that division. Alexis Davis can beat Ronda Rousey. She has really good jiu jitsu and has been training with multiple time world champion Caio Terra. She is also willing to trade punches. Alexis Davis is well-rounded. I believe her biggest fear and what may cost her this fight is she is afraid Ronda will set the terms on where the fight takes place. One of the biggest stories coming into this fight is that Alexis is training wrestling with the members of Team Alpha Male. That tells me that she isn’t afraid of Ronda’s ground work (and she shouldn’t be), but she is afraid if Ronda sets the terms of the ground game it may be an early night.

Alexis, I’m afraid for you too, and I’m not sure if training with Team Alpha Male will help either.

Duan: Ronda Rousey
Alan: Ronda Rousey
John: Ronda Rousey
Jim: Ronda Rousey
GG: Ronda Rousey

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

Duan: Lyoto Machida by decision
Beating the best fighter in the world doesn’t always make you the best fighter in the world; sometimes not even if you do it twice.

Chris Weidman had the perfect style to take out Anderson Silva. That doesn’t mean he’s going to dominate all-comers the way Silva did. A great champion at some point will lose. That’s just what happens. Not everyone that beats one goes on to be great themselves. This fight is about finding out if Weidman has what it takes to make that step. And you can trust me on this one. They’re not making things easy for him.

In his first fresh challenger, he faces the guy who for me is his biggest threat in the division. Somebody who is a stylistic nightmare for nearly anybody, but perhaps especially so for someone with Weidman’s set of skills. The All-American is going to have a tough time utilizing that famed wrestling base he’s known for. Machida’s footwork should take away his balance, and Lyoto’s strength defending the takedown (which has always been astonishing anyway) has only been heightened at middleweight where he’s not giving up as much size. If Weidman wants to make something happen, he’s going to have to be able to at very least compete on the feet first. And I don’t think he can do it. The Dragon becomes a two-time and two-weight world champion on Saturday.

Alan: Chris Weidman by decision
Weidman vs. Machida is honestly one of the most interesting title fights in a long time for me. The main reason I feel this way is because it will tell us, with pretty much 100% clarity, just how great of a champion Chris Weidman is. Lyoto Machida is the ultimate barometer. If you can dictate a fight against him and make it your own then I think that makes you very special and puts you in an elite class. Lyoto is as tricky as they come, but Weidman has the perfect type of mentality for dealing with a tricky fighter. He won’t panic, he won’t get flustered and I think he’ll stay patient. Now this could result in a boring fight, but that’s always a possibility with Lyoto. One of the keys to this fight for me is actually Ray Llongo, Weidman’s striking coach. Llongo is a guy who I’ve always been extremely high on. He’s kind of a throwback but he’s by no means stuck in the past. I get the impression that he’s able to break down even the most complex striking style into it’s simplest form. I think the advice he gives Weidman between rounds will be crucial and I think it will lead to Chris taking a hold of the fight in the mid-to-late rounds.

John: Chris Weidman
Heidi: Chris Weidman
Alex: Lyoto Machida
Jim: Chris Weidman
GG: Chris Weidman

Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn

GG: Frankie Edgar by decision
When they fought twice in 2010, things were much different. BJ Penn looked to be a wrecking machine at lightweight. He impressively ran through Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez before facing Frankie Edgar who was more of an up and comer than well known fighter. But on those two occasions in 2010, Edgar was the better fighter and more importantly, the one on the rise. Penn’s career took an even further detour as he went back up to welterweight.

But this fight is at featherweight, a weight that Penn has never fought at and it’s been over a year and a half since he’s been in the octagon. Against a lesser fighter than Edgar, it would be tough enough for Penn who is no longer the young prodigy he once was. The one chance that Penn does have is that Edgar also hasn’t fought in over a year. But this is the same Edgar who gave Jose Aldo a tough fight and lost to Benson Henderson twice in close fights (even though I think he clearly won one of those). One guy is competing with the top of the division while the other guy seems to be trying to hold on. BJ Penn is one of my favorite fighters, but I don’t see him doing well here. I think Edgar will take him to a decision, but doing major damage to him in the process.

Duan: Frankie Edgar
Alan: Frankie Edgar
John: Frankie Edgar
Heidi: Frankie Edgar
Alex: Frankie Edgar
Jim: Frankie Edgar

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