Weidman vs. Machida: Complete Guide to UFC 175 Fight Card

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterJune 29, 2014

Weidman vs. Machida: Complete Guide to UFC 175 Fight Card

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    Chris Weidman
    Chris WeidmanDavid Becker/Associated Press

    The UFC always ups its game for Independence Day weekend. This year is no exception.

    Despite what seems these days to be the inevitable angel's share—injuries, drug test failures and the dilution of talent because of a new abundance of events—exacting its cut off the top, UFC 175 still looks and feels relatively glamorous.

    The whole thing goes down Saturday from that little MMA oasis in the desert, Las Vegas, Nevada. Anchoring the event are two title fights: Chris Weidman defends his middleweight strap against Lyoto Machida, and Ronda Rousey looks to fight off another challenger in Alexis Davis.

    Perhaps the depth isn't what it normally is for a classic big-time UFC. Chael Sonnen and his failed drug test had something to do with that, as he was pulled from his fight with Vitor Belfort (and later retired). An injury to Junior dos Santos resulted in a match between Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson moving away from 175 to another card to bolster it in dos Santos' absence.

    But UFC 175 is still solid. Here's a look at the full slate, from Fight Pass to finale, including information capsules, viewing coordinates and predictions for each and every contest.

Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush

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    Kevin Casey (left)
    Kevin Casey (left)USA TODAY Sports

    Division: Middleweight
    Records: Kevin Casey (8-3), Bubba Bush (8-2)
    See it on: UFC Fight Pass (subscription required)

    Casey has shown throughout his career that he's excellent at jiu-jitsu and pretty much nothing else. He also has a tendency to gas like a three-day old birthday balloon.

    Bush is making his UFC debut, but he hasn't lost in two years and has shown a well-rounded skill set in the sport's minor leagues while carving out a reputation as a solid prospect.

    Here's guessing Bush weathers the proverbial storm and punishes Casey on the feet.


    Prediction: Bush, unanimous decision

Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos

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    Luke Zachrich
    Luke ZachrichUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Middleweight
    Records: Luke Zachrich (13-3), Guilherme Vasconcelos (3-1)
    See it on: UFC Fight Pass (subscription required)

    Zachrich didn't have much time to make an impression in his UFC debut. Caio Magalhaes knocked him out with body shots in only 44 seconds.

    The Cincinnati middleweight, a grappler first and foremost, has a good shot to make things right against Vasconcelos, who is also a submissions ace but, despite his time on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, is a pretty green fighter. He's also a converted welterweight. Zachrich will be bigger and stronger, and he should maul Vasconcelos into submission, metaphorically if not literally.


    Prediction: Zachrich, TKO, Rd. 2

George Roop vs. Rob Font

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    George Roop
    George RoopUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Bantamweight
    Records: George Roop (15-10-1), Rob Font (10-1)
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Everyone keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop vis-a-vis George Roop competing at bantamweight. When will the 6'1" Roop finally suffer the effects of that drastic weight cut?

    So far, skeptics are still waiting. He's 3-1 in this current stint in the division, and he's doing it his way, using his length to land dangerous kicks and punches from the outside while (for the most part) avoiding the knockout blow to which he's historically been susceptible.

    As for Font, well, I'm not sure what to think. This is his UFC debut, but he's on a nine-fight win streak and trains with well-regarded coach Mark DellaGrotte in Boston. He's also a typical featherweight moving down for this contest. He's mainly a kickboxer, meaning this should be a stand-up battle. And while he seems skilled, he's certainly no prodigy.

    Give me the experience, not to mention that huge bantamweight frame.


    Prediction: Roop, unanimous decision

Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos

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    Chris Camozzi
    Chris CamozziUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Middleweight
    Records: Chris Camozzi (19-7), Bruno Santos (13-1)
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Camozzi ain't complicated. His game is a walking cliché, in a good way. He just goes in there and swings for the fences and lets the chips fall where they may.

    Santos is a little different. He's a grinder's grinder, owning some solid jiu-jitsu skills but not being a dynamic (or any kind of) finisher.

    Camozzi has dropped two straight, but they were against two pretty good fighters in Jacare Souza and Lorenz Larkin. He should have what it takes to dirty it up his way and draw enough blood to sway the judges.


    Prediction: Camozzi, unanimous decision

Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara

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    Kenny Robertson
    Kenny RobertsonUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Welterweight
    Records: Kenny Robertson (13-3), Ildemar Alcantara (20-6)
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    Robertson has a place in hardcore fans' hearts for throwing that insane modified-kneebar thing on Brock Jardine last year. But he's carved out a real place for himself with a consistent wrestling-based submissions game.

    Alcantara is an extremely large welterweight and, like Santos, is mainly a grinder. Robertson should have a speed advantage and the skill set to catch Alcantara in something compromising.


    Prediction: Robertson, submission, Rd. 2

Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres

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    Urijah Faber
    Urijah FaberUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Bantamweight
    Records: Urijah Faber (30-7), Alex Caceres (10-5)
    See it on: Fox Sports 1

    The undercard main event is a bit of a mismatch. As of publishing time, Faber was an -1850 favorite on one betting site.

    Caceres' improved grappling was a revelation against Sergio Pettis. It earned him his second straight win (fifth if you count the one that became a No Contest after Caceres failed a drug test) and then earned him this shot with Faber.

    But it might be nothing doing against The California Kid. Faber should get Caceres horizontal, take his back with ease and lock in a rear-naked choke. Or maybe it'll be that signature guillotine. No matter. It all seems academic in this one. Sorry, Alex.


    Prediction: Faber, submission, Rd. 2

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

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    Marcus Brimage
    Marcus BrimageUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Bantamweight
    Records: Marcus Brimage (6-2), Russell Doane (13-3)
    See it on: Pay-per-view

    Brimage makes his UFC bantamweight debut here, and he'll be a fire hydrant at this weight class. However, Doane, a Hawaii native, may be the more dynamic fighter.  

    If Brimage can use his power wrestling to neutralize Doane's aggression, he should win. Part of me wants to call the upset, but I'll take the conservative pick with the more conservative fighter.


    Prediction: Brimage, unanimous decision

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

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    Uriah Hall
    Uriah HallUSA TODAY Sports

    Division: Middleweight
    Records: Uriah Hall (8-4), Thiago Santos (9-2)
    See it on: Pay-per-view

    Hall avoided the TUF bust label by finishing Chris Leben last December. But as we know now, that was Leben's last fight as a pro. So, it's not exactly convincing in retrospect.

    It's been a pretty mixed UFC bag for Santos, too. Not a shock when you realize his two-fight tenure has lasted a grand total of 100 seconds. In his Octagon intro, Cezar Ferreira choked him out in 47 seconds. His next bout, against Ronny Markes, was a 53-second TKO win.

    I think the chalk prevails again here, with Hall using superior movement and striking diversity to damage Santos from range. Will Hall's lackadaisical tendencies return? Who knows, but here's guessing he stays knuckled down.


    Prediction: Hall, TKO, Rd. 1

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

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    Stefan Struve
    Stefan StruveJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Division: Heavyweight
    Records: Stefan Struve (25-6), Matt Mitrione (7-3)
    See it on: Pay-per-view

    How can you not root for Struve here? Not possible. You must root for him.

    For the sake of argument, let's say you're some kind of cyborg and are unmoved by Struve's long road back from a career-threatening heart condition, diagnosed unexpectedly a year ago. From a sheer in-cage perspective, the heavyweight division is a better, more funner place (pardon my jargon) with Struve in the mix. The seven-foot Dutchman has never fought a boring fight, regardless of the phase.

    Mitrione, by contrast, seems to just be hanging on with grit and bailing wire. He has high name recognition thanks to TUF and his NFL career, but he hasn't evolved much during his tenure. That knockout of Shawn Jordan in his last fight was great and all, but it didn't do much to convince anyone of, well, much of anything.

    Struve uses his long body to great effect on the ground, which happens to be a place where Mitrione doesn't flourish. I'm looking for a tapout in this one, ring rust be damned.


    Prediction: Struve, submission, Rd. 2

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

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    Ronda Rousey
    Ronda RouseyIsaac Brekken/Associated Press

    Division: Women's bantamweight
    Records: Ronda Rousey (9-0), Alexis Davis (16-5)
    See it on: Pay-per-view

    Rousey looks like Emperor Palpatine in this photo, amirite? And that's fitting. She couldn't be any scarier if she shot blue lightning out of her fingers.

    I also wish there was a gambling site that took action on the number of times one of these previews will begin this week with "No disrespect to Alexis Davis..."

    Anyway, no disrespect to Alexis Davis, but Rousey would seem to have this in the bag. Davis has excellent grappling skills, but she can't match the power or skill that Rousey brings.

    Rousey by first-round armbar until further notice.


    Prediction: Rousey, submission, Rd. 1

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

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    Chris Weidman
    Chris WeidmanDavid Becker/Associated Press

    Division: Middleweight
    Records: Chris Weidman (11-0), Lyoto Machida (21-4)
    See it on: Pay-per-view

    This one really could go either way.

    Weidman, at his core, is all about the powerful takedown and the heavy ground-and-pound. Machida is a defensive fighter first, including in his takedown defense.

    We've seen other guys get Machida down (see Phil Davis), but that wasn't at middleweight. However, that's more than what we've seen done to Weidman, which is basically nothing.

    Both these guys are machines, but Machida has shown more vulnerability to the opponent's skill set. This one may not be high-octane, but watch for Weidman to land just enough stuff to steal a majority of the rounds and remain champion.


    Prediction: Weidman, unanimous decision 

    Scott Harris writes about MMA and other things for Bleacher Report and other places. Follow him on Twitter if you feel so inclined.