UFC 175 and TUF 19 Finale: Main Card Staff Predictions

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterJuly 4, 2014

UFC 175 and TUF 19 Finale: Main Card Staff Predictions

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    Chris Weidman
    Chris WeidmanDavid Becker/Associated Press

    If you like MMA, you're going to enjoy this weekend.

    More than 30 fights go down over the Independence Day holiday, and none is bigger than Chris Weidman's UFC middleweight title defense against Lyoto Machida.

    Machida has looked nothing less than spectacular since moving down to 185 pounds, and a win over Weidman would render him a rare bird: a dual-division champ.

    But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. There's lots of action, almost head-spinningly so. Good thing Bleacher Report has our crack staff team to break down both UFC 175 and the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 19.

    Riley "Kobra" Kontek. Craig "Insert Nickname" Amos. James "The Athlete" MacDonald. Sean "The Salmon" Smith. And myself, Scott Harris. We predict because we care.

Latest 2014 Standings

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    Demetrious Johnson, doing the opposite of what Scott Harris is doing right now.
    Demetrious Johnson, doing the opposite of what Scott Harris is doing right now.USA TODAY Sports

    No two ways about it: It hasn't been a good run lately for your friend and neighbor Mr. Harris. I'm only one fight away from last place.

    Meanwhile, that villainous fiend Mr. Kontek is only lengthening his lead.

    Riley Kontek: 74-37-1

    Craig Amos: 72-39-1

    James MacDonald: 69-42-1

    Scott Harris: 66-45-1

    Sean Smith: 65-46-1

TUF 19 Finale Main Card Picks

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    Frankie Edgar
    Frankie EdgarUSA TODAY Sports

    Here are the quick picks for The Ultimate Fighter 19.

     

    Riley Kontek

    Frankie Edgar def. BJ Penn

    Corey Anderson def. Matt Van Buren

    Eddie Gordon def. Dhiego Lima

    Guto Inocente def. Derrick Lewis

    Justin Scoggins def. Dustin Ortiz

     

    Sean Smith

    Edgar def. Penn

    Anderson def. Van Buren

    Lima def. Gordon

    Lewis def. Inocente

    Scoggins def. Ortiz

     

    James MacDonald

    Penn def. Edgar

    Anderson def. Van Buren

    Lima def. Gordon

    Inocente def. Lewis

    Scoggins def. Ortiz

     

    Scott Harris

    Edgar def. Penn

    Anderson def. Van Buren

    Lima def. Gordon

    Lewis def. Inocente

    Scoggins def. Ortiz

     

    Craig Amos

    Edgar def. Penn

    Anderson def. Van Buren

    Lima def. Gordon

    Lewis def. Inocente

    Scoggins def. Ortiz

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    Kontek

    Machida has been a stud at middleweight. It's the weight class he should have been at the whole time. That being said, the only thing he's not elite at is wrestling, and that's Weidman's strength. Weidman is a star who is only getting better and should survive some sticky situations to win here.

    Weidman, Unanimous decision

     

    Smith

    Machida is tough against wrestlers. However, Jon Jones and Phil Davis solved the puzzle one way or another. Besides, Weidman has shown he's more than a wrestler at this point, and it's hard to pick against the All-American on Independence Day Weekend.

    Weidman, Unanimous decision

     

    Amos

    I could really see this match going either way, with Machida picking off Weidman or Weidman dictating the fight to Machida. After wrestling with it for a bit, I'll go with Wiedman to retain his title.

    Weidman, Unanimous decision

     

    MacDonald

    This is a rough matchup for Weidman. Perhaps his biggest challenge will be actually getting a hold of Machida. Few have been able to do it consistently. If he can’t get the fight to the mat, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will have the advantage on the feet. The smart money would be on Machida, but we’ve seen his conservative striking style work against him in the past. I’m leaning toward Weidman grinding down the challenger over five rounds.

    Weidman, Unanimous decision

     

    Harris

    Machida has shown that he can be taken down. Weidman hasn't displayed any vulnerability at all, while proving that takedowns are a specialty of his. For those simple reasons, you have to go with Weidman.

    Weidman, Unanimous decision

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kontek

    Alexis Davis is a jiu-jitsu black belt, and Ronda Rousey is arguably the best grappler in women's MMA. It's a collision of awesome proportions. Davis is very skilled on the ground, but Rousey has tapped out a jiu-jitsu black belt in the past by the name of Ediane Gomes. Davis is good, but Rousey is a future legend.

    Rousey, Submission, Rd. 1

     

    Smith

    Some day, somebody will beat Rousey. Saturday isn't that day. Rousey has beaten better strikers and grapplers than Davis and won't have much trouble retaining her championship this weekend. That said, Davis is as well-rounded and tough as they come, so she could take Rousey into uncharted territory.

    Rousey, Unanimous decision

     

    Amos

    It's hard not to back Davis here given the pique of patriotism stirred up by the UFC's sublimely termed "Red, White and Fight Week," cleverly matching the essence of their business with the colors of the Canadian flag, and during the week of Canada Day no less. What's that? The whole promotion was an American thing built around Independence Day? Better pick Rousey then.

    Rousey, Submission, Rd. 2

     

    MacDonald

    Many people are predicting a squash match here. However, the only way I see Davis getting mauled is if this turns into a prolonged clinch battle. If this becomes a striking battle or grappling match, you would have to be out of your mind to think that Rousey will have her way with the challenger. I’ve been stung in the past by not going with my instincts, and I still haven’t learned my lesson. I’m taking Rousey.

    Rousey, TKO, Rd. 3

     

    Harris

    Is there a quieter fighter in the UFC than Alexis Davis? I don't think so. That's not directly relevant, is it? The UFC won't have to worry about it after UFC 175. Though Davis is a fine grappler, she will bite the dust just like everyone else. I'll give her a round because I'm in a giving mood.

    Rousey, Submission, Rd. 2

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Kontek

    Stefan Struve may have the best story in sports. An enlarged heart almost derailed his career, but he is back with a clean bill of health. That said, he faces an athletic, quick and power-punching heavyweight in Matt Mitrione. Struve will either be refreshed or have ring rust. Either way, he is more skilled on the ground and will use his great size advantage on Mitrione.

    Struve, Submission, Rd. 2

     

    Smith

    An active Struve would be a monstrous favorite over Mitrione, but it's hard to tell how Skyscraper will react after a 16-month hiatus. Mitrione has some scary power, especially in a matchup with a fighter who has suffered multiple knockout losses inside the Octagon. However, Struve does appear to have more ways to win, as his reach and ground game make him a tough opponent for most heavyweights.

    Struve, Submission, Rd. 2

     

    Amos

    Neither Struve nor Mitrione is Mr. Consistent, and Struve's long layoff really obscures things even further. Yet when I look at each fighter's resume, it becomes clear who has been the better competitor to this point, and that is unquestionably Struve.

    Struve, Submission, Rd. 2

     

    MacDonald

    It’s terrific to see Struve back competing. Like Joe Ellenberger, his career looked to be the least of his worries at one stage. How will he look on fight night? I’m expecting to see some rust, but he’ll get Mitrione to the ground eventually and earn the tap.

    Struve, Submission, Rd. 3

     

    Harris

    This one's pretty open and shut. Struve has shown he can use his long body to constrict opponents on the ground and submit them. Mitrione has shown he cannot defend such things. His knockout of Shawn Jordan was impressive, but he won't get that chance against Struve.

    Struve, Submission, Rd. 1

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Kontek

    We finally got to see the killer Uriah Hall that we got to know on TUF 17 in his last fight against Chris Leben. That Hall was missing in his first two UFC outings, and it's great to have this version back. Thiago Santos scored a great knockout in his latest outing but will be overwhelmed by Hall's superior standup and wrestling.

    Hall, KO, Rd. 1

     

    Smith

    This is a fun matchup between up-and-coming strikers. While Santos looked great against Ronny Markes, I do feel Hall is the more dangerous striker in all situations. He's also the better wrestler, which could prove useful should Santos turn out tougher than expected in the striking department.

    Hall, TKO, Rd. 1 

     

    Amos

    I'm still not convinced that Hall has totally transformed himself into the contender we all thought he would be just because he beat what was left of Chris Leben. However, Hall is an intelligent guy, and he'll recognize that it's in his best interest to mix things up against Santos. The result should be a nice, balanced attack that keeps Santos on the defensive.

    Hall, TKO, Rd. 2

     

    MacDonald

    What are we going to see from Hall on Saturday? Is he going to be all bro-hugs and glove touches, or is he going to come out with bad intentions? If he’s all business, as I expect him to be against Santos, I see only one winner.

    Hall, KO, Rd. 1

     

    Harris

    Looks like it's unanimous. Hall will come out firing because he knows that's what he has to do to keep a job in the UFC. He's too talented to fall to a grinder/brawler like Santos. He will throw something wild and land it.

    Hall, TKO, Rd. 2

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Kontek

    Marcus Brimage is going to be a huge bantamweight. But how will that weight cut be on his body? Russell Doane is very underrated and is coming off a submission of a BJJ black belt in Leandro Issa. He will weather the early storm to score a victory down the stretch. 

    Doane, Unanimous decision

     

    Smith

    If only to give us one easier prediction, I wish Urijah Faber and Alex Caceres were competing on the main card. Instead, fellow bantamweights Brimage and Doane will meet in the UFC 175 main card opener. Doane looked good in his UFC debut, submitting Leandro Issa, but Brimage has shut down skilled grapplers like Jimy Hettes on the ground and should be able to do enough to pick up a win in this matchup.

    Brimage, Unanimous decision

     

    Amos

    Isn't it weird that Marcus Brimage is the most famous guy in this pairing and the fight made it to the main card over an Urijah Faber bout? Oh, what a world. Anyway, Doane looked good in his UFC debut, but Brimage has sent up-and-comers packing before (excluding Conor McGregor, of course).

    Brimage, Unanimous decision

     

    MacDonald

    The outcome of this fight may depend on how Brimage adapts to his new weight class. However, I see his physicality being too much for Doane. I’m looking for Brimage to make a statement Saturday night.

    Brimage, TKO, Rd. 2

     

    Harris

    Brimage is going to be a load at bantamweight. He will outwrestle Doane and wash out the bitter taste of that Conor McGregor loss once and for all.

    Brimage, Unanimous decision