UFC 175 Fight Breakdown: Chris Weidman (-185) vs. Lyoto Machida (+160)

Chris Weidman The main event of UFC 175 is a five-round title fight between UFC middleweight champion Chris “All-American” Weidman and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Weidman as a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) while Machida is a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Weidman at -150 and Machida at +110, meaning the action is on the favorite, Weidman, to retain his title. This is a very tough fight to call but I slightly lean towards Weidman and understand why the public is backing him. Here’s why. Weidman (11-0) is the current UFC middleweight champion. At 30 years of age, Weidman has really carved out a nice career for himself so far, going 7-0 in the UFC with two wins over Anderson Silva as well as victories over Mark Munoz, Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor, Jesse Bongfeldt and Alessio Sakara to cement his place as the top 185er on the planet. With a mix of high-level wrestling, slick submissions and wicked power in his strikes, Weidman is a dangerous matchup for anyone in the division and after beating Silva twice is no doubt the top guy in his weight class. He was originally set to fight Vitor Belfort, but after Belfort couldn’t use TRT he was pulled from the fight and replaced by Machida, who presents a very intriguing matchup for the champ. Although Weidman will have a wrestling advantage like he always does, Machida is great at defending takedowns and it’s likely he won’t clown around as much as Silva did in their fights when the fight stays standing. Still, Weidman has a grappling edge, and in MMA wrestling has proven dominant so it makes sense that the champ enters the fight as the favorite. Machida (21-4) is the former UFC light heavyweight champion. The 36 year old is 2-0 since dropping down to 185lbs with huge wins over Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz that earned him his shot at the title. Overall he is 13-4 in the UFC with wins over Shogun Rua, Dan Henderson, Ryan Bader, Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva and Tito Ortiz, amongst others, and when it’s all said and done he will likely be placed in the UFC Hall of Fame. Known for his deadly striking, Machida has wicked knockout power in his hands and feet and with his elusive karate style he’s a hard guy for anyone to deal with. He also has very good wrestling, underrated actually, and he uses his defensive wrestling to keep fights standing and outstrike his opponents on the feet en route to victories. If there’s any flaw in Machida’s game it’s that his style tends to leave him open to controversies on the judges’ scorecards, and if the fight with Weidman goes the full five that could happen once again. But it’s more likely someone gets finished, and since Weidman is undefeated so far, it makes sense Machida is the underdog, although of course he can never be counted out. I believe Weidman will be able to get Machida in the clinch, get him down to the floor, and win the fight with ground and pound for a TKO finish to retain the UFC middleweight championship. I’m going to pass on Weidman at -185 as I believe this is a very close fight and I could see Machida earning the upset. However, I do like the total here of UNDER 4.5 rounds at -155. I think this fight ends inside the distance either way so at only a slight amount of juice I think there’s value on that total and believe that is a better play than either moneyline at their current prices.

Written by Adam Martin.

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