UFC 175 Play: Chris Weidman (-190) vs Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (+175)

Chris WeidmanUFC 175 Date: July 5, 2014 Arena: Mandalay Bay Events Center City: Las Vegas, NV Middleweight title bout: Chris Weidman (-190) vs Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (+175) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC 175 will be a middleweight title fight between the champion Chris Weidman and the challenger Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, with the champion being a favorite to win at -190 ($190 to win $100) and the challenger being a betting underdog at +175 ($100 to win $175) at Several Bookmakerss. Chris Weidman (11-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) is coming off back-to-back second round T/KO victories over arguably the greatest fighter to ever compete in mixed martial arts, Anderson “The Spider” Silva. In the first fight, he defeated Silva for the title, catching the Brazilian while he was goofing around as he had often done in the past. In the rematch, Weidman used his wrestling to dominate the first round, then utilized a perfectly-timed kick-check as the former middleweight champion was attempting a heavy leg kick. The result was a broken shin, causing Silva to drop to the mat and hold his leg as he shrieked in pure pain and agony. Weidman remains undefeated in the sport, holding victories over Mark Munoz, Demian Maia and Urijah Hall on his resume, though his knockout of Hall came in the regional circuit, while the Muniz and Maia wins were inside the Octagon. Riding an 11-fight winning streak, he will be looking to extend it to 12 in a row against Machida, in what will be the Long Island native’s second successful title defense. The 30-year old is a very talented wrestler who was a two-time Division I All-American at Hofstra University, defeating the likes of light heavyweights Ryan Bader and Phil Davis during his college years. He works great takedowns and does an excellent job of using his strikes to set-up said takedowns. He is very dominant on the mat and very from top position. Weidman makes excellent transitions on the mat, advancing from position to position. He has a powerful ground and pound attack, from where he likes to use his heavy fists and vicious elbows. To compliment his wrestling, the Serra-Longo product also has an incredible Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, and is arguably one of the best submission artists in the UFC’s middleweight division. Weidman is, in general, a tremendous grappler, both offensively and defensively. He has a great sprawl and fantastic takedown defense, being capable of keeping his fights on the feet whenever preferring to do so. The Long-Island native is very aggressive inside the cage and likes to be the aggressor pushing the pace. He had rudimentary striking when we first saw him compete inside the Octagon, but has made drastic improvements from bout to bout and is now a completely different fighter when it comes to his stand-up. He is an orthodox striker who has developed a solid boxing game and uses his hooks really well, especially his left, which he used to knockout Silva in their first fight. Weidman has great footwork, a strong chin and packs serious power in his hands. He has a heavy right hand and likes to throw the over-hand right. He has a nice jab and is very good at working counters. The Ring of Combat veteran has a great uppercut and likes to implement his elbows on the feet, which he used to knock out Munoz in their outing. Weidman puts together some solid and effective combinations on the feet, and he has been developing his kicking game, doing a good job of working inside leg kicks and throwing high kicks. Having never seen a fourth round in a fight, the Serra-Longer trained fighter’s cardio is certainly a question mark going into this bout, especially considering the fact that he had knee surgery just three months ago. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 36 nearly five months and is now 2-0 since dropping down to the middleweight division, which is the weight class he clearly belongs in, as he was undersized at light heavyweight and didn’t need to cut weight for his fights. First, “The Dragon” knocked out “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz with a head-kick in his 185-pound debut, then followed it up with the aforementioned unanimous decision win over a game Gegard Mousasi. Believing this is the weight class he belongs in and in which he is the best, Machida will be looking to go 3-0 in the division tonight and going on a very short list of fighters who have managed to win titles in two different divisions. “The Dragon” is a very talented striker with a bit of an unorthodox Karate style that he has definitely made his own. He is a fighter who remains very calm and collected. He is patient on the feet, does not get over-aggressive, and looks for his opportunities to attack. Machida is very accurate and calculated with his striking. He does not waste any strikes. He is good when pushing the pace and being the aggressor, but he is also an incredible counter-striker. The Brazilian likes to bait opponents into his traps; he often frustrates his opponents into making mistakes he capitalizes on, which is how he has earned many of the knockouts in his professional mixed martial arts career. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has great striking defense and uses his distance really well. He likes to be flashy at times, as was evident with his crescent kick knockout of veteran hall of famer Randy Couture, and more recently a flying knee he nearly hurt Phil Davis with. He likes working his knees, especially the left knee to the body. Machida has tremendous takedown defense, as he has very strong hips and a solid base, thanks to time spent training as a sumo wrestler long before getting involved in mixed martial arts. The Brazilian works excellent kicks, including a solid front kick, and a variety of head-kicks, like the one he used in his aforementioned knockout of Munoz. Training out of Black House MMA in Los Angeles, CA, Machida is generally a well-conditioned fighter and will likely have the edge in that department heading into this five round tilt. Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I think Weidman is overall the superior mixed martial artist and is arguably the toughest opponent Machida has ever faced, aside from Jon Jones. The only question is whether Weidman is 100% or not; he likely isn’t, considering his recent knee issues, but I feel even at 80%, he will be able to defeat Machida. Just because he is the better fighter does not mean he will win this fight, but it is the reason I am backing him with my wallet. I think he only loses this fight is he gets caught and knocked out, which I don’t see happening; or if he wins the first two rounds, gasses, and loses the next three, which I could see happening, but don’t think it will. I think more realistically, he will manage to win the first three rounds, then survive the fourth and fifth to take home a unanimous 48-47 nod from the judges. Gabe’s Call: Weidman by Submission (guillotine choke, 2:22 round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Weidman (-190) 7.6u to win 4u

Written by Gabe Killian

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