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UFC 175 Preview

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Event: UFC 175
Date: July 5, 2014
Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center
City: Las Vegas, Nevada

Middleweight Title Bout: Chris Weidman (11-0) vs. Lyoto Machida (21-4)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Weidman -185, Machida +150

Undefeated Chris Weidman looks to retain his middleweight championship as he goes up against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Weidman has never lost in the octagon, with his past two victories coming against one of the UFC’s best fighters of all time, Anderson Silva. However, there are some who still question how great Weidman truly is. Both of those fights ended early in the second round, with the last one ending with Silva breaking his leg while kicking Weidman. However, every time Weidman has entered the octagon, he has taken care of business. Besides the two wins against Silva, he also has victories against Mark Munoz and Demian Maia. However, he will be facing another very difficult matchup as he goes toe-to-toe with Lyoto Machida.

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"The Dragon" Machida has gotten things back on track, winning his past two fights after a loss to Phil Davis. In his last victory against Gegard Mousasi on Feb. 15, he lost the significant striking advantage 36-28 and had to hang on to get the unanimous decision victory. The 36-year-old Machida has a ton of experience and has been in many big fights in his career, and this may be the last opportunity for him to get a chance at a belt. 

Of his 11 career victories, Weidman has won by knockout in five of those matches. He also has three wins by both submission and decision, with five of his victories coming in the first round. The 30-year-old New York native has a ton of talent, and has the ability to win any kind of match. Weidman will have a big advantage when it comes to striking, landing 3.15 significant strikes per minute in his career, compared to just 2.64 for Machida. While he is not as accurate landing those strikes (55% for Machida, 42% for Weidman), he is extremely powerful with his punches.

Weidman also has a huge advantage when it comes to grappling, posting a takedown average of 4.0, compared to just 1.5 for Machida. Weidman was a two-time All-American wrestler at Hofstra University and defeated both Phil Davis and Ryan Bader in his college wrestling career. Saturday is the opportunity for the 6-foot-2 Weidman (one inch taller than Machida) to quiet his critics, however, it will not be easy against Machida.

"The Dragon" Machida has 21 victories in his career, with 11 of those wins coming by way of decision. His conditioning is terrific for the sport, where he has the cardio to go the entire fight with nearly anybody in the sport. However, the Brazilian has shown the ability to win any match, tallying eight knockout victories in his career, with another two coming by way of submission. The biggest advantage Machida has is the experience in the sport. Many times in UFC championship matches, the experience between the fighters heavily favors the champion. However, this is not the case in this match, as Machida has been in more big fights than Weidman in his career. At 36 years old, this may be Machida’s final opportunity to get the title. If he is able to take this fight into the championship rounds, then he has a real chance to seize the middleweight belt.

Women's Bantamweight Title Bout: Ronda Rousey (9-0) vs. Alexis Davis (16-5)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Rousey -1400, Davis +750

Ronda Rousey looks to continue her MMA dominance as she defends her bantamweight title belt against Alexis Davis at UFC 175 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

For the first time in her career, Rousey is coming off a victory by way of something besides an armbar. In her last match against Sara McMann on Feb. 22, she won in the first round by way of knees to the body. Of her nine career fights -- all Rousey victories -- only a match against Miesha Tate at UFC 168 made it past the first round. Rousey has proven in her career to be too strong for her opponents, eventually taking them to the ground to get the armabr locked in. The one thing that concerns some people about Rousey is how much does she care about the sport. She has already said that she will be taking a long break after this match, so there could be some concerns on her focus for this match.

Her opponent, Alexis Davis is coming off a very difficult victory against Jessica Eye at UFC 170. She was able to get her fifth straight win, but by way of split decision. For Davis, she has an opportunity to become the first fighter to defeat Rousey, but it is going to take a big-time effort from Davis. She is a terrific athlete, who is as well of a conditioned athlete as there is in women’s UFC. However, she can’t afford to let the magnitude of this fight to get the best of her. 

Of her nine career victories, eight of "Rowdy" Rousey’s wins have come by submission. All eight of those wins have come by way of armbar, with her only other victory being the knockout victory against Sara McMann in her last match. As the case is in any match Rousey is in, she will have a huge advantage in the grappling department. Rousey averages an astonishing 7.73 takedown average, compared to just 0.86 for Davis. Rousey is so strong that she simply overpowers her opponents and gets them to the ground. Any time she gets her opponent to the ground, she has a great chance of locking in the armbar. While the 27-year-old California native has not won a lot of matches by knockout, she has the powerful fists to win a fight in that fashion. If Rousey is focused and locked in on this fight, it will be difficult for Davis to get the win. However, in the UFC there is always a chance, and Davis must use her striking ability.

Davis has 16 wins in her career, with seven of those wins coming by both submission and decision, with her other two victories coming by knockout. She has prevailed in eight of her past nine bouts with the lone defeat coming by majority decision to Sarah Kaufman in what many regard as one of the best fights in the history of women's MMA. However, the Canadian-born Davis will have an advantage over her opponent in significant strikes per minute, averaging 4.97 compared to 3.13 for Rousey, and holds the slight striking defense edge (53% to 52%). She has a takedown defense rate of 57%, but she absolutely has to keep this fight on her feet. If the 5-foot-6 Davis is able to stand with the 5-foot-7 Rousey, then she has a chance to get the win. However, if she gets taken down to the mat, then her chances of winning may fall with her.

Ohter UFC 175 Bouts

Odds provided by Sportsbook.ag:

Middleweight Matchup
Luke Zachrich +150
Guilherme Vasconcelos -185

Middleweight Matchup
Bubba Bush -185
Kevin Casey +150

Bantamweight Matchup
George Roop -230
Rob Font +185

Middleweight Matchup
Chris Camozzi -320
Bruno Santos +240

Welterweight Matchup
Ildemar Alcantara -150
Kenny Robertson +120

Bantamweight Matchup
Urijah Faber -1200
Alex Caceres +700

Bantamweight Matchup
Marcus Brimage -115
Russell Doane -115

Middleweight Matchup
Uriah Hall -400
Thiago Santos +300

Heavyweight Matchup
Stefan Struve -155
Matt Mitrione +125

  
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