By Lance LeVan
(C) Chris Weidman (11-0-0) vs. (No. 3) Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-4-0)
This is a middleweight (185 pounds) title fight. Weidman has been the champion since July 2013 after beating long-reigning champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva. In his first title defense, Weidman had a rematch with Silva and beat him again. Machida has fought almost everyone there is to fight at middleweight. AND he’s beaten most of them. Machida worked his way up and eventually won the light heavyweight title in December 2011. So both of these fighters know what it is like to be on a stage this big. Neither of them will be starry-eyed or caught up in the aura of the Octagon. Both of these guys are high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners. Both of them are pretty good strikers also. Weidman has a strong background in wrestling and Machida has a very strong background in Karate. I think Machida will want to keep the fight standing, but he will have a hard time keeping Weidman from taking him down. In the end…as much as I really like Machida, I think Weidman is going to be too much for him to handle. My prediction: Weidman via TKO in the fourth round.
(C) Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey (9-0-0) vs. (No. 2) Alexis Davis (16-5-0)
This is a women’s bantamweight (135 pounds) title fight. As always, this will be an incredible fight to watch because of Rousey…but my interest is to see if this next challenger is going to do her homework and be able to defend against the champion’s arm-bar submission, which has been her signature move for eight of her nine professional fights. On paper, I am not really certain that Davis should be in this title bout. But Dana White and the UFC are finding it hard pressed to locate fighters who can challenge Rousey, a world-class Judo fighter. Davis is a black belt in jiujitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Trust me when I say this fight definitely will go to the ground. It will be very interesting to see these two battle it out on the mat. I have not seen much of Davis’ ground game, but having a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Cesar Gracie says a lot about her skills. I think a lot of this fight will come down to which fighter is more aggressive. I have to give that edge to Rousey. My prediction: Rousey wins this fight via submission (arm-bar) in the first round.
(No. 2) Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (30-7-0) vs. (No. 12) Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (10-5-0, 1NC)
This bantamweight fight is going to be extremely entertaining. Both of these fighters like to throw punches, even though Caceres has a high percentage of his fights being won by submission. Faber is one of those guys who has unlimited cardio and will push the pace for the entire three rounds. I am not sure that Caceres has fought anyone of Faber’s caliber yet…so I am very interested to see how he handles this type of pressure and experience. Faber will have to deal with someone a decade younger with something to prove. Since Faber is a wrestler and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Caceres is pretty skilled in submissions, this will be a very interesting fight on the ground. In the end, I have to give the fight to the wrestler (who has three times as many fights). My prediction: Faber wins by TKO in the second round.
Disagree with me about the UFC 175 matches? Let me know via Twitter @BlitzWeekly and we’ll see who has better picks the night of the fights.