UFC 175 is almost here and just like any other fight card – everyone has an opinion. We suggest that you check out what everyone else has to say about the fights on this card before you read what is said here. The Fight Wolff and the Reno Ghost should always be your end all be all when it comes to fight picks. I take that back. Your first impression should always be the end all, be all. We are merely here to entertain you and be awesome. Proceed with caution.
Main Card (PPV – 10 p.m. ET)
Dwayne Wolff: We will learn a lot about Chris Weidman in this fight. Lyoto Machida will test his patience and ability to stick to his game plan. He did that against Anderson Silva in their short fights but Machida is different and controls the space much better against wrestlers. They key for Weidman will be getting off first and throwing off Machida’s timing.
I like Machida in this fight. Look for him to control the distance and either catch Weidman coming in, or take a UD.
Dave Reno: Thank the MMA Gods that Vitor Belfort was taken out of this fight. All of the recent TRT and performance enhancing drug talk surrounding MMA has been so nauseating. It’s refreshing to see that the biggest main event of the year won’t be clouded by it.
Although I’ve picked at right around a 63% clip since starting this just over 4 years ago, I just cannot seem to figure out Chris Weidman. I’m 2-5 so far picking his fights. He’s 7-0. Tomorrow night I’m picking against him once again. Based on the numbers – you’ll probably win some money if you just avoid what I’m about to say.
Weidman is a great champion and beating Anderson twice gives him the opportunity to become one of the greatest fighters, if not thee, of all-time. He has quite the test in front of him in the form of the proverbial puzzle himself, Lyoto Machida. I love Weidman’s arrogance, his cockiness, and the way he finds ways to finish his opponents in such a nasty fashion. I just think Machida is a bad match up for him. One of the biggest differences between Silva and Machida is takedown defense. If you have a great wrestling pedigree and can close the distance on Silva you can take him down. Machida is a different story. He also has a very active guard and has the hips to bring things back to the feet immediately after being taken down. Also, similar to Anderson, his counter striking is the stuff that .gif makers dreams are made of. And most importantly, he doesn’t clown his opponents. Silva got away with it for years and paid the ultimate price in his first fight against Weidman. Machida won’t make that same mistake.
If this was a three round fight I may reconsider. That said, Machida was made for five round fights. After a hard-fought 15 minutes between the top two middleweights in the game today, Lyoto Machida knocks Chris Weidman out cold in the championship rounds to become the 3rd two division champion in UFC history.
Dwayne Wolff: This is Ronda Rousey’s toughest fight in her short career. Alexis Davis is well-rounded and the best striker Ronda has faced. Is Davis good enough to beat Ronda? Is she nasty enough? That is the thing that jumps out watching them fight. Ronda is always looking to finish and has put herself in harm’s way in the past. Ronda also learns from those mistakes and does not press for the first round finish but instead lets it come to her now.
Davis fights technically clean fights with heart and toughness. She brings strong striking based in Muay Thai and is a BJJ black belt and has trained some Japanese judo. If Davis can control the distance, get up quickly when she is taken down and pick Ronda a part she can win the title.
Have to go with Ronda‘s nastiness in this fight in one of the best of fights of the weekend.
Dave Reno: Davis hasn’t had a true loss since 2010. I was at the Kaufman fight in Columbus and I feel like it could’ve gone either way. Since the Kaufman fight, Davis has been a monster. She’s posted a record of 5-0 against a who’s who of WMMA. Her RNC choke ‘go to sleep’ finish of Shayna Baszler still haunts me. Davis is a dirty fighter. When I say that I don’t mean that she doesn’t follow the rules or that she needs a good talking to before she enters the cage. Maybe the word I’m looking for is gritty. Elbows, knees, dirty boxing from the clinch, blood…etc., these are just a few words/actions that come to mind when we think of the Ally-Gator. Davis can beat anyone in the world at 125, 135, or 145 on any given Saturday. I just don’t see how she beats Ronda Rousey on July 5th, 2014.
Rousey isn’t even in her prime. Hell, the way she talks she’s likely to retire before her prime. When it comes to juggling Hollywood, the UFC, and all of the press that comes along with it – I just don’t see this phasing your UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Actually, I feel like she kind of thrives on it. The focus, the determination, and the downright nastiness is there whether the cameras are on or off. If you look up Ronda Rousey in the dictionary you will not find the word fake anywhere near her name. One word you will find though is champion. And she will retain on Saturday night via armbar.
Dwayne Wolff: This is a simple one for me. Stefan Struve is too tall and good for Matt Mitrione. Look for Struve to get the early first round TKO in his return to the octagon.
Dave Reno: This is the perfect heavyweight fight to make you question taking a piss before the two title fights go down. I can’t tell you with confidence who I think is going to win. Struve is coming back from some scary health problems involving his beautiful fighting heart and Mitrione is one of those finish or be finished guys. Speaking of finish or be finished, 29 of Struve’s 31 fights have ended by way of the finish. This one will be no different. Struve via submission.
Dwayne Wolff: Someone is going down in this one. Uriah Hall seems to have started to put things together on the mental side of the sport. He has been his best when the other fighter engages with him and Thiago Santos will do that. They both have KO power and could be who lands first kind of fight. I like Hall to do that early getting the big win KO win. Hall via violence.
Dave Reno: The hype surrounding Uriah Hall during TUF 17 was unprecedented. I even bought in to him being quote unquote, scary. Ever since his UFC debut he’s been anything but. Dominating a washed up, candy eating Chris Leben isn’t going to trick anybody. Santos via TKO.
• Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
Wolff: Marcus Brimage is looking to rebound from his loss to Conor McGregor in his last fight and gets a very tough Russell Doane. I like Doane to get this fight to the ground and get the submission finish in the first round.
Reno: Doane is a tough test for Brimage but I like him to pass it in a close, technical fight to kick off the PPV portion of UFC 175. Brimage via Split Decision.
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1 – 8 p.m. ET)
• Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
Wolff: Aw man this one is such a sweet fight. First off , we have the two coolest nicknames facing off here in “The California Kid” Urijah Faber taking on “Bruce Leeroy” Alex Caceres. Secondly, just some seriously awesome hair in this fight. From a hair standpoint this is like a 1970’s fight. With those nicknames and their hair you could see this as a professional wrestling match from 1978.
To go with their awesome hair and nicknames they are also very skilled fighters. Both are well-rounded and there will be a lot of action in this fight no matter on the ground or in the standup. As good as Leeroy has been I am not sure if he can take The Kid in this one. I have to pick Faber and going throwback style with a guillotine choke finish.
Reno: First off, if Caceres wins this fight he should get an immediate title shot. I gotta go with Faber to finish it though, like he does in all of his non-title bouts, but anything is possible.
• Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Wolff: This is another great fight on this card. Both Kenny Robertson and Ildemar Alcantara are skilled fighters in the ground with good standup. Alcantara has shown a little more power in the striking and is probably the better overall grappler, Not sure if he can get the finish in this one. Instead look for an entertaining three rounds resulting in Alcantara taking a 29-28 UD.
Reno: If you’re fighting on a card with Ronda Rousey you may as well take any hopes of winning a submission of the night bonus and flush them. If anyone has a chance though it’s certainly Kenny Robertson. I’m taking him to win this fight via something special.
• Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
Wolff: Chris Camozzi has faced much better talent than Bruno Santos and you can make an easy case that he won his last fight with Lorenz Larkin last November. Now I do like picking a fighter named Bruno but in this case I have to go with Camozzi via UD.
Reno: Camozzi is so much bigger and so much more polished than Santos. Upsets are fun to pick but this just isn’t one to mess around with. Camozzi takes this via UD.
• George Roop vs. Rob Font
Wolff: Picking George Roop fights are always difficult. You just never seem to know what you will get from him. When he can keep people on the outside he is fine like his last fight with Dustin Kimura or his TKO win over Brian Bowles. In other fights like the Francisco Rivera and Cub Swanson ones he cannot keep them on the outside and gets TKO’d. Rob Font is making his UFC debut to kickoff the FOX Sports 1 part of the card. That could be just what Roop needs as Font seems likely to suffer from the adrenaline dump that can happen. Being the third fight in means the crowd will be filling up and it is on TV so I like Roop to get the early TKO win.
Reno: Roop is so hot and so cold but he usually wins the fights that he’s supposed to. That’s why I’m taking Font via TKO.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass – 7 p.m. ET)
• Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
Wolff: The Luke Zachrich and Guilherme Vasconcelos contest was the easiest fight to pick for me on the card. Flipped a coin and came up Zachrich.
Reno: I’ll take Zachrich via experience.
• Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush
Wolff: This is going to be a fun one. Bubba Bush is representing Legacy FC as their champion while Kevin Casey comes in as the RFA champ. Two well-rounded exciting fighters to kick this card off. I like the improvements and changes Casey has made to his game. This version of Casey would have been a threat to win TUF 17. I like him to take a hard-fought three round UD.
Reno: The only thing that sucks about this fight is that it’s of the can’t miss variety. Sometimes I like to go to the local Speakeasy and grab a cocktail or two before these cards but I guess I’ll have to stay home and fire up the Fight Pass bright and early instead. Seriously, this is a fantastic fight featuring two guys that don’t have UFC strap holding potential but certainly do have “f**k up your dreams” potential. These two guys can play spoiler on any given night to the title hopes of whomever decides to sign the dotted line and on Saturday night one will do just that to the other. I gotta go RFA here. Casey via TKO.
all images via @DanaWhite
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