Statements for the Champs (UFC 175 Review)

MMA: UFC 175-Weidman vs MachidaWhen Lyoto Machida entered the UFC in 2007 he was considered one of the greatest fighters in the light heavyweight division. He would enter the UFC with an undefeated record and a style that had never been seen before. He was a trailblazer in the octagon as he was the first fighter to bring karate into MMA. It has happened multiple times in the UFC where a fighter brings something so unique into the promotion that nobody can figure them out. It was the case when Royce Gracie brought BJJ into the UFC or when Tito Ortiz brought a wrestling ground and pound style to the promotion. For Machida it was this unique karate style that would confuse opponents. The difference with Machida and the rest of the trailblazers was that there were never a lot of karate fighters following Machida into the UFC. That meant that there were no other fighters, and still are not many fighters, that can simulate what Machida does. His style can cause issues because his stance is unconventional and trying to hit him proves to be difficult. With a concentration on counter fighting the karate style, when used properly, makes fighters slippery and gives them angles to strike from and counter from. Machida does this perfectly and would use this unique style to make his way up the light heavyweight ladder. He would use it to beat light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans to earn the light heavyweight title and many thought he would be the champ for a long time as people tried to figure out his confusing style. He would defend the belt once in a controversial decision against Mauricio Rua and in their rematch the long winning streak would end of Machida. He would get another shot at the title against Jon Jones but would lose by submission to the dominant champion. The rest of his time in the division would be mixed as he struggled to get back to his winning ways until the UFC asked if he wanted to make a move. In 2013 he would make the transition to middleweight where he would take on Mark Munoz and look like the old Machida that dominated the light heavyweight division. A win over Munoz and another over Gegard Mousasi would put Machida into the title conversation in the division and he would get his shot at making history. He would get a fight against the new middleweight champion Chris Weidman and would try to win a second title in a second weight class, an achievement only accomplished by BJ Penn and Randy Couture. In his way in accomplishing this feat was the man who had beaten the one fighter nobody thought could be beaten in Anderson Silva. Weidman would beat the former middleweight champion twice to change the top of the middleweight division for the first time since 2006. Weidman was now moving on to his first title defence against someone not named Silva and would get another legend to beat and prove that he belongs as the title  holder. He would have to overcome the unique karate style of Machida to do so and he would try to do it with a balanced attack with a strong stand up game a wrestling background. It was another legend to get by for Weidman and would not be an easy task for the new champion but he was up for it and looking to keep his title and stay the middleweight champion. As the fight began it was clear what Weidman was looking to do as he would begin unleashing kicks in order to set up the takedown. Weidman would rule the first three rounds as he would take the fight to the ground and get on top of Machida as he looked to dominate the first three rounds of the fight. The fourth was a different story though as Weidman could not get the fight to the ground and Machida began taking over the striking game. The challenger would hurt Weidman a few times in the round landing big strikes and making Weidman back up. The fifth round would follow the new momentum as Machida would continue to win the striking game and would stuff the takedowns of Weidman. Just as the momentum seemed to be all on Machida’s side Weidman would earn the takedown in what essentially was the end to a great fight. Weidman would take the Unanimous Decision win but more importantly it was a statement to the middleweight division and to the UFC. It was the first time Weidman had ever been tested and the first time he would be taken out of the second round. After two performances where Weidman would not convince many that he was the champion this fight should put the any questions to rest about Weidman. The loss for Machida was a bump in the road for the former light heavyweight champion as he will continue to fight and will likely be back in a title fight at some point before his career is over.

Before the middleweight title was determined another dominant champion would take the octagon looking to defend her belt. Ronda Rousey had rarely been pushed in her short MMA career but it was mainly because she has been so dominant. Only being taken out of the first round once, Rousey has been one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC. There has rarely been a close fight, although some close moments, for Rousey and the UFC would continue to look for someone who could challenge her. They would put fighters in front of her that never really put up a huge challenge but all would see the UFC putting unique challenges in front of her. This time the UFC would put Alexis Davis in the octagon as Rousey would be forced to face her first BJJ black belt as the champion. Not only was Davis a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but she also holds a black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and for Rousey it meant that her infamous armbar may not be as easy to get as it has been in the past. Davis did not have to train how to avoid the armbar as she has done it her entire life and so Rousey would take on a new challenge with a more complete fighter than she had ever seen before. Then again that has been said about every fighter to face Rousey and the champion would walk into the octagon at 9-0 with not many fighters coming close to beating her. That would prove to be the case in her latest fight as well with Alexis Davis only lasting 16 seconds in the octagon. It was a clinical beating, to be nice, as Rousey would show off her much improved boxing. A big right hand and a knee would force Davis to double over leading to Rousey using her Judo to hip toss the challenger. With the fight on the ground Rousey would keep a hold on Davis’ head and begin unloaded strong punches putting Davis out and forcing the referee to stop the fight. It was another quick one for Rousey and another showing of just how good Rousey is and how much better she is getting. Unless someone can stop her soon there may be no end to Rousey’s reign if she continues to get better with every fight. With the loss Davis returns to the division as another fighter who could not challenge the champion and although she will remain one of the best in the division she will have to show a lot to earn a rematch. Rousey will move on to one again be the champion with Cat Zingano, another fighter many think she will have a problem with, waiting for her title shot.

 

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
Rob Font would make his UFC debut on the preliminary card at UFC 175 and he would make a big impression earning a bonus for his big KO win over George Roop making his first night in the UFC a great one

Performance of the Night
Ronda Rousey continues to be one of the most dominant champions in the UFC as she would only take 16 seconds to end her latest title defence with a big TKO over Alexis Davis that would earn her an extra $50,000

Fight of the Night
The main event would be as advertised as middleweight champion Chris Weidman would be taken to the full five yards for the first time ever as Machida gave him everything he had and earned a bonus alongside Weidman for the effort

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Chris “All American” Weidman def. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida [Middleweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

Main Card:
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey def. Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis [Women’s Bantamweight Title]
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Uriah “Primetime” Hall def. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
(Unanimous Decision)

Russell Doane def. Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage
(Split Decision)

Undercard:
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber def. Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 3)

Kenny Robertson def. Ildemar “Marajó” Alcantara
(Unanimous Decision)

Bruno “Carioca” Santos def. Chris Camozzi
(Split Decision)

Rob Font def. George Roop
(KO; Rd. 1)

Luke Zachrich def. Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos
(Unanimous Decision)

“King” Kevin Casey def. “The Fighting Texas Aggie” Bubba Bush
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Cancelled Fight:
Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs. Matt “Meathead” Mitrione
(Stefan Struve fainted backstage before the fight)

 

Upcoming Events

The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale (Sunday July 6th; 9:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
Main Event: BJ “The Prodigy” Penn vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar
Notable:Corey “Big Ceezo” Anderson vs. Matt “Gutter” Van Buren[TUF 19 Light Heavyweight Title]
Notable: “Truck” Eddie Gordon vs. Dhiego Lima [TUF 19 Middleweight Title]

UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller (Wednesday July 16th; 8:00 pm ET)
Atlantic City, New Jersey (Revel Atlantic City)
Main Event: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
Notable: Edson Barboza “Junior” vs. Evan Dunham
Notable: Rick “The Horror” Story vs. Leonardo “Macarrão” Mafra

UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao (Saturday July 19th; 12:00 pm ET)
Dublin, Ireland (The O2 Dublin)
Main Event: “Notorious” Connor McGregor vs. Diego “Ceara” Brandao
Notable: Gunnar “Gunny” Nelson vs. Zak Cummings
Notable: Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett

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