Tonight on pay-per-view, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be televising their big UFC 175 card from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will be defending his title against 36-year-old Brazilian Lyoto Machida in a 50-50 match-up that is sure to be a huge crowd-pleaser.
In the co-feature will be UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending her title against Alexis Davis. These are the two main fights on the card, but there will be a number of other excellent fights as well to watch and it should make for some interesting television.
Weidman, 30, will be facing a guy more technical than himself in Machida tonight, and it’s going to be a chance to see if Weidman can do the same things he did to Anderson Silva in his back to back fights. Machida is a solid fighter with few weaknesses. He’s not going to clown around the way that Silva did against Weidman, so if Machida is going to lose, it’s going to be because he was beaten by the better fighter.
Machida will need to stay on his feet for him to have a chance at winning the fight, because Weidman is too commanding of a wrestler for him to get put on the canvas where he’d likely be stuck there for long periods of the fight. When Weidman gets his opponents down on the mat, he’s able to use up long periods of the fight riding, changing positions and landing occasional blows. Machida doesn’t have the same kind of wrestling background to get the better of Weidman on the ground.
Machida is the more exciting fighter of the two to watch for MMA fans, because he’s more of a stand up fighter, and he doesn’t kill the fight by taking into the wrestling most to chew up 6-10 minutes of clock time the way that Weidman does.
Weidman will eventually run into better wrestlers than himself, and once that happens, he’s going to struggle because his ground game is where he’s clearly at his best.
If Machida can avoid the take down attempts from Weidman, then he’ll win tonight. If he gets taken down again and again, then he won’t stand a chance at winning because Weidman is too good of a wrestler for Machida to pull him off of him. It’s going to take a better ex-collegiate wrestler to beat Weidman.
The UFC needs to think seriously about changing the rules of the sport to limit the amount of time that fighters spend wrestling on the canvas, because it’s very dull to watch, and it gives a huge benefit to the former college wrestlers over fighters that specialize in striking or submission holds.