While most of the country is grilling out, watching fireworks and eating hot dogs over Independence Day weekend, some of the best fighters in the world will display their skills at UFC 175 in Las Vegas.
The dominant Chris Weidman will likely stir up some patriotism from those in attendance when he goes up against Lyoto Machida in the marquee event of the night. Here is a look at the entire card and the pay-per-view schedule:
Date: Saturday, July 5
Time: 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT
Available: Pay-Per-View (check local listings) and UFC.tv
Main Card: Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis, Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione, Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos and Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane
Now that we know what the schedule looks like, here is a glance at the top fights to watch during the much-anticipated event. Stats are courtesy of UFC.com.
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida
Weidman will put his middleweight championship belt and his perfect 11-0-0 record on the line against the 21-4-0 Lyoto Machida. Machida, who is a former light heavyweight champion himself, should not be overlooked.
Still, Weidman has looked completely dominant almost every time he steps foot in the Octagon, and there is no reason to think that will change Saturday. He lands a formidable 3.15 significant strikes per minute and is an impressive wrestler, as evidenced by his fourth-highest takedown accuracy in UFC history.
In fact, he puts opponents on the mat four times per 15 minutes and does just about anything you can imagine effectively.
He even looks ready, via Joe Ferraro of Sportsnet’s UFC Central:
Just got to the workouts. Missed a few but I'm in time for MW Champ Chris Weidman. pic.twitter.com/udj0wQJPel— Joe Ferraro (@ShowdownJoe) July 2, 2014
However, Machida has the fourth-most knockdowns in UFC history and brings a 56 percent striking accuracy to the table. What’s more, he stops nearly 82 percent of opponents' attempts at a takedown, which will be critical Saturday.
Even though Machida matches up nicely with Weidman, the middleweight champion will prevail with a typical fast start.
Weidman will use his overall power and wrestling ability to set the tone from the beginning. Look for him to gradually wear Machida out as the bout progresses, which will ultimately lead to an impressive victory.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis
It is a testament to Ronda Rousey’s overall ability, popularity and marketing power that she could very well be the main attraction at UFC 175 despite the Weidman and Machida match.
Rousey will put her 9-0-0 record and women’s bantamweight title to the test against the 16-5-0 Alexis Davis in what could be a rather straightforward victory.
Rousey is unbeatable once the fight goes to the ground and has the second-most submissions via the armbar in UFC/PRIDE/WEC/Strikeforce history. Throw in her improvement in the striking department, and there seems to be little hope for Davis on paper.
Still, Davis is known as a grappler and will test Rousey’s stamina if the fight goes into the third, fourth and fifth rounds. It’s not impossible to envision a situation where Davis seizes on an opportunity for a ground attack and submission and puts the fight in doubt.
Rousey discussed her opponent on The Jim Rome Show: "She’s definitely a much different kind of a puzzle. Her coaching staff is amazing. I know all the tools she has are going to be used as intelligently as possible and definitely a very interesting puzzle in itself."
Davis may be a difficult puzzle, but Rousey will solve it like she always does.
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