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UFC 175 Results: Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 45

Steven RondinaFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2016

UFC 175 Results: Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 45

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    USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 175 is in the books. The results are as follows:

     

    UFC 175 Main Card

    • Chris Weidman def. Lyoto Machida, unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)
    • Ronda Rousey def. Alexis Davis, knockout (Round 1, 0:16)
    • Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione—Canceled
    • Uriah Hall def. Thiago Santos, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
    • Russell Doane def. Marcus Brimage, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

     

    Fox Sports 1 Prelims

    • Urijah Faber def. Alex Caceres, submission (Round 3, 1:09)
    • Kenny Robertson def. Ildemar Alcantara, unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
    • Bruno Santos def. Chris Camozzi, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    • Rob Font def. George Roop, TKO (Round 1, 2:19)

     

    UFC Fight Pass Prelims

    • Luke Zachrich def. Guilherme Vasconcelos, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
    • Kevin Casey def. Bubba Bush, TKO (Round 1, 1:01)

    Next up? Well...The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale...but after that! UFC Fight Night 45 on July 16!

    Headlined by Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller, the card offers a moderate amount of intrigue without too much in the way of pesky things like high-level skills and title relevance. 

    So what is there to talk about heading into next week? Find out right here!

Why Is Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki on Fight Pass?

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    The Fight: Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki
    The Real Fight: UFC vs. Its Own Incompetence

     

    The Stakes

    The first strawweight bout in UFC history is set to go down. Claudia Gadelha, arguably the single best 115-pound fighter in the world, takes on Tina Lahdemaki, a well-rounded threat out of Finland.

    Gadelha is the pound-for-pound best fighter on this card and not by a small margin. With most of the UFC's contracted strawweights tangled up in the TUF 20 pool, this fight has obvious title ramifications, and whoever wins here will likely be the first opponent for the inaugural champ, whoever she may be. 

    All that, and it's on Fight Pass. 

     

    The Question

    Why is Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki on Fight Pass?

     

    Analysis

    There are a few one-word descriptions for the fact that this fight is on Fight Pass.

    "Stupid" comes to mind. Gadelha, once again, is the pound-for-pound best fighter on this card, and there's a good chance she will be fighting for the belt in the very near future.

    "Disrespectful" also sounds about right. This is one of the few title-relevant bouts on this entire card, and Gadelha has been so electrifying thus far that this should be regarded as a must-watch among MMA fans.

    I can keep going, but all this boils down to the UFC saying while you might be all excited for TUF 20, the company just doesn't really care very much.

So How Will Gadelha vs. Lahdemaki Go?

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    The Fight: Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki
    The Real Fight: Brutal Ground-and-Pound vs. Crafty Groundwork

     

    The Stakes

    Claudia Gadelha and Tina Lahdemaki combine for a 16-0 professional record. Obviously, only one of them will remain undefeated (well...unless the fight ends in a draw or no-contest). There is a lot more than the "undefeated" tag on the line here for them, though. Whoever wins this fight will receive instant attention and an early claim for a title shot.

     

    The Question

    So how will Gadelha vs. Lahdemaki go?

     

    Analysis

    Gadelha is well-established as a top-level female fighter. Lahdemaki? Not so much. Gadelha is the clear favorite, but the jury is out regarding how good Lahdemaki is.

    This fight will show a lot about both women and is easily the best one on the preliminary card. It's a must-watch, folks! So make sure to tune in early.

Which Female Bantamweight Will Get Booted?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Jessamyn Duke vs. Leslie Smith
    The Real Fight: Jessamyn Duke, Leslie Smith vs. Pink Slips

     

    The Stakes

    Jessamyn Duke is coming off an ugly loss to Bethe Correia in one of those fights that just make you sigh and shake your head. Leslie Smith put up a decent effort against a Top Five opponent in Sarah Kaufman, but there was little to be excited about regarding her future prospects. As such, this bout is likely a "loser goes to Invicta" affair.

     

    The Question

    Which female bantamweight will get booted?

     

    Analysis

    Duke looked atrocious in her fight against Correia. Smith looked pretty bad in her fight against Kaufman.

    The women's bantamweight division is in the same kind of awkward position as the heavyweight division, with a huge gap separating about 80 percent of the fighters from the top 20 and a comparably huge gap separating the top 20 percent from the champion.

    Duke and Smith are clearly in that third tier and, as such, are fairly expendable, even in a fairly sparse division. It's hard to imagine the loser sticks around, unless the fight is an absolute barnburner.

Can Pat Healy Save His Job?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy
    The Real Fight: Pat Healy vs. Career Free Falls

     

    The Stakes

    Pat Healy earned a shot at the Strikeforce belt in 2012, but his bout with Gilbert Melendez never quite materialized. When he was added to the UFC, he scored a big upset win over Jim Miller that thrust him directly into the title picture. Then he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov...then to Bobby Green...then to Jorge Masvidal.

    Now, more than a year separated from his last win, he finds himself possibly fighting for his job.

     

    The Question

    Can Pat Healy save his job?

     

    Analysis

    I was all-in on Healy as a title contender last year. A 10-1 stretch with notable wins over Paul Daley, Carlos Condit and Dan Hardy suggested to me that he had found the right blend of gym, scheduling and job security to go from above-average journeyman to legitimate title contender.

    Obviously, those days are long over. The question now is if he can even keep a spot in the UFC. Zuffa is doing him no favors by matching him against a steely veteran in Gleison Tibau.

What Will Happen with John Lineker?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: John Lineker vs. Alptekin Ozkilic
    The Real Fight: John Lineker vs. Grappling, Weight Cutting and Hard-to-Spell Names

     

    The Stakes

    John Lineker ate himself out of a surefire title shot with Demetrious Johnson by missing weight in three of his first five UFC bouts. Then he fought himself out of one when he was manhandled by Ali Bagautinov. Now, in the deceptively competitive flyweight division, he needs to climb past 1-1 Alptekin Ozkilic if he wants to stay among the flyweight's elite.

     

    The Question

    What will happen with John Lineker?

     

    Analysis

    Is there a more intriguing fighter than Lineker in the UFC's lower weight classes? From his weight-cutting troubles to the out-of-the-cage coaching drama to his absurd punching power, every fight with Lineker offers something new before, during and after.

    Is this a squash match? Yes. Is Lineker going to demolish Ozkilic with basically no effort? Probably.

    But I will bet you that this will be way more interesting than, say, John Dodson vs. John Moraga.

Which Lightweight Will Maintain His Relevance?

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    The Fight: Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham
    The Real Fight: Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham vs. Time

     

    The Stakes

    Edson Barboza became an overnight sensation with his spinning kick knockout of Terry Etim in 2012. Evan Dunham flirted with contendership from 2009 through 2013. In the time since, both fighters have slipped further and further back in the division as the Khabib Nurmagomedovs, Rustam Khabilovs and Michael Johnsons have rendered them obsolete. Now, after climbing pretty high in the division, they find themselves in a showdown for a spot as a gatekeeper in the UFC's sexiest division.

     

    The Question

    Which lightweight will maintain his relevance?

     

    Analysis

    Dunham is a solid wrestler with some smarts to go along with it. Barboza is a fearsome striker with ridiculously devastating kicks. They're both undeniably skilled, but unfortunately, sports as a whole, and MMA in particular, is a game of "what have you done lately." As TJ Grant and Rashad Evans can both tell you, if it isn't "score a devastating knockout a month or two ago," it doesn't matter what you've done.

    Unfortunately, the most recent thing on their records are submission losses to Donald Cerrone. The lightweight division is stacked right now, and the influx of talent has left both competitors without a clear place in the pecking order. A win here helps one of them start carving out a niche, while a loss might end up earning the vanquished a contract offer from WSOF.

Can Jim Miller Get a Win over a High-Level Fighter?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
    The Real Fight: Jim Miller vs. Struggling

     

    The Stakes

    After a seven-fight winning streak made Jim Miller a legitimate title contender, he hit the skids. Hard. A 2-3 stretch that saw him lose emphatically to Ben Henderson, Nate Diaz and Pat Healy raised the question of whether he can actually beat top-level fighters. While he has shown that his early success was no fluke, that question remains unanswered.

     

    The Question

    Can Jim Miller get a win over a high-level fighter?

     

    Analysis

    Look over whom Miller has beaten. Charles Oliveira, Joe Lauzon, Melvin Guillard and Gleison Tibau all stick out, for sure. 

    Then look at whom he has lost to. Frankie Edgar. Gray Maynard. Nate Diaz. Benson Henderson. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a pattern. 

    Miller is damn good. He has lost to every top lightweight he has faced to this point in his career, though. If he can remedy and take a win over Cerrone, Miller might just be poised for a title run again.

What Will We See from Donald Cerrone?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
    The Real Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Himself

     

    The Stakes

    Donald Cerrone is back on the proverbial horse, and he is winning. A lot. He is riding a three-fight winning streak, and a big win over Jim Miller could vault him back into the title picture for the first time since 2011.

     

    The Question

    What will we see from Donald Cerrone?

     

    Analysis

    Savvy, rangy striking. Strong cardio. Absurd submission skills. There is a lot to love about Cerrone.

    The question with Cowboy has always been mental.

    Cerrone has the awful tendency of starting slowly and, sometimes, just never really picking up the pace (or just not picking up the pace enough as things go on). He lost to Jamie Varner in that way back in the WEC and lost to Nate Diaz and Rafael dos Anjos in kind in the UFC. Of course, sandwiched in between those losses are spectacular wins over guys like Melvin Guillard, Dennis Siver and Charles Oliveira.

    The gunslinging Cerrone can beat almost anybody in the world. The tentative, reluctant Cerrone is food for high-level competition. This is a big fight for him, and if he can come in with his head screwed on properly, the sky would be the limit for him.

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