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Doc Octagon staff: UFC 175 main card predictions


UFC 175 is tomorrow night and it appears to be one of the biggest pay-per-view cards of 2014 for UFC.

The card is headlined by two title bouts with Chris Weidman defending the UFC middleweight title against Lyoto Machida and Ronda Rousey defending the women’s bantamweight title against Alexis Davis.

Other main card bouts include the return of Stefan Struve when he faces Matt Mitrione, Uriah Hall against Thiago Santos in a middleweight bout and Marcus Brimage against Russell Doane in a bantamweight bout.

The following are the predictions for each of the UFC 175 main card bouts from members of the Doc Octagon staff. Also note that win-loss records are being tracked for each staff member that participates in these roundtable predictions.

Israel Gonzalez (10-5)

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

Brimage, realizing that he was simply too small to be a major contender at 145, drops to 135 to fight Doane, who looked amazing in his UFC debut in Singapore. The fear here is that Brimage could have a second opponent this Saturday night; octagon rust. Being out for over a year and having to fight Russell Doane in a new weight class, doesn’t sound good for Brimage on paper. The reality is that this is Doane’s fight to lose. He won’t.

Doane via unanimous decision

 

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

Hall is arguably the biggest enigma on this entire card. He destroyed everyone inside the TUF 17 house, followed that up with two losses to Kelvin Gastelum and John Howard, then knocked out Chris Leben. Such inconsistency has plagued Hall in the early stages of his UFC career. Santos, on the other hand, has only been in the octagon for 1 minute 34 seconds. That covers a span of two fights; a submission loss and a TKO win. Hard to say who wins this one, but I’ll go with Hall, only because I still believe in his hype and upside.

Hall via TKO

 

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

Struve returns for the first time in 16 months, and if we are being honest, this is a fight that he would win even if he were returning from a 10-year absence. Mitrione is one of those guys that will always defeat fighters that he should, but lose to fighters that are simply better than him. Struve qualifies as the latter and he’ll win this fight by submission.

Struve via submission

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

I want to go with Davis. I want to believe that she can become the first person to defeat Rousey. I want another train to be derailed. Sadly, what I want and what is most likely to happen, are two different things. Davis, while a black belt in BJJ, doesn’t have the type of game that is going to give Rousey trouble if and when the fight hits the ground. She also doesn’t have the standup game to trouble Rousey on the feet. Until Cyborg fights Rousey, “Rowdy” will always be favored in a fight and won’t lose. Rousey wins this one however she wants, but for the sake of debate, submission it is.

Rousey via submission

 

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

I know I’m in the minority here, but I still don’t know what we have in Chris Weidman. I mean, sure he has two wins over Anderson Silva, but both came under very unique circumstances. The first win had a lot to do with Silva goofing around and the second win was due to a freak accident. In Machida, he may very well be fighting the toughest battle of his career. I am by no means implying that Machida is better than Silva. I merely mean that Machida, stylistically, is a tougher opponent. Machida is not going to get caught with anything. While Weidman is a very good striker, Machida is world class. This is going to come down to whether or not Weidman can get some takedowns. I think he will, but for all five rounds? Probably not. I’m picking Machida to shock the world and bring the middleweight title back to Brazil.

Machida via unanimous decision

 

Israel Soliz (9-6)

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

I’m not sure why Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres is not on the main card and this fight is but I’m just going to go with it. Russell Doane is on a two fight win streak with only one of those fights in the UFC. Marcus Brimage’s last fight was a one-sided loss to Conor McGregor.

I think both fighters will not want to lose this fight and come out very cautious. This is probably not the way the UFC wants to start its PPV card but its what we have to deal with.

I think Doane wins via split decision

 

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

Uriah Hall could be a beast if he wants to. I’m just not sure he wants to. Santos had had only three of his fights go to a decision. To me this is a recipe for a finish. I’m just not sure who will take it. This fight is a total coin flip. Both fighters need a win to gain some traction on a stacked middleweight division.

I flipped a coin and it came up heads so I am going to assume that means Thiago Santos wins via TKO

 

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

Stefan Struve returns to the octagon after a 16 month absence so in that sense he has already won. However he has to actually beat Matt Mitrione in order to officially win. This fight will probably not go to a decision.

Look for both fighter to slug it out in an attempt to become relevant in the heavyweight division. Struve has a tendency to take a lot of punches but he should be in the best shape of his fighting career.

Struve wins via TKO

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

Fight fans everywhere are waiting for someone to defeat Ronda Rousey. UFC 175 will not do anything to satisfy them. Alexis Davis is a very good fighter. She has a great jiu jitsu game and is a solid striker. Unfortunately, the Rowdy One is a better all around fighter and can match Davis if the fight goes to the ground.

Rousey has stated that she will take some time off after this fight so Davis may catch her slipping but that is her only chance.

Rousey wins by submission, I’m thinking an armbar

 

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

Chris Weidman gets no respect. His two victories over Anderson Silva are still viewed as flukes by many in the MMA community. What they fail to acknowledge is that Weidman dominated every minute of those two fights. Sure they both had bizarre outcomes but that should not take away from Weidman’s accomplishments.

Having said that, Lyoto Machida is one of the hardest puzzles to figure out in all of MMA. He has been on a tear since coming down to 185 and should be able to take Weidman into the later rounds.

Weidman has a lot to prove so I think he will lay it all out. If he loses he will go out on his shield. But I don’t think he loses this one.

Weidman wins via decision

 

Adam Conklin (11-4)

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

Unfortunately, Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres is on the preliminary card. Enter: Russel Doane vs. Marcus Brimage. Brimage has just one fight to his record in 2013 (a TKO loss to Conor McGregor) and has yet to compete in 2014. His opponent Doane has a win in his UFC debut in January, and carries a 4-1 record his his past five fights, all of which by way of finish. Couple Doane’s recent success with four fights in 2013, he will be the fresher fighter and pull away another finish win.

Russell Doane via TKO

 

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

I am especially excited to see Hall’s return. A lackluster loss to Kelvin Gastelum in his UFC debut was followed by another loss to John Howard. He was able to earn his first victory in the promotion with his destruction of Chris Leben, who posed as Hall’s punching bag at UFC 168. Now he is thrown back in with fighters who are on similar career paths, with each win representing a vital outcome for the next step in the future.

Uriah Hall via TKO

 

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Matirione

A very intriguing heavyweight fight will produce a victorious return for Struve. The 6’11” Dutchmen will stay away from Mitrione’s punches while keeping the distance with his long legged reach. If the fight hits the mat, then Struve will earn a submission.

Struve via submission

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

To defeat Rousey, it will take someone special. The tough contender Davis may not be that woman. Rousey will take this fight as she has done her others, not necessarily by armbar, but definitely another win to notch on to her legacy, one that I feel the MMA community forgets is just budding.

Rousey via submission

 

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

Here is Weidman’s first real test as the middleweight king, and I see him losing the belt. With Silva, Weidman had the ground advantage against a fighter who has a dangerous guard, but not too much brute strength. Machida though is tough to even catch and Weidman’s aggression will play in to Machida’s game perfectly.

Machida via decision

 

Phil Clark (2-2)

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

Not much to say here. I agree with Adam’s main points and believe that because Doane is more active and Brimage didn’t look like much in his bout with McGregor, and I see Doane’s good luck and Brimage’s misfortunes in the octagon continuing.

Doane via TKO

 

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

This could end up being a battle that features plenty of action, but goes quick. That being said, Hall has far more experience fighting good or better competition with bouts against Weidman, Costas Philippou, Kevin Gastelum and John Howard. Granted, those were all losses, but the experience that Hall gained from fighting those opponents gives him a distinct edge when it comes to fighting in a long and competitive bout. Hall’s domination of Chris Leben also gives me the feeling that Hall is finally going to begin realizing the potential that those who saw him on The Ultimate Fighter know he possesses.

Hall via TKO

 

Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione

This is Struve’s comeback after dealing with some health issues outside of MMA, but I don’t see the layoff effecting him too negatively. The layoff is going to mean one of two things for Struve in this bout: he’s either going to try to end the bout as quickly as possible or he’s going to pace himself so as not to gas out if the bout goes long. Either way, it’s Struve height, reach and long limbs that will earn Struve a win when he uses those long legs to help lock on an armbar the same way he did against Lavar Johnson.

Struve via submission

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis

Did somebody say armbar? Rousey may have finished Sara McMann with a liver shot earlier this year, but her bread & butter always has and always will be her ground game, specifically the armbar. I think Davis could give Rousey a very good fight; maybe not as good a fight as Miesha Tate gave Rousey, but Davis can get out of the opening round against Rousey. After that, she’s meat.

Rousey via submission

 

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida

Weidman’s best strategy would be to take this bout to the ground and try to work his wrestling and submissions into the bout. If he doesn’t, Weidman is going to face the same problem that all of Machida’s UFC opponents have faced: figuring out Machida’s karate. It sounds simple, but it isn’t and Machida’s tremendous run through UFC over the last eight years has shown that karate when used by Machida has longevity in MMA.

I believe that Weidman is going to try for takedowns early, but is going to make the mistake of trying to solve the karate riddle and will mostly keep the bout standing. Machida is capable of frustrating an opponent by keeping things standing and implementing his karate, most recent evidence of this coming in Machida’s domination of Gegard Mousasi.

All of this will add up to the bout going the distance, but ending with a Machida title win.

Machida via unanimous decision

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