Chris Weidman vs Lyoto Machida, who will win?
UFC Middleweight Champion Chris “The All-American” Weidman (11-0-0) will be making his second defense of his title on the 5th of July, 2014 at UFC 175, which will take place at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. His opponent in the fight will be former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (21-4-0), who has looked impressive in his two fights since dropping weight to fight in the middleweight division.
The last time Weidman was in the Octagon, he defeated long time UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva for the second time in a row, in the first fight; he caught Silva while the former champion was showboating, and the second time around, the fight ended when he checked a leg kick from Silva, breaking Silva’s leg in the process. The results of the two fights against Silva, have some people doubting if Weidman is the real deal or not, and a win against Machida will help to quiet his doubters.
Lyoto Machida won the Light Heavyweight Champion by defeating Rashard Evans at UFC 98, but lost it to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113, in his first career loss in the UFC. He got a chance to win it back against current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, but was choked out in the second round of the fight. Machida decided to drop weight and compete in the middleweight division in August 2013; he won his first two fights in the middleweight division, against Mark Munoz in a first round knockout, and Gegard Mousasi in a unanimous decision in February. Vitor Belfort was the top contender for the middleweight belt, but he pulled out of a fight against Weidman in February, which gave Machida the opportunity to challenge for the belt. The fight between Machida and Weidman was originally scheduled to take place in March, but the fight was postponed because Weidman had an injury that required surgery.
Chris Weidman is fully recovered, so fans will finally get to see him defend his belt for the first time since his fights with Silva. The styles of these two fighters will make this a very interesting fight. When it comes to striking, the edge has to go to Lyoto Machida, because he is one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC, and a lot of opponents he has knocked out will say the same thing. He isn’t as fast as Weidman when it comes to strikes, but he lands his strikes with more accuracy than Weidman. Weidman did show some good striking skills against Anderson Silva, but he isn’t as polished as Machida, who is a black belt in Shotokan Karate, and uses it very effectively in his fights. Machida’s unorthodox fighting style also makes striking difficult for his opponents.
When it comes to the ground game, Weidman will have the advantage. Machida is one of the best fighters when it comes to takedown defense, but Weidman is an excellent grappler, and he was an All-American wrestler in college, so he won’t have too much trouble getting Machida on the ground. It might be in his best interest to keep the fight on the ground, to avoid losing to Machida via knockout.
When it comes to submissions, Machida has the edge, but not by much. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, while Weidman is a brown belt, but Machida has only won two fights with a submission in 21 fights, while Weidman has won three by submission in his short career.
Lyoto Machida trains with former Champion Anderson Silva, which is an added benefit for him, because he can get tips on any weaknesses or tendencies Silva noticed when they fought, and use that to his advantage.
This fight has the potential to be the fight of the year, especially if both fighters keep the fight on their feet. For Weidman to win this fight, he will have to play to his strengths, and take the fight to the ground, because Machida is a very dangerous striker, which he showed when he defeated the previously undefeated Rashad Evans to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. A win by Weidman will silence the people who don’t think he is the best middleweight in the UFC because of how his last two fights ended, but a loss will only prove them right, so he has a lot at stake in this fight.
It will be a very close fight, but I think Chris Weidman will take advantage of his superior grappling skills, and win this fight.
Who will win?