UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida - Preliminary Card 'Just Bleed' Q & A Breakdown

Replace Faber's head with Caceres' and that's the bout this weekend. - Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Urijah Faber inexplicably ends up on the Fox Sports 1 undercard for UFC 175 at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas against 'Bruce Leeroy' Alex Caceres. Read on for an analysis of the only matchup worth watching.

I hear your Dallas Stars won the NHL arms race yesterday. Congrats.

Thanks buddy.

Yes, Jim Nill is awesome. Getting Spezza to potentially center a second line with Hemsky and Nichushkin sounds fantastic with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn hopefully getting any one of the many right wingers in our system who can replace Chiasson. It's not enough to beat Chicago, St. Louis, and LA but at least we're no longer just a wild card team.

So enough stick and puck talk. Are you ready for another two card weekend?!

What???

Yea. The TUF Finale for Penn and Edgar.

...!!!...

You ok?

Yea. Just wiping the brain matter off my shoulders.

Wait...are we sure this is the undercard. Urijah Faber is scheduled.

Faber's logic is that it's ok because he'll get more exposure since UFC PPV's are terrible these days anyway, and fans are cheap as hell to begin with.

What? Did he really say that?

No. But he did say that PPV numbers "haven't necessarily been as high as they used to be". Which is an interesting comment for a company dude like Faber. Basically even the company's most spirited mascots realize that PPV's are less stacked thanks to the UFC's market saturation. In so many words...

Plus he's fighting Bruce Leeroy. Seems like a good fight.

And then some.

Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres is exactly the kind of fight that will headline a PPV in two years. As in, teleport this current bout two years into the future, and it's main event stuff at Zuffa's current rate. And yet I've got no complaints. You'd be hard pressed to come up many better candidates for "most improved" than Alex Cacares. 1-3 to start out his UFC career, a lot of fans felt like Damacio Page would be the final nail in this reality TV coffin and instead Caceres resolved to live. I admire that...respect it even.

I don't expect him to win though. Urijah Faber is still just too good. Caceres does a lot of reacting in fights, and he's not quick enough to deal with Faber's dynamic offense, but I do think there's something to be said for age. Faber is 35 years old, and has 37 bouts to his name. His stoppage loss to Renan Barao was god awful. And I wish fighters even though they zero incentive to do so, would stop looking at referees in the middle of these flurries to influence their decisions. Though the onus is on the refs to be uninfluenced by such jedi mind tricks.

With all that said, Faber looked much more hittable against Barao. Small sample size, granted, but he just didn't react well to those punches, and it was only two years ago that he went five rounds with Barao. Could Caceres land enough strikes to make Faber look and feel his current age? I doubt it, but Alex's improvement continues to surprise and impress me, so I'm curious where his development has taken him, and if it's good enough to be competitive with Faber.

What about George Roop vs. Rob Font? Roop is still relevant right? Is his opponent relevant at +165?

I'm actually kind of shocked those numbers aren't a little higher. Roop is still very good, but I think his KO win over Chang Sung Jung makes him look better than he is. His split decision loss to Hatsu Hioki was the real validation. However, for all his strengths, he should be worried about Rob 'Times New Roman' Font. I know that's lame, but it's better than 'Gold Rush'...which just makes me think of the sequel to City Slickers.

Font is exactly the kind of fighter who gives Roop difficulty: technically solid strikers. I don't think I've ever seen Roop beat someone who kept their hands high, and could avoid the takedown while knowing how to box. Roop beat strikers that were either defensively porous (see Korean Zombie) or weren't technical (Brian Bowles). I think Font will have a hell of a time reaching Roop with his punches (a good straight right that he keeps chambered with that earmuff defense) and kicks, but he'll have opportunities to land even if it's nothing on par with Cub Swanson's mouthguard exodus punch from their FOX bout.

Kevin Casey! I remember that guy. He quit against Bubba McDaniel on TUF right?

The one and certainly only.

It's tough for fighters to shake what are then well earned reputations. Casey flat out quit by not coming out for the 3rd round against a fighter who is not UFC material.

But as someone writing about an endeavor as trying, and vicious as a mixed martial arts prizefight, I won't pretend to assume that his reasons betray some silly samurai spirit code, and all that yamamto damashii palaver (my favorite obscure synonym for 'babble' or 'clack'). In a lot of cases..."quitting" is in a fighter's best interest. Still, this is his reputation according to fans.

If there's anything to be learned from that reputation it's this: he's a front runner. He'll be good for a round, and then it's all downhill. Moreover, he's fighting Bubba Bush.

Who?

This guy.

You have to scroll to the 2 minute mark, but as you can see, while not some big time prospect outside the UFC, he's a very capable fighter with a strong grappling base. This is a awful matchup for Casey, who really needs the right matchups to be successful: a striker with bad takedown defense and little grappling. And that's pretty tough to find.

Bush won't wow you, but I'd expect him to fend off Casey's grappling while threatening with his own. Neither guy is special on the feet, but both have some decent raw power for two guys who spend very little time boxing. Casey may actually have a slight edge in power, but that edge disappears in the later rounds while Bush uses punches and knees to score the clinch where Casey could have a hell of a time. Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush will be one of those bouts we get to see on the main card because it promises to end early.

Sounds like there's basically just one good fight on this undercard.

Because there is.

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