UFC 175 fight card primer: Chris Weidman vs Lyoto Machida

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida for the UFC Middleweight title.

In the main event at UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida, UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman (11-0 MMA; 7-0 UFC) defends the title against Lyoto Machida (21-4 MMA; 13-4 UFC). This five round Middleweight title fight headlines the five fight UFC 175 PPV main card. The UFC Rankings have Machida as the #3 contender at 185 pounds, with champion Weidman at #5 on the pound for pound list. UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, July 5. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass, and 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

At a time when the UFC is struggling to fill up their cards and present fans with big fights, this feels like a MAIN EVENT. A young, undefeated champion looking to keep establishing himself as a pound for pound great vs. a former champion on a hot streak looking to reclaim gold. It's a great set-up and stylistically a very interesting fight as the extremely intelligent and always well prepared Weidman will take his crack at the Machida puzzle. Last year, Weidman produced major fireworks on the 4th of July card - can he do it again?

How do these two stack up?

Weidman: 30 years old | 6'2" | 74" reach
Machida: 36 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach

What have these two done recently?

Weidman: W - Anderson Silva (TKO) | W - Anderson Silva (KO) | W - Mark Munoz (KO)
Machida: W - Gegard Mousasi (UD) | W - Mark Munoz (KO) | L - Phil Davis (UD)

How did these two get here?

Chris Weidman is the undefeated UFC Middleweight champion who is coming off back to back wins over a fighter many consider the Greatest of All Time, and yet he's still struggling for respect. He shouldn't be. The second Silva fight in particular, despite the slightly odd ending, was a display of real dominance by Weidman and showed why this Serra-Longo product is absolutely a deserving world champion. It's still weird to see anyone but Silva stop the division (a 7 year title run will do that), but unless he starts showing some flaws at some point, you better get used to Middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida looks to become just the third two-division champion in UFC History here (joining B.J. Penn and Randy Couture). The former Light Heavyweight champion was starting to stagnate in that division so made the drop down to 185 last year. So far, he's 2-0 at Middleweight, and has looked the best he's looked since winning that belt way back in 2009. At this point, we know what to expect from the unorthodox karate style of Machida, and while the Davis fight showed that his style no longer wows judges quite as much, his fights since have shown that he still has a lot to offer at 36 years old.

Why should you care?

Weidman is fast rising up the pound for pound ranks, and this should just be a great fight.

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