Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida are scheduled to fight on July 5th at UFC 175. This is going to be a huge fight as the champ defends his belt against a motivated Lyoto Machida. As is always the case in big-name matchups, opinions on this fight are running wild.
Weidman was originally scheduled to fight Vitor Beltfort, but Belfort had to drop out after the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Belfort said that he needed time to acclimatize his body to fighting and training without TRT and withdrew from the fight.
Machida was picked as Beltfort’s replacement for a match that was originally scheduled for May 24th. That date was then pushed back to July 5th after Weidman announced that he would need to go undergo minor surgery in both knees.
As long as there aren’t any more surprises, the fight will now be hosted on July 5th. This should give Chris enough time to recover from surgery and get back to fighting form. At least, that’s what he’s hoping.
When the matchup between Lyoto and Machida was originally announced, Chris opened as a -220 favorite. Lyoto opened at +180. However, those lines were taken down after the match was rescheduled. As of right now, the bookmakers don’t have any lines at all for the fight. As soon as those lines are posted, I’ll update this post.
Good news. The bookmakers have once again posted betting lines for Weidman and Machida. Here’s what we have at each of the big sites so far.
- Chris Weidman: -185
- Lyoto Machida: +150
- Chris Weidman: -185
- Lyoto Machida: +160
- Chris Weidman: -190
- Lyoto Machida: +150
- Chris Weidman: 8/15
- Lyoto Machida: 13/8
Based on these lines, here’s what I recommend. If you like Chris Weidman, you’ll get the most for your money at XXXXXXX. If you favor Lyoto Machida, you’ll get the best odds at XXXXXXXX.
Oh man. This is a tough one. No matter what I say, about half the people who read this are going to call me an idiot. I’m just going to do my best to analyze the fight objectively and let you make the final decision.
Let’s start with Chris Weidman. Chris entered the MMA game just a few years ago and went on a tear. He’s currently undefeated and has finished most of his opponents. His finishes have come in the form of knockouts, submissions and broken limbs (see Anderson Silva).
Weidman’s biggest accomplishment to date was finishing Anderson Silva twice. Weidman came into the first Silva fight as a significant underdog, but ended up getting the second round knockout. The circumstances of the knockout were controversial, as many people saw Anderson Silva clowning around. “Weidman didn’t beat Silva, Silva beat Silva,” they said.
But if you watch that first fight in its entirety, you can see that Weidman had the upper hand for the duration of the fight. He achieved takedowns, put Silva through a little ground-and-pound and almost caught Silva in a kneebar-to-heel hook sequence.
All that’s nice, but what people saw in the end was Anderson Silva clowning around and getting caught. An immediate rematch was scheduled. The rematch would be the one to show if Weidman was the real deal or just a new kid who got lucky.
That’s what we hoped for anyways.
The rematch was even more controversial. After a few exchanges in the second round, Anderson Silva threw the infamous leg kick that broke his leg. Weidman checked the kick perfectly and snapped Anderson’s shin. Some called this a display of high level kickboxing by Weidman. Others called it a fluke.
Today, most people are willing to give Weidman some credit. You don’t finish the most dominant champion in UFC history twice by accident. But still, there are questions in many minds. Is Weidman the real deal? Can he handle the elite competition that’s lining up for a shot at that belt? Only time will tell.
Let’s look at Lyoto Machida. The Brazilian moved down to middleweight a few fights back and is looking great at the new weight class. He made short work of Mark Munoz and earned a decision victory over Gegard Mousasi. Neither of these opponents is a chump. Machida is in top form right now.
Machida is the former light heavyweight champion and has a style that many call a bad matchup for Weidman. Where Weidman excels at takedowns, Machida excels at defending takedowns. Machida is savvy, has some of the best hands in the business and knows how to pick his spots.
Machida’s unorthodox karate style, strong counters and takedown defense make him a nightmare for wrestlers. However, Weidman isn’t just any wrestler. He is undefeated in the octagon and has shown remarkable fight IQ. He has stood and exchanged blows on the feet with the best of the best and come out victorious. He has great wrestling and is basically a prodigy in jiu jitsu.
Let’s look at the stats.
These stats come from Fightmetric.com.
- Height: 6’2
- Reach: 78”
- Age: 29
- Significant Striking Accuracy: 42%
- Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute: 1.9
- Striking Defense: 65% (higher is better)
- Takedown Accuracy: 68%
- Takedown Defense: 100%
- Height: 6’1
- Reach: 74”
- Age: 35
- Significant Striking Accuracy: 55%
- Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute: 1.39
- Striking Defense: 64%
- Takedown Accuracy: 65%
- Takedown Defense: 80%
So what does this all mean? Well, Weidman has the height, reach and age advantage. He has an excellent takedown record and perfect takedown defense so far. Machida has the greater striking accuracy and is hit less frequently by significant strikes.
But remember, stats don’t tell the whole story. Lyoto Machida has a unique fighting style that has frustrated more than one wrestler in his time. Weidman, on the other hand, is a very well-rounded fighter who doesn’t rely on wrestling alone.
Chris Weidman has the upper hand in this battle. If it was a straight up even money wager, I’d put my money on Weidman all day long. However, this isn’t an even-money wager. Machida is a significant underdog in this matchup and the line reflects that.
As long as Machida remains +200 or greater, I’d put my money on him. It’s not because I think he’s the most likely to win; it’s because the odds are so skewed against him. In my best estimate, Machida pulls off the upset often enough to make this a profitable wager over the long run.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine Machida stretching this one out, fending off Weidman’s ground game and eking out a decision victory. We also have to remember that Weidman will be coming off yet another surgery and layoff.
Again, I think Weidman has the best chances in this fight. But I also think Machida has the skills and experience to pull off the upset just often enough to make a bet on him at +200 profitable.