UFC 175 is still a ways out. Over 2 months to be exact. Anyway, the line on Lyoto Machida vs Chris Weidman has climbed to such a point that we feel there’s tons of value in placing a bet. Everyone knows the basic story; the Nevada State Athletic Commission bans TRT, the next day the UFC has a huge announcement on Fox Sports 1. The announcement, of course is that Lyoto Machida will take Vitor Belfort’s place in the main event to compete for Chris Weidman’s middleweight title. By the way, if you haven’t checked out Reed Kuhn’s Fightnomics it is a must read for any UFC fan, or anyone interested in betting on UFC fights.
The line opened relatively close, Machida was 2.10 to 1 and Weidman was about 1.68 to 1. Since then the line on Machida has climbed quickly. At one point (unfortunately we didn’t place our bet then), Machida hit 3.00 to 1. He still sits at 2.77 to 1 so we’re pulling the trigger. Our model has Machida as a decent favourite to take the victory, and even if he only wins 50% of the time, we will still make plenty of money on bets like this in the long run.
The fight will be Machida’s third in the middlweight division. He looked incredible in his first two, disposing of Mark Munoz in the first round of their fight in England and showing his incredible speed in earning a unanimous decision victory over Gegard Mousasi. Prior to the drop to middleweight (and it could still happen), Machida’s counter-punching style seemed to lead itself to controversial split decisions. Even though in many instances he is landing more damaging strikes, his lack of volume and the perception that he is sitting back make it very difficult for the judges to score his fights consistently.
Chris Weidman will be attempting to defend his title for the second time at UFC 175. Both his fight to win the title and his fight to defend the belt were against Anderson Silva and even though both TKOs were controversial (Silva was showboating in the first and broke his leg in the second), he showed an ability to control the action against the best fighter the UFC has ever seen in both contests. Prior to those two fights, Weidman also earned a TKO win over Mark Munoz. Alarmingly, Weidman was only able to earn a split decision in a fight against Demian Maia. Demian Maia is well known as one of the best Brazilian jiu jitsu fighters in the UFC, but the fight between Weidman and Maia was spent almost entirely on the feet and for the short durations where it was on the ground, Weidman was in top control. This is the same Demian Maia who was absolutely demolished by Rory MacDonald just a week ago at UFC 170.
In terms of the stats, Weidman stands 6’2″ with a reach of 78″ while Machida stands 6’1″ with a reach of 74″. Weidman also has the age advantage at 29 years old while Machida is 35 years old. In terms of strikes landed, Weidman lands 3.15 at 42% efficiency while Machida lands 2.64 at 55% efficiency. Machida shines in the defense though, absorbing just 1.39 strikes per minute and avoiding 64% of strikes attempted against. Weidman absorbs 1.9 strikes per minte, and avoids 65% of strikes attempted against. Both guys are well above average in their grappling. Weidman lands a very high 4 takedowns per fight on average with an accuracy of 64%. Machida, on the other hand lands 1.54 takedowns per fight at 65% efficiency. Weidman defends 100% of takedowns attempted against while Machida defends 80%.
How We See This Fight Playing Out
Weidman will do his best to get Machida down. Even if he manages to get Machida down a few times, it is unlikely he will be able to hold Machida down for significant periods of time. On the feet, we expect Machida to use his speed to avoid Weidman’s attacks. It was clear even when Weidman fought Silva, that Silva had a speed advantage. Expect the 185 lbs Machida to have even more of a speed advantage. Machida will land the more effective strikes on the feet, but at a lesser volume. This fight could also be Weidman’s first time fighting for a full 5 rounds. In what will likely be a controversial split decision, we see Machida taking the victory.
Machida over Weidman. 3 units at 2.77 to 1 at Sportsbook.ag