By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on July 6, 2014
Standout performances from a pair of undefeated champions highlighted a solid night of action at UFC 175 in Las Vegas. Chris Weidman held off a furious late charge from Lyoto Machida to retain his middleweight belt, while women’s champ Ronda Rousey continued her remarkable dominance by destroying Alexis Davis. Here are the top five fights to make in the wake of UFC 175.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.
Hall gutted out a unanimous decision win over Thiago Santos, as he overcame a grotesquely broken toe on his right foot. He gained plenty of new fans with the gritty victory and it's now time for “Prime Time” to take that next step. A future clash against the No.10-ranked Philippou would be the type of test that Hall needs. Philippou’s standout boxing skills combined with Hall's flashy and dynamic striking style would have explosive potential.
Faber rebounded from a title loss at UFC 169 by submitting Alex Caceres in the third round. “The California Kid” remains a prominent player in the 135-pound ranks and the timing seems right to set up the rubber match with Cruz. The former UFC bantamweight champion is gearing up for an Octagon return after being sidelined since 2011 due to various injuries. Faber bested Cruz in a WEC title fight, while "The Dominator" got his revenge at UFC 132.
Rousey continued to run roughshod over her UFC competition by blitzing the No. 2-ranked Davis in 16 seconds. Rousey is getting better and running out of fresh title challenges. The No. 1-ranked Zingano has been sidelined for over a year since knocking out Miesha Tate because of a knee injury. It cost her a coaching gig opposite Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter and a title shot. Zingano deserves a crack at the champ upon her return to the Octagon.
Machida was denied history by Chris Weidman in their thrilling 185-pound title affair. “The Dragon” was looking to become just the third UFC fighter to win titles in two separate divisions. His stock doesn’t drop because of the exciting nature of the contest and he remains a major threat. Machida should tangle with the No. 5-ranked Rockhold next. The former Strikeforce champion is very technically sound and it would make for an intriguing battle.
Weidman proved himself a worthy champion by fending off a determined title challenge from Machida. Weidman and Belfort were initially targeted to meet at UFC 173, but those plans changed when the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned TRT. Machida eventually got the call to replace “The Phenom.” If Belfort can get his licensing affairs in order, the explosive knockout artist should get the call to square off against the undefeated champion next.
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