Coming off the lowest rated televised event in UFC history last Saturday in Charlotte, the UFC is looking to bounce back in a big way making their first-ever stop in Belem Brazil. They will have some of the star power they did not have in Charlotte’s event that aired on Fox. UFC Fight Night 125 features former Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida faces up and comer middleweight Eryk Anders. The Fox/UFC Television deal is nearing an end and negotiations are in progress for a new deal. The UFC needs to impress on Fox Sports 1. UFC on Fox was strong on action but weak on star power, did 1.593,000 viewers and a 0.5 rating in the key 18-49 demo. The number was a 21-percent drop from the same show last year and a 35-percent drop from two years ago.
The UFC is short on big attractions, with Conor Mcgregor(Boxing?), Ronda Rousey(WWE), Jon Jones(Suspension) and Brock Lesnar(WWE) all inactive. UFC Fight Night 125 will be the perfect opportunity for fighters like Anders and John Dodson to show up, put on a show and make themselves a household name.
Lyoto Machida (22-8) vs. Eryk Anders (10-0)
Odds: Anders -280, Machida +240
In what could be the final fight of Lyoto Machida’s historic career, undefeated Anders looks to climb up the UFC Middleweight rankings and take down a legend in the process. Anders is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC currently and one that the UFC is looking for to step up and deliver big ratings for them. Anders a former University of Alabama linebacker is coming off two consecutive UFC wins including an impressive first-round knockout of former contender Rafael Natal. He has the knockout strength and great endurance even if the rest of his game remains a bit of a question mark.
The 39-year old Brazilian Machida is in the twilight of his career and has lost four of his last 5 fights in the Octagon. Machida will have to rely on grinding this fight out on the ground using his legendary BJJ and ground control to slow the pace and keep Anders at bay. The key for Anders will be to come out quick and stun Machida with his brick hands. The Brazilian faithful will unlikely go home happy as this is likely to be a first-round stoppage. Expect fireworks early and often.
An unforgettable career by 'The Dragon' @LyotoMachidaFW.
— UFC (@ufc) January 31, 2018
John Dodson (19-9) vs. Pedro Munhoz (15-2)
Odds: Dodson -155, Munhoz +135
Our second can’t miss fight of UFC Fight Night 125 is fittingly the Co-Main event on Saturday. Former Flyweight contender John Dodson faces Brazilian Pedro Munhoz in what should be a fight with a lot of action. Munhoz hasn’t lost a UFC fight in over two years with three victories ending in a Guillotine Choke Submission. Dodson is 2-2 in his return to the 135 division, after proving Demitrious Johnson was his kryptonite in the 125lb weight class.
Dodson currently ranked #8 in the Bantamweight division, needs to avoid a consecutive loss to stay in the mix for a potential title shot down the road. The key for Dodson in this matchup is to stay on his feet and make it into a boxing match. Munhoz will look to get to the ground and control the fight while maneuvering to a potential submission. Dodson has knockout power and will try to end it early and prevent Munhoz to dominate on the ground.
Michel Prazeres (23-2) vs. Desmond Green (20-6)
Odds: Prazeres -145, Green +125
Michel Prazeres riding a five-fight win streak needs to put on a wrestling showcase to knock off Buffalo native Desmond Green in this Lightweight matchup. Prazeres’ gameplan is what UFC fans love to hate, a “boring” wrestling-control game. Prazeres isn’t in the UFC to create excitement, he is there to win. The Brazilian has recently found his power on the feet, but his primary mode of winning remains a brutal blend of strong takedowns, transitional wrestling and smothering top control.
Green is coming off a decision loss to Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night 115. He needs to prevent this fight to go to the ground and defend Prazeres’ takedown offense. Prazeres has a lower center of gravity against the taller Green and needs to use that to his advantage to take Green down and grind out the fight. Green has to keep a constant jab in Prazeres face and make sure he’s far ahead on volume. Look for this to be a grind-em-out ground fest.
UFC Fight Night 125 Predictions
Eryk Anders (-270) vs. Lyoto Machida (+230)Anders-KO
John Dodson (-150) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+130) Munhoz-Submission
Valentina Shevchenko (-900) vs. Priscilla Cachoeira (+600) Shevchenko-TKO
Michel Prazeres (-150) vs. Des Green (+130) Prazeres-Decision
Marcelo Golm (-170) vs. Timothy Johnson (+150)Golm-KO
Thiago Santos (-270) vs. Anthony Smith (+230)Santos-TKO
Tim Means (-200) vs. Sergio Moraes (+170)Moraes-Decision
Alan Patrick (-230) vs. Damir Hadzovic (+190)Hadzovic-Decision
Marlon Vera (-135) vs. Douglas Andrade (+115) Andrade-KO
Joe Soto (-120) vs. Iuri Alcantara (EVEN) Soto-Submission
Deiveson Figueiredo (-145) vs. Joseph Morales (+125)Figueiredo-Decision
Polyana Viana (-370) vs. Maia Stevenson (+310)Viana-KO