UFC Fight Night 125 on Saturday in Brazil features Lyoto Machida taking on Eryk Anders. Machida is a UFC veteran and a fan favorite, while Anders is the young upstart who comes in unbeaten. This fight headlines a six -fight main card on FS1, while there are six preliminary bouts, with four on FS1 and two on UFC Fight Pass. Let’s look at the card with a focus on Machida vs. Anders and the co-main event between John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz.
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Eryk Anders -266 vs. Lyoto Machida
It is the legend against the upstart, as Machida goes against Anders. Machida has a lot of experience, but nearing the end of his career, while Anders is on the way up. Machida is 22-8 in his career, but he has lost his last three fights. Machida has not won since beating CB Dolloway in 2014. Machida has lost to Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson. You can make a strong case that Machida needs to win this fight to avoid getting put on the backburner of future UFC cards.
Anders is 10-0 in his career, including 2-0 in the UFC but he doesn’t have anywhere near the experience of Machida. Anders has wins over Rafael Natal and Markus Perez in UFC action. We simply don’t know yet how good Anders is. It is a little surprising he is such a big favorite against Machida. Anders has six knockout wins in his career and one win by submission.
Anders said to MMAjunkie Radio that he is not overwhelmed fighting a UFC legend. “This is the next step – the next rung on the ladder in my career. So I really don’t put a whole bunch of thought and a whole bunch of stock into it. He’s just the next guy that I’m fighting. I’m not like all giddy or excited or anything like that. I’ve got to go out there, take care of business, and try to climb that middleweight ladder.”
Is Machida still capable of fighting at a high level? That is the first question that has to be answered. The second question that has to be answered is how good is Anders? We know that Anders is going to come in fast and hard and try and keep the pressure on Machida. Maybe Anders is good enough to dominate Machida, but I just can’t see laying more than 2-1. This is a tough fight to call, but the value is definitely on Machida.
John Dodson -147 vs. Pedro Munhoz
The co-main event should be an exciting one in the bantamweight division. Dodson has looked good since moving up from flyweight but he is still just 2-2 in his last four fights. Dodson is 19-9 in his career while Munhoz is 15-2-1 and on a four-fight winning streak.
This fight is all about Dodson trying to avoid takedowns, as Munhoz has won nine of his fights by submission. Dodson should have the speed to stay out of trouble and I give him the edge in this fight.
UFC Fight Night 125 takes place on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil, with a middleweight rematch between Lyoto Machida and Eryk Anders as the event headliner. There are six fights on the main pay-per-view card and six preliminary bouts, with four on FS1 and two on UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card FS1
Middleweight - Lyoto Machida -266 vs. Eryk Anders
Bantamweight - John Dodson -147 vs. Pedro Munhoz
Women's Flyweight - Valentina Shevchenko -651 vs. Priscila Cachoeira
Lightweight - Michel Prazeres -160 vs. Desmond Green
Heavyweight - Marcelo Golm -180 vs. Timothy Johnson
Middleweight - Thiago Santos -278 vs. Anthony Smith
Preliminary Card FS1
Welterweight - Tim Means -190 vs. Sérgio Moraes
Lightweight - Alan Patrick -217 vs. Damir Hadžovic
Bantamweight - Marlon Vera -140 vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
Bantamweight - Joe Soto -120 vs. Iuri Alcântara
Preliminary Card UFC Fight Pass
Flyweight - Deiveson Figueiredo -150 vs. Joseph Morales
Women's Strawweight - Polyana Viana -325 vs. Maia Stevenson
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