UFC 175 takes place on Saturday, July 5th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring two title fights where both champions are undefeated. With just days to go until the huge event, here is our official UFC 175 preview.
Chris Weidman (11-0) will make his second defense of the UFC Middleweight Championship, as he takes on former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida (21-4) in the headline match of the evening. In the co-main event, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey (9-0) will make the fourth defense of her title, as she takes on Alexis Davis (16-5).
The story of UFC 175 revolves around controversy and a lot of fight plans being changed as we get closer to fight night. Originally, Weidman was to defend his title against Vitor Belfort on the show, but due to issues stemming from the banning of TRT, Belfort was removed from the originally intended main event. Instead, Machida was put into the spot, a fight that in many ways could be more of a challenge for the 185-pound king.
Additionally, the third-from-the-top fight on this show was scheduled to feature the grudge match between recent Ultimate Fighter Brazil coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. The two have had a long-standing rivalry, one that escalated with an infamous shoving match at a convention, and ultimately culminated with a heated scuffle on the set of the Brazilian-based reality show. Both incidents were criticized as being fake, as many felt that the two were simply hyping up a grudge — in pro wrestling fashion — to build anticipation for their eventual showdown inside the octagon.
But then TRT reared its’ ugly head into the situation yet again.
Despite being banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, TRT can be pointed to as the reason the “American Gangster” from West Linn, Oregon will not be on the July 4th weekend lineup.
When the time came for random drug testing to take place, “The Axe Murderer” slid out the back door — literally — and fled from the scene. This pretty much guaranteed that the highly anticipated Sonnen-Silva showdown, which had already been postponed and shuffled around in the ever-expanding UFC schedule, would not be taking place when promised yet again.
But fear not. Chael P. Sonnen will fight anyone, anytime, anywhere …as long as he can get licensed.
Welcome to our next roadblock.
After Silva ran away from his drug test, UFC scrambled and booked the man who was originally scheduled to headline UFC 175 — Vitor Belfort — to replace the former PRIDE Champion and battle Brazil’s biggest nemesis. When the news of Sonnen-Belfort broke, the MMA community seemed to respond with a mixed reaction. Some still felt robbed that the Sonnen-Silva fight, which had fans foaming at the mouth in anticipation, was not going to take place. Others were excited about what was considered a more legitimate pairing between Sonnen and Belfort.
And then TRT struck again.
Sonnen, who was one of a handful of fighters who was taking TRT legally, unlike Silva, actually took his drug test. Unfortunately for him, he failed his test.
Without getting into the complicated issue of Sonnen’s drug test failure, the bottom line was UFC 175 lost what was in many ways, to the “casual fan,” the most exciting bout on the card.
Furthermore, Chael Sonnen fans were delivered the sad news that their favorite fighter announced his retirement, as he made it clear that his desire to start a family superceded anything fight-related.
As it should, by the way.