On December 9th, 2017, Eryk Anders handily defeated Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123. While being interviewed, he called out Lyoto Machida and said he’d come to Brazil to fight him. A few days later, his wish was granted. In only his third UFC fight, he is set to headline against the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida. As for the “Dragon”, after a lengthy two-year absence stemming from a failed drug test, Machida returned against Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 119. Unfortunately for Machida, it was an unsuccessful return, as he was knocked out midway through the first round. Now, in a little over three months, Machida will look to bounce back against the rising former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Eryk Anders.
Let’s get to the Predictions!
UFC Fight Night 125 FOX Sports 1 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders – Man, I really thought Lyoto Machida had something left in the gas tank when he returned against Derek Brunson. It seemed like the perfect opponent too, an aggressive lunging striker. However, he lasted only 150 seconds before getting knocked out. With that said, I think more or less the same happens in this fight. It’s been three month’s since that knockout and it’s clear father time has ended the “Machida Era”. It was fun while it lasted…
So with that, I have Anders winning via first-round knockout.
125 lbs.: Priscila Cachoeira vs. Valentina Shevchenko – I can’t wait for this fight! Not because I think it will be competitive, but because Shevchenko will be fighting at her natural weight class. She was almost a world champion at Bantamweight, fighting much bigger women. Perhaps opponents having a size and strength advantage was the only aspect keeping Shevchenko from UFC gold. Now ten pounds lighter, I expect Shevchenko not only to become the Flyweight Champion within this year, but she will break Ronda Rousey’s record of six consecutive title defenses by a female. So with that, I got Shevchenko via knockout.
155 lbs.: Desmond Green vs. Michel Prazeres – Welp, I was high Prazeres as a lightweight. He’s massive for the weight class and his strength enables him to mat opponent’s and use his smothering top control en route to victories. However, he’s now missed weight and his massive frame seems to be catching up to him. Now, I still think he wins this because of his early success in the first two rounds. However, that third round is going to be trouble, as his gas tank fades and Green puts on the pressure. So with that, I got Prazeres via decision.
265 lbs.: Marcelo Golm vs. Timothy Johnson – Golm definitely has youth and the potential to be something at Heavyweight, but I believe a veteran like Johnson is much too soon. Despite being finished by Junior Albini in his last outing, Johnson has been known for his durability throughout his career. I still believe that notion and while Golm can crack, he’s always very green. Golm’s also never been out of the first round, as he’s finished all six of his opponents in the first round. Johnson is a grinder, pushing his foes against the cage with the intent of wearing them out. It’s found him success, but I believe it will be his key to victory here. Drag Golm into the later rounds and test his unknown cardio. So with that, I have Johnson via decision.
135 lbs.: Douglas de Andrade vs. Marlon Vera – Don’t know much about de Andrade, but he certainly has no where near the power John Lineker possesses. I say that because Vera most recently fought Lineker and ate all his punches. So with that and by the power of bro science, I have Vera winning via decision.
185 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith – This fight all but guarantee’s to be instant fireworks. Santos and Smith both come into this bout on a three-fight win streak, all of which come via knockout. Santos has however disposed of his opponents within two rounds, meanwhile Smith has had to come back on two occasions in the third round.
As for a prediction, I’ve got Santos. Smith is simply a slow starter and he’s had to weather some early adversity in several fights. His durability has kept him afloat, but Santos is a different type of striker than a weathered Hector Lombard. He’s got legit power in his hands, but it’s his leg kicks that are debilitating. One of those to Smith’s ribs and it’s game over. So with that, I have Santos winning via TKO.
UFC Fight Night 125 FOX Sports 1 Prelims (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Tim Means vs. Sergio Moraes – I find it incredible that Moraes, with such a limited skill set has a 6-2 record in the UFC. It should be noted too, that he easily defeated Neil Magny, a top ten welterweight. However, his most recent fight against Kamaru Usman was an awful matchup. It showed too, as Moraes was knocked out midway through round one.
As for this fight, I believe that this is Tim Means fight to lose. He’s got a 2 inch height and 5 inch reach advantage and he’s got a substantial striking advantage. Means is a volume striker, who will constantly pick you apart on the outside and then get inside and slice you open with the nastiest standing elbows. Moraes on the other hand has some power in his hands, but he throws predictable looping and lunging strikes. Grappling is his specialty and I could definitely see a route to victory in which he takes down Means and submits him. However, I expect Means to strike from a distance for the better part of two rounds. As Moraes fades, he goes for the kill. So with that, I have Means via late TKO.
155 lbs.: Damir Hadzovic vs. Alan Patrick – Despite being inactive for over 17 month’s, I believe Patrick should have no issues with Hadzovic. If you recall in Hadzovic’s last fight, he spent a majority of it on his back before a perfectly timed knee knocked out a shooting Marcin Held. Now, I can tell you Held is an excellent grappler, not wrestler. The fact that Hadzovic was taken down four times, tells me all I need to know what’s going to happen in this fight. So with that, I have Patrick winning via decision.
115 lbs.: Polyana Viana vs. Maia Stevenson – What I find interesting here is that Stevenson began her career 1-4, fighting against relatively formidable foes. Then, she rattled off five straight victories before losing in an exhibition match on the Ultimate Fighter 26 to Sijara Eubanks. Problem is, for one she fought at the questionable promotion Gladiator Challenge and two, the combined record for those five opponents was an impressive 0-23 (22 Finishes). Gimme a break, Viana via TKO.
135 lbs.: Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto – I’m done siding with Iuri Alcantara until further notice. He often fights down to his abilities and his gas tank is always suspect. With that said, I have Joe Soto via late TKO.
UFC Fight Night 125 Fight Pass Prelims (7:30 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales – Tough fight to call, but I’m siding with Figueiredo. Despite training at Team Alpha Male, Morales doesn’t quite have the wrestling abilities to rinse and repeat like Jared Brooks did to Figueiredo. He’s a submission based fighter, so it will imperative for Morales to get the fight to the mat. On the feet, Figueiredo is decisively better and has legit knockout power.
As for my prediction, again I have Figueiredo. I believe Morales will have minor success with takedown’s, but Figueiredo will get up each time. Figueiredo will walk Morales down with power shots and eventually win via TKO.