Winner's Circle: What victory means for UFC 175's featured fighters


What does victory mean for Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey, and Alexis Davis ahead of their respective headlining fights this weekend (Sat., July 5, 2014) at UFC 175: “Weidman vs. Machida” at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada? We explore the consequences below.

Let us explore the glory, shall we?

UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" will take place this upcoming Saturday night (July 5, 2014) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a card that took a bit of a beating these past couple of months.

Nevertheless, the action can't come any sooner, as UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman takes on former light heavyweight titleholder Lyoto Machida in the main event.

The "All American" combatant is currently 11-0 in his career, fresh off dethroning Anderson Silva in his last two contests in 2013. Machida, on the other hand, is 4-1 in his past five bouts, including two knockouts over Ryan Bader and Mark Munoz, respectively.

In the co-main event, Ronda Rousey defends her UFC women's bantamweight title against Alexis Davis, who is currently undefeated in the organization. "Rowdy" has never lost, beating eight opponents by way of armbar and most recently, scoring a technical knockout victory over Sara McMann in her lone finish courtesy of strikes.

With the majority of this weekend's excitement focused on these two bouts, let's look into the near future and map out what a victory might mean for these four competitors.

Chris Weidman

When the New Yorker had to face "The Spider" for a second time at UFC 168, he had to deal with his first victory being a fluke. He technically finished the Brazilian again for the second time, yet not everybody is convinced he deserved that win, either.

"The Destruction" technique didn't win most people over, and it's a bit of déjà vu for the middleweight champion heading into his fight against "The Dragon." He still needs to prove he's a world-beater, despite crushing 10 opponents who came before the former light heavyweight champ this weekend.

Right now, Weidman is the best middleweight in the world, and if he beats Machida in devastating fashion, I'm not sure how anybody can challenge that statement. Surely, fighters such as Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort loom close by, yet if the American simply picks apart his foe on Saturday, how can he not be the 185-pound kingpin?

Maybe his mic skills or his personality are somewhat lacking, yet it's all about what gets done inside the cage (usually). If Weidman takes care of business handily, there's no way you can question his success any longer.

Lyoto Machida

Most observers know what Lyoto Machida is capable of, and he's proved it his entire career. That doesn't mean he's always been exciting, or crushes opponents like he used to before winning the light heavyweight championship over Rashad Evans at UFC 98, but it's not like he's a former shell of himself.

In spite of that, the Brazilian needs that one massive victory to convince the naysayers he's still one of the most dangerous athletes in the fight game. He has destroyed guys like Munoz, Bader and Randy Couture over the past couple of years, but he failed to truly impress in fights against Dan Henderson and Gegard Mousasi.

At least impress in a fashion that you're used to seeing from him.

If Machida beats Weidman, his work will surely be cut out for him in the next couple of months, but it reaffirms his position as a threatening force the world once came to love.

Plus, finishing Weidman will leave no doubt in anyone's mind that he isn't boring anymore.

Can "The Dragon" spit that hot fire once again?

Ronda Rousey

So, I'm sure you've noticed UFC is sort of lacking top draws in MMA right now, considering the inactivity of juggernauts like Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.

A lot of pundits will tell you Jon Jones and Rousey are the biggest draws, yet they're not exactly selling pay-per-views by the pound. Still, "Rowdy" has a few movie roles lined up, and after appearing on magazine covers and raising awareness as arguably the meanest female fighter on earth today, she's sort of keeping the boat afloat.

Beating Alexis Davis -- certainly by submission -- won't be too surprising or impressive, to be honest. She's totally expected to do that. If she outstrikes a natural striker, that's where things get interesting.

Not to be repetitive, but Rousey's stiffest challenge remains outside of the organization. A fight against Cristiane Justino may never materialize, despite being the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao-type of bout the world of women's MMA is dying for.

Also, Rousey is rumored to be taking time off if she wins on Saturday night, which means most will think she's ran through the entire women's bantamweight division, despite there still being work for her out there. But it's not like she's terribly overrated, she's just likely to do what she does best.

It's the same old story.

Alexis Davis

Now, this is where the story changes.

Nobody is really picking the Canadian to oust Rousey, and since we've already seen a monstrous upset this year in the Octagon, this one would be sort of similar.

Don't think Davis will just win, and that would be that, as a rematch would likely be booked immediately after the post-fight press conference. But toppling the fighter who basically convinced Dana White to bring women into UFC would be grandiose.

Davis probably won't submit Rousey, but outboxing her would be a wise strategy. We can't say for sure how a victory would look for Davis, yet it kind of puts a dagger into the heart of Rousey's plans inside and outside of the cage. It wouldn't turn the tide and make "Ally-Gator" a star of the same magnitude, but maybe some would be convinced the current champion wasn't exactly what she was marketed to be.

However, you can't discount "Rowdy's" accomplishments, and Davis wouldn't be the one expected to topple her. But then again, every fighter has their day to shine, and if the hopeful Canadian can win her sixth-straight fight and make history one day after America's federal holiday, that's a major accomplishment in itself.

Does anyone think she can actually do it?

Check out the UFC 175 finalized fight card, including bout order and set times, right here.

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