UFC Fight Night 175 takes place this weekend, again from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Last week we saw UFC on ESPN 15 throw up a number of interesting match-ups, including comebacks and upsets and we hope that this week is no different. Aside from the blockbuster main event between a former title challenger, Anthony Smith and the hard-hitting Aleksander Rakic, we take a look at three fights not to be missed at UFC Fight Night 175.
Alex Caceres vs Giga Chikadze
In what promises to be a high-level stand-up battle, veteran Alex Caceres squares off against Giga Chikadze on the prelims. Caceres, who is 16-12 in his professional career is coming off the back of two victories. Most recently he dominated Chase Hooper at UFC 250 to ease to a unanimous decision victory. His slick stand-up game proved too much for the young Hooper and Caceres had a fairly easy night at the office.
What makes Caceres so interesting is his karate style, slick footwork and experience. Yes, he has 12 losses on his record, but it is important to realise that he has been a member of the UFC roster since 2011. He’s been in there with the likes of Urijah Faber, Jason Knight, Cole Miller and took Yair Rodriguez to a split decision in a main event fight back in 2016.
Chikadze is not nearly as experienced as Caceres in MMA. With just 12 fights, including 10 wins, Chikadze made his craft in kickboxing before transitioning to MMA. After failing to impress on the Contender series (being finished by rear-naked choke), Chikadze notched two finish victories before the UFC call came.
His UFC tenure has been far from impressive, however. Despite being 3-0, he has gone the fifteen-minute distance in all of his fights, with two of his victories have come via split decision. If he is to make a run at 145lbs, he will have to defeat Caceres in what promises to be an exciting, striking battle.
Mallory Martin vs Hannah Cifers
The always game, Hannah Cifers returns at UFC Fight Night 175 to take on Mallory Martin at strawweight. Martin failed in her UFC debut, suffering a rear-naked choke loss. Until this point, however, she had certainly impressed, winning five on the spin. Honing her craft in Invicta FC, Martin looked good. Despite dropping her debut, she could certainly have a future in the UFC’s 115lbs division.
‘Shockwave’ is always game for a scrap. Although she’s dropped her last three fights, Cifers has fought three times in 2020 already, with her previous two bouts coming just two weeks apart. She’s been in there with some top contenders too. Maycee Barber, Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill are just some of the women who have stood across from Cifers. Despite not looking like your typical cage fighter, Cifers can scrap. Deceivingly strong for her size, Cifers has five TKO/KO victories. Despite not notching a TKO/KO in the UFC, she will be in search of it this weekend.
This is certainly not one to miss with both women looking to get the W and kick start a comeback.
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba
Fourth time lucky? If this was not such a good fight, the UFC would surely have scrapped it by now. Having had an inconclusive finish to their first fight, Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba are set to face off again at UFC Fight Night 175. The first fight saw Ankalaev come away with the TKO victory after the referee stepped in to save Cutelaba. Cutelaba appeared to be playing possum, however, and was fine following the stoppage. The rematch was inevitable and despite being booked again twice previously, it is set to go down again this weekend.
15-1 in his professional career, Ankalaev has looked phenomenal. His style just matches well with Cutelaba’s and this one is set to be flames, again. For a full breakdown of the first fight and indications as to how this one may go, check out Dan Hardy‘s Youtube channel.
Simply put, this one smells like violence and is certainly not one to be missed at UFC Fight Night 175.