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UFC 175 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Alexis Davis not finding many believers among oddsmakers

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Sam Morris

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers a question during a media availability in advance of UFC 175 on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at Mandalay Bay.

UFC 175: Media

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers a question during a media availability in advance of UFC 175 on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at Mandalay Bay. Launch slideshow »

A fighter on Saturday’s pay-per-view card at the Mandalay Bay Events Center could unseat T.J. Dillashaw, who stunningly dismantled Renan Barao just more than a month ago, for the biggest upset in UFC history.

Sports books consider one UFC 175 challenger an even bigger underdog than Dillashaw, who went off around plus-700 before UFC 173. And it’s not Lyoto Machida, who meets Chris Weidman in a middleweight championship bout.

It’s Ronda Rousey’s opponent, Alexis Davis, an undefeated fighter in the UFC who’s given just an 8-to-1 chance to dethrone the women’s bantamweight champion. And that’s after a shift downward.

Rousey opened as high as a minus-2000 (risking $20 to win $1) favorite, with Davis coming back at plus-1100 (risking $1 to win $11). That comes out to oddsmakers giving Davis as little as a 6 percent chance.

Machida is actually the shortest underdog in a middleweight championship fight in seven years, even shorter than Weidman in his rematch with Anderson Silva after winning the first fight. Weidman closed at plus-175 back then. Machida is plus-160 ahead of UFC 175 with Weidman coming back at minus-190.

The main event is seen as several times tighter than the co-main event.

Find out who the Sun’s picks panel — ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (66-27 year to date), ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (59-34), Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (59-34), Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (55-38) and KSNV’s Randy Howe (48-45) — likes in both fights as well as all the others on UFC 175 along with odds and a breakdown of the entire card below.

Lyoto Machida

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 13-4
  • MMA record 21-4
  • Out of: Los Angeles
  • Betting line: +160

Chris Weidman

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 7-0
  • MMA record 11-0
  • Out of: Baldwin, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -190

Middleweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 36.

Punch list: Weidman qualified his statement by admitting it would sound crazy but said he believed Machida was a better-rounded fighter than Silva. “The Dragon” does have a masterful sense of range, an impeccable takedown defense and a championship background.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Weidman

Cofield: Weidman

Last fight: Second-round TKO victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 168.

Punch list: There’s been a small faction saying Weidman was the right man to beat Silva but not necessarily the best middleweight in the world. Don’t count Machida among them. The challenger said there was no question the champion deserved to be the best in the world going into his second title defense.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Weidman

Brewer: Weidman

Okamoto: Weidman

Alexis Davis

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 16-5
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: +800

Ronda Rousey

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: Venice, Calif.
  • Betting line: -1200

Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Split-decision win against Jessica Eye at UFC 170.

Punch list: Rousey has repeatedly described Davis as the “most well-rounded fighter she’s fought.” Davis feels she’s, at minimum, the best grappler to come at Rousey as her black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu and zero column in submission losses indicate.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Rousey

Cofield: Rousey

Last fight: First-round TKO victory over Sara McMann at UFC 170.

Punch list: It’s often said that no one is unbeatable in mixed martial arts, but Rousey looks like the closest force for now. Already world-class in attacking with armbars through her judo, “Rowdy” has developed her striking to a level where it's dangerous.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Rousey

Brewer: Rousey

Okamoto: Rousey

Matt Mitrione

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 265
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 7-3
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: +135

Stefan Struve

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 7’0”
  • Weight: 238
  • UFC record 9-4
  • MMA record 29-6
  • Out of: Beverwijik, Netherlands
  • Betting line: -165

Heavyweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: First-round knockout over Shawn Jordan at The Ultimate Fighter: China finale.

Punch list: Mitrione makes one of the quicker comebacks of his career three months after dispatching Jordan with a second to spare in the round. Mitrione’s past four fights, two wins and two losses, have not gone past the first round.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Mitrione

Cofield: Struve

Last fight: Third-round knockout loss versus Mark Hunt at UFC on Fuel TV 8.

Punch list: “Skyscraper” comes back after a year and a half away treating a heart disorder. The serious medical issue threatened to end his career, but Struve, who also broke his jaw in his previous fight, persevered to get back into the octagon.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Struve

Brewer: Mitrione

Okamoto: Struve

Thiago Santos

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 9-2
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: +300

Uriah Hall

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 9-4
  • Out of: New York
  • Betting line: -400

Middleweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: First-round TKO win against Ronny Markes at UFC Fight Night 38.

Punch list: Shortly after Hall aired on domestic broadcasts, Santos did the same internationally. He was a member of “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” 2 but bowed out in the quarterfinal round.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Santos

Cofield: Hall

Last fight: First-round TKO win against Chris Leben at UFC 168.

Punch list: It’s a matchup between two former “The Ultimate Fighter” products from different sides of the globe. Hall is the more well known, as he tore his way through “The Ultimate Fighter” 16 last year before getting upset by Kelvin Gastelum in the finale.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Hall

Brewer: Hall

Okamoto: Hall

Russell Doane

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 13-3
  • Out of: Honolulu
  • Betting line: -110

Marcus Brimage

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 6-2
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: -110

Bantamweight Bout

Main Card Opener

Last fight: Submitted Lenadro Issa in the second round at UFC Fight Night 34.

Punch list: Continuing the UF’s Hawaiian pipeline, Doane brings the same warrior mentality fighters from the island are known for. Thirteen of 16 career fights have ended without judges’ scores intervening.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Brimage

Cofield: Brimage

Last fight: Knocked out by Conor McGregor in the first round at UFC on FUEL TV 9.

Punch list: “The Bama Beast” thought he was on his way to the top of the division before McGregor torched him. He still has the agility and will to test most fighters at his weight.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Brimage

Brewer: Brimage

Okamoto: Doane

Alex Caceres

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 10-5
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: +750

Urijah Faber

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 30-7
  • Out of: Sacramento, Calif.
  • Betting line: -1050

Bantamweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Submitted Sergio Pettis in the third round at UFC on Fox 10.

Punch list: After “Bruce Leeroy” worked his way from “TUF” novelty act to fringe contender with four straight wins, he asked to fight Faber. The UFC liked the idea for the chance to measure where Caceres stands with the best.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Faber

Cofield: Faber

Last fight: First-round TKO loss against Renan Barao at UFC 169.

Punch list: It’s rare to find a single four-digit favorite on most UFC cards, but Faber is the second on the Saturday of International Fight Week. The drastic betting line is a result of pairing two fighters with such different levels of experience and stature in the sport.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Faber

Brewer: Faber

Okamoto: Faber

Ildemar Alcantara

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 20-6
  • Out of: Soure, Brazil
  • Betting line: -150

Kenny Robertson

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 13-3
  • Out of: Peoria, Ill.
  • Betting line: +120

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Split-decision win over Albert Tumenov at UFC Fight Night 36.

Punch list: The younger brother of perhaps better-known Yuri Alcantara, Ildemar has been just as successful as of late. Both brothers have won three of their past four fights.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Robertson

Cofield: Alcantara

Last fight: First-round submission win against Thiago Perpetuo at UFC Fight Night 38.

Punch list: Two of Robertson’s three losses in the UFC came in his first two fights. He feels like he’s turned a corner since 2013, in which he’s gone 2-1 with two first-round submission wins.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Robertson

Brewer: Robertson

Okamoto: Robertson

Bruno Santos

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Bahia, Brazil
  • Betting line: +200

Chris Camozzi

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 6-4
  • MMA record 19-7
  • Out of: Lakewood, Colo.
  • Betting line: -260

Middleweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 33.

Punch list: The Brazilian prospect makes his second appearance on American soil. The first went well, as he powered past recognizable Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana in a Bellator bout in 2012.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Santos

Cofield: Camozzi

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight For the Troops 3.

Punch list: Tough is the word most associated with Camozzi, a hard-charging wrestler. He’ll need to grit his teeth and show it here, as a loss would mark three straight and could cause his release from the promotion.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Santos

Brewer:Camozzi

Okamoto: Camozzi

Rob Font

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 10-1
  • Out of: Boston
  • Betting line: +175

George Roop

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 5-6
  • MMA record 15-11-1
  • Out of: Tucson, Ariz.
  • Betting line: -195

Bantamweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Knocked out Tristan Johnson at Classic Sports and Entertainment MMA 23.

Punch list: Font has a well-known team behind him, including renowned coach Mark DellaGrotte. He was a pizza delivery guy before he starting fighting five years ago.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Roop

Cofield: Roop

Last fight: Beat Dustin Kimura by unanimous decision at “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” finale.

Punch list: Some questioned the veteran’s move back to bantamweight last year, but he’s proved them wrong with a 3-1 run in the division. Roop’s lankiness makes him an awkward matchup for any opponent.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Roop

Brewer: Roop

Okamoto: Roop

Guilherme Vasconcelos

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 3-1
  • Out of: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Betting line: -165

Luke Zachrich

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 13-3
  • Out of: Columbus, Ohio
  • Betting line: +135

Middleweight Bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelim

Last fight: Second-round submission victory over Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos at Jungle Fight 54.

Punch list:One look at the number of Vasconcelos’ fights indicates how much the UFC thinks of him. The promotion doesn’t stock up with fighters boasting as little experience as him unless they see a special potential.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Vasconcelos

Cofield: Vasconcelos

Last fight: First-round submission loss to Caio Magalhaes at UFC on Fox 11.

Punch list: “The Ultimate Fighter” 7 veteran never expected to make a living out of fighting when he started training 10 years ago as a way to stay in shape. He was convinced to fight, then racked up some impressive achievements on the local circuit.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Vasconcelos

Brewer: Vasconcelos

Okamoto: Vasconcelos

Bubba Bush

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 8-2
  • Out of: College Station, Texas
  • Betting line: -185

Kevin Casey

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 8-3
  • Out of: Hawthorne, Calif.
  • Betting line: +155

Middleweight Bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelim

Last fight: First-round submission win over Alfonso Gonzalez at Legacy Fighting Championships 31.

Punch list: “The Fightin’ Texas Aggie” has won four straight, with two by submission and two by knockout. He studied finance at Texas A&M before becoming a fighter.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Bush

Cofield: Bush

Last fight: Lost to Josh Samman via second-round TKO at “The Ultimate Fighter” 16 finale.

Punch list: Between two losses on “The Ultimate Fighter” and another in the finale, Casey is getting the rare fourth chance in the International Fight week opener. He earned a shot at a UFC reprieve by going on a three-fight win streak outside the promotion.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Casey

Brewer: Casey

Okamoto: Bush

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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