UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman has sustained an injury to his knee that has forced his title defense against Lyoto Machida to be rescheduled for UFC 175 on July 5th. The match was originally the headliner of the UFC 173 card scheduled for las Vegas on May 24th. Weidman was a favorite at about (-200) over Machida, whose payback was at (+160), and the books are likely to just switch the line over for the fight, which is now six weeks later. Is it smart to move the line without adjustment for this injury?
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Weidman deserves respect, and he is a solid, intense fighter who did what no one thought possible. He still carries around with him a chip on his shoulder because he hasn’t gotten full respect for his achievement of unseating an all-time great in Anderson Silva. The truth is, we still don’t know much about Weidman and Lyoto is a hefty challenge that will answer a lot of questions about Weidman.
Weidman had surgery on his arm, and now a knee injury is slowing him down. It has to be demoralizing to Weidman.
As for Lyoto, he is a dangerous fighter, and one whose calm demeanor and year round preparation means that he is unlikely to be disrupted by the delay the way most fighters would. His camp, and Lyoto himself form his position will be less affected than Weidman, and that factor should have made the bookies possibly re-consider the line.
What will be most interesting to see is how the UFC caps the now main event-less UFC 173. Right now the feature fight is Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos, and there are now nine matches on the schedule. Most of the cards surrounding the 173 card do not have a match that is an instant no brainer to headline a PPV, but the UFC is going to have to come up with something. One potential fight that comes to mind that could help fill this card is a re-match between Josh Barnett and Frank Mir, as the first bout was stopped in relatively unsatisfactory way for all involved. Let’s see what else they come up with.