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UFC Fight Night 125 predictions: ‘Machida vs Anders’ Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ undercard preview

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 3, 2018) when UFC Fight Night 125: “Machida vs. Anders” storms Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 125 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

MMA: UFC 213-Laprise vs Camozzi Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s do-or-die for “The Dragon” this Saturday evening (Feb. 3, 2018) as Lyoto Machida looks to salvage his flagging mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the expense of rising slugger Eryk Anders in UFC Fight Night 125’s main event from inside Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil.

Fifty pounds south, Pedro Munhoz puts his four-fight win streak on the line against John Dodson. FOX Sports 1’s main card will also see Valentina Shevchenko make her Flyweight debut and Michel Prazeres throw down with Des Green.

It’s another 4:2 “Prelims” undercard split this time around. So let’s start with the Fight Pass line up:

135 lbs.: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales

Deiveson Figueiredo (13-0) slugged his way through some back-and-forth battles to reach UFC, but showed he had craft to spare in his second-round finish of Marco Beltran last June. Proving it was no fluke, “Daico” went on to upset prospect Jarred Brooks in Sao Paulo four months later.

He has knocked out six opponents and submitted another five.

Joseph Morales had to grit through some early trouble to do it, but impressed Dana White enough on “Lookin’ for a Fight” to earn himself a UFC debut last July. Taking on fellow unbeaten prospect Roberto Sanchez, “Bopo” leveled him with a right hand before polishing him off with a bonus-winning rear naked choke.

He has dispatched five professional opponents via some form of choke.

Morales looks like a damn fine prospect at the age of 23, packing the traditional Team Alpha Male loadout of top-notch scrambling and a thumping right hand to support it. What he doesn’t yet have is a super-developed wrestling game or great defense. Figueiredo’s plenty hittable himself, but he looks to be the more dangerous striker and is more battle-tested.

While Morales has the skills to catch Figueiredo in transition, the Brazilian thrives in chaos. Expect plenty of back-and-forth action until Figueiredo finds the mark for the finish.

Prediction: Figueiredo via second-round technical knockout

115 lbs.: Maia Stevenson vs. Polyana Viana

Maia Stevenson (6-4) got off to a rocky, 1-4 start to her MMA career, but scored five consecutive stoppage wins to earn a spot on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26. Despite being ranked No. 5, she was thoroughly overwhelmed by No. 12 Sijara Eubanks, ultimately tapping to a kimura in the second round.

She is three inches shorter and nine years older than Polyana Viana (9-1).

Brazil’s Viana — who won the Jungle Fight Strawweight title in in 2015 — has dispatched five opponents in less than four minutes apiece since her first career defeat. Her victim list includes UFC signee and immediate USADA victim Amanda Ribas, whom she knocked out with punches to earn the title.

She has submitted five opponents, four by armbar, and knocked out another five.

Want to know something interesting? The combined record of Stevenson’s opponents at the time she faced them is 1-14. She lost to the only one with a win. She has yet to beat a single competent foe and got completely overwhelmed in her first step up.

And at 35, there’s not a lot of time for her to shape up.

While Viana stands hilariously straight and wings ugly punches on the feet, she’s an absolute stud grappler with the confidence to pull guard and, so far, ability to make it work. Stevenson’s got some decent combinations, so she could certainly tag Viana, but I expect the younger, more proven fighter to lock up another armbar sometime in the first.

Prediction: Viana via first-round submission

Four more UFC Fight Night 125 undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, including a fun striker vs. grappler match up in the featured bout. Same time as always, Maniacs!

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 125 card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the FOX Sports 1 main card action kicks off at 10 p.m. ET.