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UFC Fight Night 125 predictions: ‘Machida vs Anders’ FOX Sports 1 ‘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 continues the UFC Fight Night 125 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

UFC Brisbane Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Undaunted by his savage knockout loss to Derek Brunson, Lyoto Machida squares off with another southpaw powerhouse in Belem, Brazil, this Saturday (Feb. 3, 2018), headlining UFC Fight Night 125 inside Arena Guilherme Paraense.

Elsewhere on the FOX Sports 1-televised card, Pedro Munhoz throws down with John Dodson, Valentina Shevchenko faces Priscilla Cachoeira, and Michel Prazeres brings the momentum of five straight wins to bear against Des Green.

Four “Prelims” undercard bouts join the main card on FOX Sports 1 (check out the Fight Pass portion here) and we’ve got them freshly prepared for you below:

170 lbs.: Sergio Moraes vs. Tim Means

Despite multiple injuries to himself and opponents, Sergio Moraes (12-3-1) rebounded from a debut loss to Cezar “Mutante” to go unbeaten in his next seven fights, including a submission of Neil Magny and comeback knockout of Omari Akhmedov. This momentum wasn’t enough to save him from Kamaru Usman, who put him to sleep with a savage right hand midway through the first round in Sept. 2017.

He stands two inches shorter than Tim Means (27-9-1) and will give up three inches of reach.

“Dirty Bird” first exited UFC after consecutive losses and a failure to make weight, but after losing to the aforementioned Magny in his return, he proceeded to go 7-2 (1 NC) over his next 10 fights. This made him a sizable favorite against Belal Muhammad, but “Remember the Name” overcame a major height disadvantage to edge out a split decision.

Means has stopped 18 opponents with strikes.

Moraes — despite owning one of the most potent Brazilian jiu-jitsu games the Octagon has ever seen — has elected to be an aggressive slugger rather than properly develop his wrestling. That’s worked against fellow grappling specialists like Davi Ramos and Mickael Lebout, but his iffy chin and lack of head movement cost him dearly against Usman and very nearly cost him against Akhmedov until the Dagestani grinder ran out of steam.

Means’ height, length and technique advantages make this a nightmare match up for Moraes, who is going to find himself on the wrong end of jabs, straights and kicks thanks to his lack of nuanced takedown entries. Means chews him up at range before Moraes gets desperate enough to force his way inside, at which point Means’ knees and elbows will put him away.

Prediction: Means via second-round technical knockout

155 lbs.: Alan Patrick vs. Damir Hadzovic

Alan Patrick (14-1) had something of a roller coaster opening to his UFC career, knocking out Garett Whiteley before winning a highly questionable decision over John Makdessi and getting head kicked into oblivion by Mairbek Taisumov. “Nuguete” has enjoyed a bit more consistency since, however, utilizing overpowering wrestling to dispatch Damien Brown and Stevie Ray.

This will be his first fight since Sept. 2016 and just his second since June of the previous year.

Damir Hadzovic (11-3) was hurled right into the deep end when he joined UFC, getting blasted to bits by Mairbek Taisumov in his promotional debut and then matched up against Marcin Held when a fight with Yusuke Kasuya fell through twice. Down two rounds, Hadzovic timed Held’s Imanari roll to perfection and leveled him with a bonus-winning knee.

Though the two are the same height, “The Bosnian Bomber” will give up four inches of reach to the Brazilian.

Hadzovic is a dangerous striker, but his ground game is sorely lacking. Though Patrick isn’t even in the same universe as Held when it comes to finishing skills, he’s an overpowering grappler and effective enough on the feet to disguise his shots. It’s another rough style match up for Hadzovic. And unless he’s got another crazy knee up his sleeve or Patrick has fallen off a cliff during the layoff, he’s looking at UFC loss number two.

Patrick’s length will force Hadzovic to open himself up to takedowns to get inside, and once the Brazilian gets on top, Hadzovic isn’t getting back up until the bell rings. Patrick grinds him down for a wide decision win.

Prediction: Patrick via unanimous decision

135 lbs.: Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Marlon Vera

Following a rough debut against Zubaira Tukhugov, Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2) showed off his ferocious punching power in wins over Cody Gibson and Enrique Briones, earning “Performance of the Night” against the former. Rob Font proved too big a step up, however, and choked out the Brazilian with a guillotine in the second round of their UFC 213 match up.

Nineteen of his 24 wins have come by form of knockout.

Marlon Vera (10-4-1) -- seen as one of Team Latin America’s best hopes on the inaugural season of the titular The Ultimate Fighter TUF) — leveled Enrique Briones in the quarterfinals, but was forced out of the tournament because of a skin infection. Undaunted, he’s gone 4-3 in the promotion itself, most recently seeing a three-fight win streak end at the hands of John Lineker in a fairly competitive fight.

“Chito” has submitted six opponents as a professional.

Vera’s got a sizeable edge in reach and leg reach, plus the better submission game, but this looks like a rough match up for him. He struggled to stay away from the most sedate Lineker I’ve ever seen and his takedown accuracy is a paltry 30 percent, meaning he’s going to spend a lot of time in Andrade’s punching range.

And Andrade can crack.

Dangerous as Vera is, his boxing lags well behind Font’s and he doesn’t mix things up nearly as well. Unless he can clip Andrade with a shin to the dome in the early going, the Brazilian lays him out after a few tense exchanges.

Prediction: Andrade via first-round knockout

135 lbs.: Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto

Once a fixture of the Bantamweight Top 15, Iuri Alcntara (34-9) finds himself in the first multi-fight losing streak of his career. “Marajo” came back from the brink of defeat to submit Luke Sanders last March, but suffered his first-ever submission loss to Brian Kelleher and turned in a tepid performance against Alejandro Perez.

Twenty-seven of his 34 wins have come by stoppage, 14 via submission.

Joe Soto (18-6) — who famously saved UFC 177’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event — rattled off three consecutive victories after starting his Octagon career winless (0-3), including impressive submissions of Chris Beal and Marco Beltran. The streak came to an abrupt end in Dec. 2017, when Brett Johns caught him in a calf slicer just 30 seconds into their fight.

“One Bad Mofo” faces a three-inch height disadvantage and a six-inch reach disadvantage.

Alcantara has the skills to destroy Soto. The problem is that he had the skills to destroy Kelleher and Perez, too, and we all saw how that turned out. At 37 years old, he looks like he’s lost the ability to get out of his own way, showcasing baffling in-cage decisions and horribly insufficient volume.

Soto may not have the size or striking acumen to beat an Alcantara who knows what he’s doing, but he can beat this one. Soto’s grappling and volume striking carry him to a decision win.

Prediction: Soto via unanimous decision

Someone is going to sleep, at least. See you Saturday, 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.

Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2018: 21-1