UFC 141 Fight Card Primer: Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz

At UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, Donald Cerrone (17-3, 1 NC; 4-0 UFC) faces Nate Diaz (14-7; 9-5 UFC). This Lightweight fight is the semi-main event of the evening. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Cerrone as the #8 Lightweight in the world and Diaz at #13. The PPV card begins Friday night at the later start time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

To me, the most interesting aspect of this fight comes in the stand-up game. Both Diaz and Cerrone are very strong stand-up fighters, though each comes at striking from a very different approach. For Diaz, boxing is the primary striking style, specifically the kind of high-volume boxing perfected by Nate and brother Nick Diaz. For The Cowboy, striking is more based on Muay Thai, as he uses a full arsenal of punches, kicks, and knees. I look forward to seeing how it plays out on the feet, and if either man decides to go to the mat, where both will still be quite comfortable.

How do these two stack up?

Cerrone: 28 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Diaz: 26 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach

What have these two done recently?

Cerrone: W - Dennis Siver (Sub) | W - Charles Oliveira (TKO) | W - Vagner Rocha (UD)
Diaz: W - Takanori Gomi (Sub) | L - Rory MacDonald (UD) | L - Dong Hyun Kim (UD)

How did these two get here?

Donald Cerrone, along with Ben Henderson, has come to the UFC and really validated the WEC Lightweight division. A lot of people felt the WEC division was inherently inferior to its UFC counterpart, and that the WEC fighters would suffer when making the jump to the UFC earlier this year. For Cerrone, that definitely was not the case. The former WEC #1 contender has gone a perfect 4-0 in the UFC and has been steadily moving up the ladder. His last win was a very impressive dismantling of top ranked Dennis Siver at UFC 137. Is Cerrone on track to follow former WEC rival Henderson to a UFC title shot? A win here would certainly help that cause.

Nate Diaz started his UFC career as Nick's little brother and The Ultimate Fighter winner, but has made his own name during his four year run with the organization. He started his UFC career strong, with 5 straight wins before going 1-3 and moving up to Welterweight. Again, he started strong with back to back wins, then dropped two in a row at 170 and dropped back down to Lightweight. He's 1-0 since the return, defeating Takanori Gomi at UFC 135. Switching back and forth between weights make Nate feel a little bit like a man without a home. He really needs a win here to show he is still a relevant factor in the division.

Why should you care?

This should be a great technical fight. With both men possessing excellent stand-up and ground skills, it's an easy contender for Fight of the Night.

More UFC 141 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem

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