I try not to think in terms of jinxes when it comes to sports, but I am that guy who finds himself falling into traps of not wanting to move from the spot I was sitting when my team made a comeback and the like. That's why I'm always leery of saying that an event is going to deliver major action. It seems like every time I make such a claim an event fails to live up to my expectations.
Still, one can't help but look at the main card for UFC on Versus 5 and expect it to be a tremendous night of action.
Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah will meet in a bout that should be a stand-up battle between two technically proficient muay thai stylists. Sadollah has had a few slip-ups in his UFC career, being TKO'ed by Johny Hendricks and roundly dominated by the top game of Dong Hyun Kim. But he has also steadily improved while finally answering the criticisms about his finishing ability while drubbing DaMarques Johnson in his last fight.
Ludwig is far from a "special fighter" but he can bang (sorry for that) on the feet and is savvy enough to punish Amir for mistakes he makes in the stand up. This is the only fight on the main card that isn't features an underdog over the +135 mark.
Donald Cerrone vs. Charles Oliveira is set up to be a spectacular fight. Both men are well rounded and explosive while only going to decision in 6 of their combined 45 bouts. Cerrone had piled up an astonishing five Fight of the Night performances in the always exciting WEC before grabbing FotN honors in his first bout in the UFC against Paul Kelly.
Oliveira hit a snag in his last two bouts, losing by kneebar to a top lightweight in Jim Miller before earning his own Fight of the Night in a tremendous fight with Nik Lentz. Oliveira was clearly winning the bout but landed an illegal knee which set up the finish and resulted in the fight being overturned into a no contest.
Jim Miller looks to continue his impressive UFC run. Since joining the promotion he has gone 9-1 and currently rides a seven fight win streak. Ben Henderson went 5-1 in the WEC and won his UFC debut. There is no end to how much I could talk about my love for this fight. Rather than go into too much detail now, I'll be gushing over the possibilities of this fight later this week.
While I consider Miller vs. Henderson to be the true main event of the card, the UFC is putting the more well known comodities on top in Chris Lytle and Dan Hardy. Hardy is a guy that Dana White enjoys, which means that he has been allowed to stick around through a very bad three fight losing streak, losing every round during that time and being brutally KO'ed by Carlos Condit. Still, he is a guy who "brings it" every time he is locked in the cage and should have an opponent willing to trade strikes with him in Lytle.
Lytle had a four fight win streak snapped by Brian Ebersole in a bout Chris appeared to be in control of until a knee by Ebersole changed the course of the fight. While Lytle's boxing is always touted he has finished a total of one of his 17 UFC bouts by KO or TKO and only three of his 53 career bouts. You will also, no doubt, hear about Lytle's win of an Indiana boxing championship, which is true. Lytle won the title from John Moore who came into the bout with an 11-48-1 record and had not won in 12 straight fights. Lytle would prove his dominance over Moore, defending his title against the now 11-50-1 Moore again later (yes, Moore got a title rematch by losing his next bout). Chris also holds wins over 13-140-4 Donnie Penelton and 64-256-15 Reggie Strickland.
I like to joke around about Lytle's record because he was pretty much the exact cartoon character level definition of the regional champion with a completely hollow record. But he does have decent hand skills, although with an almost inexplicable lack of power. He also has submission skills that people are finally starting to acknowledge over the past two years, piling up 21 submission wins in his career.
Lytle vs. Hardy could very well deliver a brilliant fight of the night scrap as the two men are likely to stand toe to toe and let their hands go. Of course, Lytle could simply take down and control Hardy, who has shown a huge deficiency in his wrestling game.
This is a card with twenty-three combined "of the Night" bonuses (Lytle holds eight of them). Any one of the four main card bouts could be the fight that steals the show. To make things even better, the Henderson vs. Miller bout should serve as a number one contender fight for the UFC lightweight title and the winner of Oliveira vs. Cerrone will be in the picture as a possible future contender.
I can't wait for Sunday night.