Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
The co-main event at the UFC 150 PPV features two Lightweight contenders in action. Donald Cerrone (18-4(1) MMA; 5-1 UFC) will take on Melvin Guillard (30-10-2(1); 11-6 UFC). The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Cerrone as the #10 Lightweight in the world, with Guillard at #15. The UFC 150 PPV airs live Saturday night August 11 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Clearly, this fight is set up to deliver one thing - a stand-up war. Both Cerrone and Guillard are superb strikers, who will likely try to decide this fight on the feet. Cerrone favors a more Muay Thai based approach, while Guillard puts an emphasis on his power punches. The difference maker could be Cerrone's ground game though, as he also has submissions in his arsenal, which has often proven to be Guillard's kryptonite. One other subplot to this fight - Guillard now trains with the Blackzilians camp in Florida, but previously he trained with Greg Jackson, the longtime coach to Cerrone. Will that make a difference for Cerrone and Jackson?
How do these two stack up?
Cerrone: 29 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Guillard: 29 years old | 5'9" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone was one of the big names of the WEC Lightweight division in its closing year, competing in some classic wars with Ben Henderson and Jamie Varner. When he made the move to the UFC, he quickly found his footing and excelled, winning 4 straight and putting himself in the Lightweight title picture. A loss last year to Nate Diaz slowed him down somewhat, but he has since come back strong with a win over Jeremy Stephens. Cerrone has his eye on a UFC Lightweight title shot - maybe too much so, as he has already called out Anthony Pettis for his next fight. Hopefully he's not overlooking Guillard.
"The Young Assassin" Melvin Guillard first came to the UFC all the way back at season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. He's had a tumultuous UFC career, including drug related suspensions and trips up and down the rankings. Throughout it all, we've seen him mature as both a fighter and a person. Last year, he looked poised for a title shot, but 2 straight submission loses made him crash back down. He's had a comeback win, and still can be in the title picture, but you have to wonder if he will ever be able to totally put all the pieces together and be a true top contender.
Why should you care?
This has stand-up war written all over it, plus the potential for a highlight reel finish, either in the form of big KO, or Cerrone submission win. With some important rankings considerations at play as well, this one becomes a must watch.
More UFC 150 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.