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UFC 178 fight card primer: Donald Cerrone vs Eddie Alvarez

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso in our fight card primer series. Here we look at Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso, Donald Cerrone (24-6(1) MMA; 11-3 UFC) welcomes the debuting Eddie Alvarez (25-3 MMA; UFC Debut). This three round Lightweight fight is the co-main event on the five fight UFC 178 main card. The UFC Rankings have Cerrone as the #5 contender at 155 pounds, with Alvarez at #14. UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, September 27. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at  8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

This is one of those fights that you know has the potential to be legendary. In Cerrone and Alvarez, you have two high action fighters who have been in numerous memorable wars. Both are stand-up masters who will throw down, and both are able to finish things at the drop of a hat. Add in the title scene implications, the debut of Alvarez, and you have one of the most anticipated fights of the year.

How do these two stack up?

Cerrone: 31 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Alvarez: 30 years old | 5'9" | 69" reach

What have these two done recently?

Cerrone: W - Jim Miller (KO) | W - Edson Barboza (Sub) | W - Adriano Martins (KO)
Alvarez: W - Michael Chandler (SD) | W - Patricky Freire (KO) | W - Shinya Aoki (KO)

How did these two get here?

The Cowboy Donald Cerrone has been one of the many success stories from WEC. Since making the jump to the UFC in 2011, he's been an incredibly busy fighter, putting together an astounding 14 fights in just over 3 years. That's amazing. And through it, he has fought at a consistently high level of competition, scoring wins over highly regarded fighters again and again. What he has not done is get over that final hump to become a title challenger. He's looked great as of late, fighting smarter and mixing in his submission and striking game nicely, while also showing some terrifying finishing skills. It's possible Cerrone is now in his prime, which is a scary thing indeed.

It's been quite some time since anyone had as anticipated a UFC debut as Eddie Alvarez. The former Bellator Lightweight champion has been involved in a protracted contract battle in the past years - he's finally past that and finally in the UFC. Many fans know Alvarez best for his two fight of the year wars with Michael Chandler, but he also has seen tremendous runs in Bellator and Dream. Alvarez is a skilled boxer with an iron will who has been hurt and come back to win again and again. He's only fought once in the past two years, which only adds to the drama of this debut.

Why should you care?

Because Eddie Alvarez is finally in the UFC, and he's fighting Donald Cerrone. Time to get excited.