Another Lightweight title rematch takes place this weekend in Denver at UFC 150. Just like the other rematches for the strap, we expect this one to be another great fight. Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard a
re also both looking to get back in the LW top 10 with a win. Check out our preview and picks below and leave your picks in the comments section.
Featherweight Fight: Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway
Brian: Justin Lawrence’s ability to finish in this one will be the differentiator. Look for Lawrence, a two-time Golden Glove-r, to stick and move and ultimately win via TKO in the 3rd.
Brendan: Lawrence will take this one due to his controlled aggression and maturity in the cage. He will control this fight from start to finish and pound out the TKO victory either late 2nd or 3rd round.
Jordan: Justin Lawrence is coming off a great performance at the TUF finale that netted him two bonuses. Max Holloway also fought on the card and defeated Pat Shilling. Both of these fighters are relatively new to the UFC and are both hoping to make an impact. I have Lawrence catching Holloway on his feet and finishing this fight on the ground. Give me Lawrence via 2nd Round TKO.
Mark: A battle of two huge prospects, no doubt one of the reasons this fight is slated to open the main card Saturday night. Lawrence was the heavy favorite to win The Ultimate Fighter: Live due to his aggressive style and Team Black House credentials. Holloway is an even younger fighter who will be looking to prove he’s a threat to all at 145 lbs. age notwithstanding. In my mind, if Lawrence’s cardio holds up, this fight is his to win. His power will ultimately prove too much for the youngster. Give me Justin Lawrence by 2nd rd. KO.
Middleweight Fight: Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts
Brian: After two tough fights, Okami finally steps into the octagon against a guy who isn’t a top 5 middleweight in the world…and he will walk through this one. Buddy Roberts is a nice fighter, and the UFC should reward him for being so open to last minute fight changes…they should reward him with an easier fight next. Okami by second round TKO.
Brendan: Injuries have forced this fight, and I don’t think it was a good idea for either fighter…Okami has everything to lose and Roberts will be in over his head (IMHO). I see Okami looking like his old self and grinding out a UD victory.
Jordan: This fight has had a ton of injuries that led us to this match up. Roberts was expected to fight Chris Camozzi and Okami was fighting Luiz Cane and then Rousimar Palhares. Camozzi, Cane and Palhares all were injured and we ended up with this fight. Yushin Okami is looking to rebound after his loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 144, Roberts is only in his second fight in the UFC. Okami is a big step up from Chris Camozzi and I think Okami will be too much for Roberts. I have him grinding out a decision victory by out wrestling Roberts.
Mark: Injuries have led us to this matchup and while it’s a great opportunity for Roberts, I think he’s quite overmatched. It was less than a year ago that Okami was fighting for the Middleweight championship and his wrestling should prevail here again. Roberts may fight very loose knowing that the pressure is all on Okami as the favorite, but I don’t think it will make enough difference. I’ll go with Okami via Unanimous Decision.
Middleweight Fight: Ed Herman vs. Jake Shields
Brian: This fight is all about position, and like the fight before it, this is just the fight that Jake Shields needs. On paper, this is a ‘strengths vs. strengths’ kind of fight, but Shields has a distinct advantage in most of the important aspects: wrestling, jiu jitsu, and experience. Herman’s weakness is that he is susceptible to submissions, and I see one coming here. Shields wins by submission late in the second.
Brendan: In his return to the MW division Shields will face former TUF runner-up Ed “Short-Fuse” Herman in what is sure to start out as an exciting affair. Unfortunately I see the wrestling of these fighters causing somewhat of a stalemate. When the fight does hit the ground I think Shields experience will come into play and he will own the dominant positions. Shields could end this with a sub early (a la Demian Maia), but I see him earning the UD victory.
Jordan: While this could be a good fight, I don’t believe that Ed Herman is up to the challenge of fighting Jake Shields. This will be a big jump in competition for Herman and I don’t think he will be up for it. Both of these guys are great on the ground, but I don’t see either guy being able to finish the other. Shields does more and wins the Unanimous Decision.
Mark: While Ed Herman is making a nice resurgence in his career with a 3 fight win streak, Jake Shields returns to middleweight where he last defeated Dan Henderson to maintain his Strikeforce championship belt. Though Herman will have the home field advantage, I like Shields’ all-around game more and I certainly give him an edge once the fight hits the floor (no disrespect to Herman who has a pretty slick BJJ base too). I think Shields can nullify Herman’s attacks and control enough of the action to secure the victory. Give me Jake Shields by Unanimous Decision.
Lightweight Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard
Brian: I have never jumped off the bandwagon for the Cowboy. I’m a believer of his toughness and skills, regardless of who he is fighting…but this fight has FOTN written all over it. Nate Diaz took advantage of a wide open Cerrone with precision boxing and quick straight punches, and that’s not really Guillard’s game. Guillard is more about powerful looping (VERY fast) punches. Get ready for a slugfest that ends up stunning Guillard in the 2nd and finishes via RNC late in the 2nd/early 3rd.
Brendan: The Young Assassin vs. the Cowboy…Give me the Cowboy all day! This scrap will almost-certainly be FOTN, unless Edgar/Henderson decides to put on another 5-round-throwdown for the ages. I think this fight will stay standing, but if Guillard gets wobbly look for Cowboy to slap on a submission to secure his victory and then call out Anthony Pettis for a #1 contenders bout.
Jordan: This has everything you need to be an exciting fight. Both of these guys have the power to knock out their opponents. I have Cerrone as the overall better fighter. Cerrone is not afraid to stand in this fight, but should look to take this fight to the ground to find a submission. 9 of Guillard’s last 10 losses were all by submission and 13 of Cerrone’s 18 wins are all by decision. Give me Cerrone by RNC in the 2nd.
Mark: I love this co-main event. Does it simplify things in the lightweight standings? Not a chance. Will it be a thrilling throw down? Absolutely. Cerrone wanted to fight in his home town and was even willing to do so against a former training partner. And since Guillard obliged, it’s easy to see that both of them really want this fight. Cerrone will have the technical advantage, but Guillard has the power edge. I see Cerrone fighting a more disciplined fight using leg kicks to slow down Guillard before catching him and working to set up a submission. We’ve seen this from Guillard before and I think it will play out the same way again Saturday night. I’ll take Cerrone by 2nd RD RNC.
Lightweight Fight: Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
Brian: Wow. In organizing my thoughts for this one, I have gone back and forth at least 10 times. Benson Henderson seemingly can’t be submitted, can take a punch like no one’s business, has excellent striking, top notch jiu jitsu and has cardio for days. Frankie Edgar hasn’t met a fight he can’t control. He gets better as the fights progress and much like the comparison to Sly Stallone’s characters on the big screen, he will not quit. Ever. Even now, as I write, I go back and forth. One thing I DO see happening is “5 rounds in the UFC lightweight division” and when we go to the judges’ scorecard – I am going to go against my gut and think that this one will be somewhat controversial – Bruce Buffer will say, “48-47, Henderson. 48-47, Edgar. And 48-47 for the winner, and STILL UFC Lightweight champion, Benson Henderson.”
Brendan: The fans are the winners here, anytime either of these two fighters enter the Octagon it’s sure to be a war. I don’t see either of these guys being able to stop the other, both fight with the heart of a champion, Bendo is too flexible to be submitted and Edgar’s got an iron jaw that has yet to be cracked. This is sure to be an exciting match and will likely explode quickly just as the first fight did, but unlike in rematches past I don’t see Edgar coming out victorious – rather I see Bendo earning the nod again via UD and ultimately Edgar will make the drop to FW to face Jose Aldo Jr.
Jordan: Frankie Edgar always looks great in rematches. In Penn vs. Edgar II, when most people thought BJ would walk all over Frankie, Edgar came out and dominated Penn and defended the belt. The first fight between the two was close and I am expecting this fight to go the same way. Having said all of that, I have Benson defending his belt. This fight will go all over the place, will be even closer than the first and it is going the distance. This should be a great fight, and I have Benson Henderson via split decision.
Mark: This fight is going all five and even after that, I’m still not convinced we’ll know who the better fighter is. Neither of these guys can be finished, they don’t tire, and they are constantly on the attack. Henderson is bigger and stronger, but Edgar is quicker. Edgar will land more strikes, but Henderson will do more damage. I’ll go with Henderson on a coin flip and say that Edgar will finally drop to 145, but it’ll be a close one Saturday night. Henderson by split decision.
Submission of the Night
Brian: Jake Shields
Brendan: Donald Cerrone
Jordan: Donald Cerrone
Mark: Donald Cerrone
Knock out of the Night
Brian: Yushin Okami
Brendan: Justin Lawrence
Jordan: Justin Lawrence
Mark: Justin Lawrence
Fight of the Night
Brian: (I’ll bet Dana gives two bonuses after this one) Edgar – Henderson, Cerrone – Guillard
Brendan: Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
Jordan: Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
Mark: Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
Brian (92-75) – Co-host of the MMANonstop Podcast and author of the series “The Book On…” exclusively at 188.8.131.52/~bchurch, follow him at twitter.com/bchurchin
Brendan (90-77) – Examines the Top 5 fighters in each weight class and is featured exclusively on 184.108.40.206/~bchurch. Follow him at twitter.com/bchurchin48
Jordan (102-65) – Runs the MMANonstop twitter feed and co-host of the MMANonstop Podcast, follow him at twitter.com/nonstopmma
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Brendan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and boxing practitioner who has followed all things MMA since watching the first UFC event over 20 years ago. In addition to his professional career, Brendan is currently an MBA student at Montclair State University who enjoys spending time with his wife Meredith and their dog Cha'lie when he's not training.
Follow Brendan on Twitter @bchurchin48 and check out all his articles exclusively at MMANonstop.com.