Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar
The home of the first ever UFC event back in 1993 is prepared to host another card as the organization makes their way back to Denver, Colorado on August 11th. UFC 150 will be headlined by Lightweight champion Ben ‘Smooth’ Henderson as he defends his title for the first time against the man he defeated for it back in February, Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar. The first fight is considered a 2012 fight of the year candidate and this should be no different. There will be five main card bouts aired live on Pay-Per-View. Four other preliminary bouts will be aired live on FX in the U.S. and Sportsnet ONE in Canada. The first preliminary bout of the night will be aired live on facebook.
UFC Lightweight Championship Bout
Champion Ben Henderson (16-2) –180 vs. Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) +140
After an amazing fight in Japan, Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar are prepared to put on another show. The first fight was a back and forth battle but Ben Henderson was able to steal a couple rounds using his grappling and rocking Edgar multiple times to pull out the victory. Edgar, despite being the much smaller of the two, proved that being the smallest fighter in the division would not stop him from almost taking a decision against one of the biggest in the division. Both fighters are top tier grapplers. Edgar may have the wrestling advantage but both are legitimate MMA wrestlers. Henderson is better at Brazilian jiu-jitsu and he is one of the best defensive jiu-jitsu grapplers in the division.
If Henderson takes top position, it will be similar to the first fight where he will score a lot of points by using his size advantage. Edgar had a tough time maintaining top position and he will likely want to stand and continue using his boxing and speed as an advantage as he does in all of his fights. One thing Henderson will need to fix is his kicks for this fight. He has phenomenal taekwondo and throws great kicks but he constantly telegraphed the kicks in the first fight, allowing Edgar to catch several of them and either took Henderson down or threw a few jabs before releasing the leg. The fight itself is virtually split right down the middle so it may come down to the intangibles similar to the last fight. Although Edgar is a guy nobody should ever count out, he may have finally met his match in the Lightweight division. Ben Henderson is just too big and has enough speed to keep up with Edgar. He should be able to take another very entertaining decision victory to remain the Lightweight champ.
Prediction: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Donald Cerrone (18-4) –300 vs. Melvin Guillard (30-10-2) +220
Both Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard were experiencing career defining years in 2011 until both ran into setbacks late in the year. They have each rebounded in 2012 and are now booked in a fight that will be a stand up war. Speaking from a technical point of view, Cerrone might be the best striker in the Lightweight division. On the other side of the Octagon will be the most explosive striker in the division. Fights like this are put together for a fan’s interest and this should be a guaranteed success in the entertainment department. If Guillard can move forward and get into Cerrone’s head, he could dominate the fight similar to what Nate Diaz did. Cerrone is too content with staying on his feet even when he is struggling, especially considering he very rarely struggles. Guillard and Cerrone are former training partners at Jackson’s MMA and know each other’s styles well. This is one of the few times former training partners and good friends are willing to go to battle. This should make the fight all the more interesting.
Athletically, Guillard has a major edge but when it comes to ability, Cerrone stumps “The Young Assassin”. They both have solid wrestling but Guillard has horrible jiu-jitsu and has commonly experienced mental lapses which led to defeat via submission. Cerrone’s submission ability is excellent and he is great from all positions. If the fight hits the ground, Cerrone could end it quickly. Guillard will want to keep the fight standing but he should not get too comfortable as he did against Joe Lauzon. Cerrone is the best striker Guillard has ever fought which will likely lead to his downfall. The well-rounded Cerrone should come out with a big victory in this one.
Prediction: Cerrone via Rear Naked Choke Round 2
Jake Shields (27-6-1) –190 vs. Ed Herman (20-8) +150
After a very mediocre run in the Welterweight division, Jake Shields is making his way back up to 185 and is taking on the very dangerous Ed Herman. Shields showed his true talent in the Middleweight division, beating Jason Miller and MMA legend Dan Henderson. At Welterweight, Shields has been unable to grind out impressive victories like he did to Henderson and Miller. Herman is going to be a tough opponent for Shields but his key to success is going to be keeping the fight on the feet. Although Herman is a better grappler than striker, few fighters will want to go to the ground with Shields.
Herman is a black belt in BJJ but Shields is a black belt under Cesar Gracie and has constantly proven he is one of the best grapplers in MMA. Although he is improving his boxing while training with guys like the Diaz brothers, Shields is still a lower tier striker in MMA. He will need to use his wrestling and his constant aggression to continue where he left off in the Middleweight division. If Herman can avoid the ground and pick apart Shields, he will likely get his biggest UFC victory. Shields is just too frustrating and his gas tank is perfect for a weak grappling division like Middleweight. Shields should be successful in his return as he defeats a game opponent like Herman.
Prediction: Shields via Unanimous Decision
Yushin Okami (26-7) –560 vs. Buddy Roberts (12-2) +375
The last time we watched Yushin Okami in the Octagon, he was dominating Tim Boetsch before miraculously getting rocked and finished in a come from behind victory. It was a heartbreaking loss for the former title challenger but he is still one of the best fighters in the Middleweight division. He will be going up against Buddy Roberts, who is taking a major step up in competition in his second fight in the UFC. Okami was originally scheduled to fight Luiz Cane, but after Cane pulled out he was given a fan friendly battle with Rousimar Palhares. Unfortunately for the UFC and the fans, Palhares had to pull out with an injury and Roberts received the biggest phone call of his life. Roberts trains with Jackson’s MMA which means he will likely enter the Octagon with a strong game plan with hopes to give the Japanese star his third straight loss. He usually looks to grind out victories by frustrating his opponents, mixing his boxing and wrestling. He will have a tough time doing that against a fighter like Okami who will look to use his strength to get the fight to the ground to dominate as he has done so often in the past. If Roberts hopes to win this fight, he will need consistency on the feet so he could finish Okami similar to what Boestch did. If he is unable to do so, Okami should be able to get the fight to the ground and dominate as he wins via late stoppage or decision.
Prediction: Okami via TKO Round 3
Justin Lawrence (4-0) –120 vs. Max Holloway (5-1) –110
Originally considered a heavy favourite to win the Ultimate Fighter, Justin Lawrence had a successful UFC debut, knocking out John Cofer with a highlight reel head kick. He will be taking on Max Holloway who has been a top prospect in the Featherweight division for a while and looked stellar in his fight against Pat Schilling. Rarely does the UFC set up a battle between two bright prospects but this should be a good opportunity for both to show off their abilities. Lawrence has tremendous kicks and has a ton of power behind them. If he is able to keep his distance, he could demolish Holloway’s legs with kicks.
Holloway is the much taller fighter so he must use his length to make it tough for Lawrence to throw those kicks. Holloway has excellent boxing as he has proven in both of his UFC fights thus far. Although he lost to Dustin Poirier, he was frustrating him with his boxing before the fight got to the ground. It is not often that a fighter constantly goes to the body and damages a fighter everywhere with his hands but Holloway has been successful in doing so. This should be a great back and forth between two strikers and both should make a name for themselves with this great opportunity. It is tough to say who will come out on top but let’s go with Holloway. He should be able to use his reach and his boxing to frustrate Lawrence en route to an entertaining decision.
Prediction: Holloway via Unanimous Decision