UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II goes down this Saturday night from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The event is headlined by a lightweight championship fight between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar, however the main card is filled with a number of interesting match ups that are relevant in their respective divisions.
With the top three bouts of Henderson vs. Edgar, Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard and Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman likely to effect the future of the weight class, we break down what a win on Aug. 11 means for the six men carrying the UFC 150 fight card.
Benson Henderson is in a tough spot going into his first title defense. The top of the UFC lightweight division has been a revolving door of rematches in recent years, but UFC president Dana White said that after Henderson and Edgar square off for the second time at UFC 150, the rematches are done, no matter what the result in Denver. Not that Henderson was planning on losing and having an immediate rematch, but this stipulation adds pressure in the sense that he must win or he won’t get a sniff of another title fight for quite some time.
If Henderson can defeat Edgar once again, it means he has the chance to start a long and prestigious title reign with a line of fresh challengers. “Smooth” has said multiple times that he wants to break Anderson Silva’s record for most UFC title defenses. If that is indeed the case, it all begins at UFC 150.
One could easily say that Saturday night is do or die for Frankie Edgar in the UFC lightweight division. Edgar has been nagged on for multiple months now to drop down to the featherweight division where his frame is best suited and take a run at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. “The Answer” has brushed off those notions, insisting that he fights best at 155-pounds and has no desire to cut the weight. It is hard to argue with Edgar’s stance, he was the lightweight champion for two-years before losing the belt in Feb. and is now the number one contender in the weight class.
Defeating Benson Henderson at UFC 150 means a number of things for Edgar. He becomes a two-time lightweight champion, silence the critics who say he is too small for 155-pounds and remains king of the rematches. The New Jersey native has a lot on the line on Aug. 11 and while a win is significant for every fighter on the card, it may very well mean the most to Edgar.
Donald Cerrone was begging the UFC executives to give him a fight in his homestate of Colorado at UFC 150, and he was given what he asked for. Not only did he get a fight on the card, but he was matched against a name opponent in Melvin Guillard.
While beating Guillard is a solid addition to any resume, Donald Cerrone has a lot more to lose in the fight. Cerrone has called out Anthony Pettis on multiple occasions prior to his UFC 150 fight and if he wants to face a fighter like Pettis, he absolutely must win. “Cowboy” has a lot of momentum behind him right now, winning five of six UFC fights. A win over Guillard, who is 1-2 in his last three fights, doesn’t exactly launch the 29-year-old up the rankings, but it likely will earn him the fight against Pettis.
Melvin Guillard flirted with title contention a few different times in recent years but was never able to overcome the glaring weakness in his skill set – submission defense. “The Young Assassin” took a minor step towards proving he is shoring up his weaknesses when he defeated jiu-jitsu ace Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148, but Donald Cerrone is arguably the more effective submission fighter in MMA, so Guillard must be cautious.
As far as what a win means for Mr. Guillard, he proves he is still a threat in the lightweight division and that he is well rounded enough to beat multi-dimensional opponents. It would also be a big statement for Guillard if he could win his second fight in a 28-day span.
Former Strikeforce championship makes his UFC middleweight debut against “The Ultimate Fighter” season 3 runner-up Ed Herman in one of the featured bouts of the night at UFC 150.
Shields defeating Herman in his divisional debut signifies a fresh start for the former welterweight title challenger. There was talk of Shields challenging middleweight title-holder Anderson Silva a few years back when he was the champion in Strikeforce. If Shields ever hopes to make that match a reality, winning his first UFC fight at middleweight is a must.
It wasn’t long ago that Ed Herman was on the sidelines after three knee surgeries, wondering if he was ever going to fight at the highest level of the sport again. Three years and three fights after the initial injury, Herman appears back at peak form and faces arguably the most credible opponent he has ever shared the cage with in former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields.
While Herman has been in the UFC since mid-2006, he has never been a fighter to have his name mentioned among the best at 185-pounds. Four-straight wins in the UFC is nothing to scoff at, and Herman will have the chance to do it for the first time on Saturday night. A win over Shields at UFC 150 would place the 31-year-old higher in the pecking order than ever before.