Here we go! Fresh start for everyone in our first event of mmaplayground season 14. UFC 150 takes place on Saturday, August 11th, in Denver, Colorado. The Facebook prelims begin at 7:30 pm est, followed by the FX prelims at 8:00 pm est, and finally, the main card on ppv at 10:00 pm est. This card is headlined by the rematch between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson for the UFC lightweight championship.
Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) vs. Ben Henderson (16-2)
Edgar is a wrestle-boxer with incredible footwork and hand speed, but he lacks serious knockout power in his punches. His last 5 consecutive fights have been title fights, even though he’s an undersized lightweight. Henderson has a TKD background, but he is also an accomplished wrestler, and a very powerful athlete. Their last fight was actually very close on paper, but it was Henderson’s control of the center of the cage, and the physical damage to Edgar’s face that dictated the outcome of the fight. Edgar was able to catch almost every single one of Henderson’s kicks, and land a bunch of takedowns, but he just couldn’t hurt Henderson in the striking department. If Edgar is able to convert some of those caught kicks into single leg takedowns, that will score big in the judges eyes this time around. Henderson is likely to employ the same tactics as he did in the first fight, by keeping Edgar at either very long range with his reach advantage, or right into clinch range for some heavy knees. The main problem for Edgar here, is that he will really need to outwork Henderson by a large margin to offset the facial damage he will likely receive. The bigger, stronger Henderson will be the aggressor in the cage, he will land the harder shots, and he will inflict more damage. If the fight does go to the ground, Henderson is great off his back, and even better from the top position. Even when Edgar is able to get him down, he can’t keep him there for very long. I like Henderson in this one, and I think he wins by decision… again.
Winner: Ben Henderson
Donald Cerrone (18-4 with 1 NC) vs. Melvin Guillard (30-10-2 with 1 NC)
Cerrone is a long and slender Muay Thai striker, he’s very flexible, and he packs an arsenal of dynamic kicks and knees. He is also highly skilled on the mat, with 13 of his wins coming by submission. Cerrone has looked good in the UFC so far, dropping only 1 fight to Nate Diaz by decision. Guillard is an extremely well conditioned athlete, possessing both speed, and big knockout power in his boxing game. He has worked extensively on his wrestling and takedown defense to prevent his opponents from exposing his one huge weakness – the ground game. Interestingly enough, These guys used to be teammates over at Jackson’s, but Guillard has been training with the Blackzillians for a little while now. Really, anything can happen in this fight, as Guillard has serious stopping power, and Cerrone doesn’t mind slugging it out. Assuming Cerrone keeps his head on straight (and Greg Jackson has probably been beating him over the head with it) he should be looking for his opening to get this fight to the ground, where he should submit Guillard handily.
Winner: Donald Cerrone
Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed Herman (20-7)
Multiple time & multiple division champion, Jake Shields, is a true veteran of the sport, and he’s nowhere near done yet. His high level wrestling and submission skills make him a liability against anyone in the division. Although his striking is not where it needs to be, Shields has shown that he’s able to control almost anyone on the ground. He will need to draw on that experience here, as he moves back up to middleweight, and faces the very game Herman. Team Quest product, Ed Herman, is an incredibly resilient and well rounded fighter. He’s got solid boxing, with knockout power in his punches, strong wrestling skills, and he is an adept submission stylist. In the early days of the sport, it was all about being well rounded, but now that almost everyone is well rounded, it seems that the specialists have been dominating. The single largest disparity in this fight is the ground game, with Shields being far more effective than Herman. The only thing I haven’t decided yet is, will Shields finish Herman? or will he get fatigued from struggling to take the larger Herman down to the canvas? I’m leaning towards the latter.
Winner: Jake Shields
Yushin Okami (26-7) vs. Buddy Roberts (12-2)
When Buddy Roberts made his octagon debut, he was originally slated to face Sean Loeffler, who got injured right before the fight during the warm up. Then after a lackluster decision win over Caio Magalhaes, his next opponent Chris Camozzi was also injured. So now Roberts is getting Yushin Okami, who was fighting for the title just over a year ago. Quite a step up for the Jackson’s fighter, but he does have knockout power, and Okami has proved vulnerable in the past. Okami, of course, is a large middleweight with powerful wrestling and Judo skills. His dominance from the top position has actually forced other fighters to leave the division, and he has also improved his striking abilities his past few outings. Barring a huge shot connecting for Roberts, I think Okami has this one in the bag – and if he doesn’t, it will surely hurt him in the rankings.
Winner: Yushin Okami
Reminder: This is the first event of the season, so try and get off to a good start. Get those picks registered and enjoy the fights. Good Luck!!