The UFC has put together an interesting fight card to lead into the “Ultimate Fighter 10” season premier, which features former EliteXC and YouTube star Kimbo Slice. Before we see if Kimbo can make it as an MMA fighter, the “UFC Fight Night 19” feature two lightweight bouts that could have title implications down the road.
Nate Diaz is coming off of back-to-back losses inside the Octagon, but was still rewarded with the privilege of headlining tonight’s card against another former “TUF” competitor in Melvin Guillard.
The younger brother of former UFC fighter Nick Diaz, Nate will need to have an impressive showing to prove that he belongs with the better fighters in the lightweight division. Diaz should be able to use his sick Jiu-Jitsu skills to take advantage of Guillard’s reckless style, much like Rich Clementi did when he submitted Guillard at UFC 79 with a rear naked choke.
Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta is an interesting scrap as welll. It will be Huerta’s last fight in the UFC as he has turned down countless extension offers from the company in order to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
UFC president Dana White and Co. are probably hoping that Maynard can defeat Huerta in the same manner that Kenny Florian did at UFC 84 in May of 2008 so they can continue building Maynard up as a future title contender.
Huerta’s striking should give Maynard some trouble, but expect Maynard to be able to take Huerta down and control him just enough to win on points.
Keep in mind, Huerta’s on his way out while Maynard is hungry for a shot at gold. You tell me who’s going to be more into the fight…
Former WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit also returns to the Octagon tonight to face former IFL fighter Jake Ellenberger. The UFC has high hopes for Condit, who was taken down in his UFC debut by Martin Kampmann at “Ultimate Fight Night 18.”
Ellenberger is an explosive striker, but Condit is very crafty and can find strange ways to use his length to control a fighter on the ground. Condit should be able to submit Ellenberger before the fight is over, however. Although, don’t be surprised if Ellenberger can land a few solid shots and KO Condit.
Two other “TUF” alums – Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur – will square off inside the Octagon in what will probably be the fight of the night. There will be plenty of fireworks on display, but expect the more experienced Quarry to beat Credeur by TKO.