Melvin Guillard. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
One of the more busy weeks in MMA will kick off on Wednesday when the UFC holds UFC Fight Night 19 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma before premiering the first episode of the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show on Spike TV.
Headlining UFC Fight Night 19 will be a lightweight clash between “Ultimate Fighter 5” winner Nate Diaz and colorful striker and fellow “TUF” alumnus Melvin Guillard as well as Roger Huerta’s potential final UFC bout against standout wrestler Gray Maynard.
The fight: Diaz headlines another UFC Fight Night against Guillard, who has quietly risen back up the lightweight division’s ladder thanks to recent wins over Dennis Siver and Gleison Tibau. For Diaz, the fight is a must-win, for he must avoid his third loss in a row and prevent himself from joining Mac Danzig as the potential first “TUF” winner to be dropped from the UFC.
What to look for: Guillard’s takedown defense. It was surprisingly good against Tibau. If he can keep Diaz from taking him down, Guillard could easily steal a decision here. Unfortunately, that’s going to cost him a lot of energy in the long run. We’ll see if he can keep up with the pace.
My prediction: Diaz, Submission, R2
The fight: After becoming yet another victim of the infamous Zuffa freeze, Huerta enters the last fight on his UFC contract against a fighter that Dana White and company would like to defeat Huerta and look good doing it in Maynard. With a win, Maynard could end up facing the winner of December’s lightweight title fight between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez.
What to look for: I’m curious as to where the fight is going to take place. If Maynard wanted an easy victory, he could just lay and pray for three rounds, but he’s strayed away from that recently and looked good standing and banging with Jim Miller. His new stand-up skills will be put to the test against a fast guy like Huerta.
My prediction: Maynard, Unanimous Decision
The fight: Ellenberger comes to the UFC as an injury replacement for popular veteran Chris Lytle. Either way, it’s a much-deserved trip to the UFC for Ellenberger. He faces Condit, who will look to bounce back from a disappointing decision loss to Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut back in April.
What to look for: Where the fight will take place. Both are well-rounded fighters. Ellenberger might have more power in his hands and Condit has far better submissions, but both guys are no slouches in either area. With that said, they both also have questionable wrestling skills. Where the fight ends up might not be up to either fighter.
My prediction: Condit, Submission, R1
The fight: In a battle of two of the nice guys of the sport, Quarry will look to continue his rise back up the UFC’s middleweight division against Credeur, who has enjoyed surprising success since his time on the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
What to look for: A potential showcase fight for Quarry. While he isn’t the best striker, Quarry is far better than Credeur on his feet and will likely be able to see his punches coming from a mile away. If the fight goes to the ground, Credeur has a clear edge, but unless he uses a very tight and active guard, Quarry will have no problem pounding him out.
My prediction: Quarry, TKO, R2
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