This weekend, the Fox network provides the platform for a very solid card from the Ultimate Fighting Championship with UFC on Fox 6. At the top is a bantamweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson that is sure to have its fill of action from start to finish. A major star of the sport in Quinton Jackson will be on hand, to either show he’s still a name to be taken seriously, or have the torch snatched from his hand by Glover Teixeira. Yet before these contests will be a lightweight bout that has the potential to steal the show in 15 minutes or less.
Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone were jockeying to fight each other well before the UFC matchmakers decided to provide them with the opportunity. Pettis and Cerrone have become two marquee names in the division and are considered two of the top five to ten fighters within the weight class. Every time they are in the Octagon, fans and experts alike know that their bouts will contain a lot of action, and have a high potential of ending in some sort of finish. So this is the type of bout that will not only satiate mainstream and hardcore appetites for violence, but also be an important fight for sorting out the 155-pound title chase.
Cerrone and Pettis started taking shots at each other long before this bout was made. Whether it was through Twitter or media interviews, it seemed as if Cerrone or Pettis always had something to say about the other. Now they have the opportunity to decide who should be considered next in line for a shot at the world’s #1 lightweight.
Both men have a wide range of skills that will come into play for this bout. When you compare their fighting styles, Pettis should have a slight advantage on the feet, while Cerrone’s grappling game would edge out the younger fighter on the mat. The key is that both competitors are very active from start to finish, so it seems as if a major mistake will have to be made by either one to create an opening for his opponent to take advantage of. Look back to their past fights -- against Joe Lauzon for Pettis, and Melvin Guillard for Cerrone -- where they were able to capitalize on one crucial error before getting knockout victories.
With Benson Henderson facing Strikeforce’s Gilbert Melendez in a title unification bout later this year at UFC on Fox 7, it seems like the winner of this fight would stand to be next in line for a shot at the strap. Pettis still hasn’t received the title fight he was promised for being the last man to hold the WEC belt, and he also comes with the built in story of being the last man to defeat Henderson. On the other hand, Cerrone’s lost to Henderson twice, but their 2009 contest was considered Fight of the Year by many outlets, so a third bout between them wouldn’t be too much of a stretch at this point.
While the main and co-main events for UFC on Fox 6 carry a lot of star power, the fight between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone should not be missed. With two very active fighters willing to work anywhere the fight may take them, this bout has the potential to steal the show and end up as a Fight of the Year candidate once we start looking back on 2013.