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UFC Fight Night 45 fight card: What's at stake?

According to a July 15 post from Bleacher Report, UFC Fight Night 45 goes down this week at Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. The event is arguably the UFC's best non-PPV show of the year, as there's a lot on the line as far as the lightweight rankings go. In the UFC Fight Night 45 main event, Donald Cerrone goes toe-to-toe with Jim Miller in a bout that features two of the most exciting fighters on the planet.

Donald Cerrone fights Jim Miller at UFC Fight Night 45
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

With Cerrone ranked No. 9 in the division and Miller holding down the No. 16 spot, this fight isn't a title eliminator. However, the winner will likely solidify themselves as a legitimate top 10 contender. A win by Cerrone could propel him into the top five at lightweight, while Miller could possibly crack the top 10 with a nice performance. The UFC loves exciting fighters who swing for the fences, and that's exactly what both of these guys bring to the table.

Since both Cerrone and Miller are incredibly exciting to watch and both are superstars who can draw big ratings while putting fans in the seats, they could both be on the fast-track to a title shot. A win here won't get Cerrone or Miller an instant shot at Anthony Pettis, but it could earn them a fight against another top five competitor. Perhaps Benson Henderson or Rafael dos Anjos will be next for the winner of this contest.

In the UFC Fight Night co-main, Edson Barboza battles Evan Dunham. Both men are currently ranked in the lower half of the top 50 in the world, but a decisive victory could propel the victor into the top 25. Both Barboza and Dunham are at least a few victories away from a UFC title shot. However, you have to start somewhere and Atlantic City seems like a nice spot to get going.

Also at lightweight, Justin Salas looks to climb the ladder with a bout against Joe Proctor. What's at stake? A chance to crack into the top 50 in the world at lightweight. Both Salas and Proctor are currently ranked somewhere around No. 100 in the world. This fight is all about visibility and climbing the ranks.

In the swing fight of the UFC Fight Night 45 card, Rick Story takes on Leonardo Mafra at welterweight. Story, 29, has had a rollercoaster ride of a UFC career, alternating wins and losses in each of his fights since 2011. After a 9-6 career in the UFC, Story might get cut with a bad performance at UFC Fight Night 45.

Elsewhere, Jessamyn Duke takes on Leslie Smith in women's bantamweight action. Also on the card, Claudia Gadelha fights Tina Lähdemäki in the UFC's first ever female strawweight bout. The UFC Fight Night 45 preliminary card airs on UFC Fight Pass, before turning to Fox Sports 1 for more prelims and the main card.

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