Benson Henderson (15-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-2-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Henderson -200, Edgar +160
Headlining the UFC 150 card, Frankie Edgar will look to reclaim the lightweight title from Benson Henderson, who took it from him in February with a five-round decision victory.
This is both Henderson and Edgar’s first fight since that UFC 144 bout. Since leaving WEC, when he lost the title there to Anthony Pettis, Henderson has transitioned to UFC with no issues. While he has been unable to end fights before the final bell, he has prevailed in all four of his UFC fights, posting decision victories. In these wins, he has consistently outfought his opponents, Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, and most recently, Edgar. In Edgar’s past eight bouts, he is 6-1-1 with four of his wins coming as decisions, plus one KO and one submission to boot. When these two fighters came to blows in February, Henderson’s overwhelming power was the difference. Edgar is often the aggressor and focuses on landing more attacks, but Henderson’s size advantage proved final, as he was able to answer Edgar’s weaker attacks with crushing blows.
At 5-foot-9, Henderson holds a three-inch height advantage over Edgar, fueling speculation that Edgar might drop down to the featherweight class after their last fight. But “Smooth” Henderson’s first title defense comes against the man who he took it from, so his wrestling game will need to be at its best again. With a classic ground-and-pound attacking style, Henderson is a relentless fighter who makes it count when he connects. His Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu allow him to balance that wrestling attack with good striking and submissions, but if Henderson wins this one, it will be by outdueling Edgar for the full 25 minutes.
Edgar first won the title in 2010 from BJ Penn, and defended it against Penn in the next fight with a second consecutive unanimous decision. Some people thought he deserved better in his last fight against Henderson because he tried to land more attacks than his opponent, but there is no questioning he came out of the fight more injured than Henderson. Unlike Henderson, “The Answer” Edgar has won fights both by knockout and submissions since being in UFC, and against such a punishing fighter, his best shot here might be making a move to finish this one before the final bell.
Donald Cerrone (18-4) vs. Melvin Guillard (47-11-3)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Cerrone -300, Guillard +240
With the lightweight belt up for grabs between Henderson and Edgar on this card, fellow lightweights Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard will also battle it out in the Octagon in Saturday’s UFC 150.
Cerrone certainly enters this fight between the two former training partners with the momentum as the winner in seven of his past eight bouts, with that one loss coming to Nate Diaz. He bounced back well, however, with a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens, and has beaten other top foes recently such as Denis Siver and Charles Oliveira. Guillard has lost two of his past three fights, but since 2008 is 8-3 in UFC, most recently with a win over Fabricio Camoes on July 7. In terms of common opponents, one of Guillard’s three losses was to Diaz, but he also owns a victory over Stephens to his name. While Cerrone is understandably the favorite here, with a great chance at earning a submission victory, Guillard has also proven capable of ending any fight at any point with his unmistakable knockout power.
At 6-foot-0, “Cowboy” Cerrone owns a three-inch height advantage in this bout. Strikes make up the core of his attack but when he wins, it’s because he has tactically positioned himself and earned a submission—13 of his 18 career wins have been submissions. And that could prove effective against Guillard, whose wild attacking style leaves him vulnerable to submissions, especially recently. His past two losses were both rear-naked choke submissions. The last two times Cerrone won by submission, he used that exact techinque.
“The Young Assassin” Guillard has undeniable power, the question is if he can discipline himself enough in a given fight to make that strength an advantage, not a disadvantage. His attacks sometimes leave him vulnerable to opponent counters, which he has to be wary of against a quality fighter like Cerrone. A boxer by trade, he needs to make sure he connects when he decides to pounce, and make sure his strikes count.
Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed Herman (20-7)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Shields -200, Herman +160
In one of two middleweight bouts on UFC 150, Jake Shields will come to blows with Ed Herman, the winner of three consecutive fights.
In his past three bouts, Herman has found his form, winning with a KO of Tim Credeur and submissions of Kyle Noke and Clifford Starks. Shields is 2-2 since joining UFC in 2010, but has fought cream-of-the-crop opponents. He won a controversial split decision over Martin Kampmann, then lost to Georges St-Pierre for the middleweight belt in a five-round decision. Five months later, he lost in a quick 1st-round KO to Jake Ellenberger, but rebounded well with a decision win over Yoshihiro Akiyama in February. With 12 submissions and six knockouts in his career, Herman undoubtedly has the ability to end this fight early. But he has never fought the quality of opponents that Shields has, while Shields has regularly made easy work of easier foes.
Herman’s major advantage in this bout may be his height advantage, standing at 6-foot-2, two inches above Shields. The 31-year-old Herman is also two years younger than his opponent. While his three-consecutive victories suggest he is ready to take on tougher fighters, it wasn’t long ago that he was struggling mightily. In the four fights before that, he lost three against opponents who are not daunting. A talented Jiu Jitsu artist, “Short Fuse” Herman will need to focus on taking this to the ground and trying to finish his opponent before the final bell with a submission. Shields, however, has never lost via submission.
Also trained in Jiu Jitsu, Shields has 10 submission victories in his career and 14 decision wins. The latter seems like his best approach for this fight, as a stronger technical fighter who should have no problem earning the nod from the judges. His wrestling is also a strong point, but ultimately what gives him an edge against most opponents is his world-class endurance that lets him fight relentlessly until the final bell.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.