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UFC 127 fight card: Chris Lytle vs Brian Ebersole preview

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Long-time mixed martial arts veteran and UFC newcomer Brian "Bad Boy" Ebersole has a tough test in front of him when he steps inside the Octagon for the first time this weekend to take on the hard-hitting Chris "Lights Out" Lytle at UFC 127.

Ebersole -- who stepped up on short notice to replace the injured top 10 welterweight Carlos Condit -- will look to make the most of his chance to compete in the big leagues against the dangerous Lytle with just two weeks to prepare.

That's no easy task these days, even with a full training camp, considering the Indiana firefighter has been able to breath new life in his UFC career, finding consistency in the cage with a four-fight win streak.

Will Ebersole be able to score a huge upset in front of his hometown crowd? Or will Lytle finally escape the gatekeeper label and make a run at possible title shot in 2011?

We'll find out soon enough (10 p.m. ET on Saturday, to be precise). In the meantime, here is a quick preview of the upcoming welterweight contest between Lytle and Ebersole, which will be featured on the televised portion of the UFC 127 pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast.

Check it out:

Brian Ebersole

Record:  46-14-1, 0-0 in the UFC

Key wins: Carlos Newton (Impact FC 1), Matt Horwich (Strikeforce -- Shamrock vs. Gracie), Nick Thompson (FFC 12)

Key Losses: Hector Lombard (CFC 5), Stephan Bonnar (IHC 3), Kyle Noke (XFC 12)

How he got here: Ebersole, who was born stateside, currently resides in Australia. The adopted Aussie is riding a seven-fight win streak. Perhaps most famous for his most recent unanimous decision victory over former UFC champion Carlos Newton at Impact FC 1, Ebersole is known for his kickboxing style. With more than 60 fights under his belt, it's no secret that Ebersole likes to keep busy. In fact, he just defeated Hamish Robertson two weeks before accepting the Lytle bout.

How he gets it done: Ebersole, 30, will need to utilize both his standup and his grappling keep Lytle guessing. If the fight stays standing, Ebersole will need to dig deep into his Muay Thai background and utilize leg kicks, because as Lytle has shown in the past, he doesn't tend to check kicks, he fights through them. If the fight does hit the floor, Ebersole will need to stay off his back and utilize his sharp elbows if he ends up in top position.

Chris Lytle

Record: 30-17-5 overall, 9-9 in the UFC

Key Wins: Matt Serra (UFC 119), Brian Foster (UFC 110), Paul Taylor (UFC 89)

Key Losses: Matt Hughes (UFC 68), Josh Koscheck (UFC 86), Matt Serra (Ultimate Finale 4)

How he got here: The Indianapolis, Ind., native has managed to rack up four victories in a row. Back at UFC 110, Lytle reminded UFC fans just how good his ground game is when he submitted Brian Foster during his first trip to Australia. Most recently, Lytle avenged his loss to former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra at UFC 119 by outboxing "The Terror" to earn a key decision.

How he get's it done:  Lytle should hold an advantage with his hands and his submissions. If Lytle is going to win his fifth fight in a row, he'll need to back up Ebersole with his powerful punches and bait Ebersole into a good ole' fashioned brawl.

Fight "X-Factor:" Lytle's hands will pose the most significant problems for Ebersole. Ebersole tends to back up and block with very little head movement. 

Bottom Line: Ebersole has nothing to lose in this fight because nobody expects him to win. While many UFC fans may not be familiar with Ebersole, he's very tough to finish and keeps coming forward. I see Lytle winning this fight in dominant fashion, but Ebersole's chin and heart will probably keep him in the fight until the final bell sounds.

Who will come out on top at UFC 127?  You decide!

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