Let's try this again.
After a fantastic scrap at UFC 144 earlier this year in Japan that saw the lightweight title change hands, newly-minted champion Ben Henderson and former champion Frankie Edgar will going at it once again, headlining UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., this Saturday night (Aug. 11, 2012).
In addition, 155-pound striking machines Melvin Guillard and Donald Cerrone will lock horns in the co-main event of a card that also includes Middleweight standouts such as Jake Shields and Yushin Okami.
Before all that, however, we've got five "Prelims" bouts on the docket that will air on a mix of Facebook/FX prior to the pay-per-view (PPV) main card.
Check out part one of our UFC 150 "Prelims" breakdown after the jump:
135 lbs.: Dustin Pague vs. Chico Camus
Dustin Pague (11-6) made a name for himself on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 with his impressive grappling, deep-seated faith, and willingness to eat bugs for money, the former trait bringing him victory over world-ranked flyweight Luis Gaudinot. Unfortunately, "The Disciple" was unable to overcome T.J. Dillashaw’s wrestling or John Albert’s punching power. Since then, he has gone 1-1 with an impressive submission over Jared Papazian and a narrow decision loss to Ken Stone, both of which came in the span of two weeks. Pague has finished eight opponents by tapout.
Fighting out of Roufusport alongside the likes of Erik Koch and Anthony Pettis, Chico Camus (11-3) has fought three times in 2012 already, going to a decision all three times. Camus has seven finishes to his credit, four by knockout. Camus was most recently part of a bantamweight tournament in the LFC promotion, reaching the finals before joining the UFC.
From what I’ve seen of Camus, he’s a bit more of a generalist than most of Roufusport’s representatives. He’s got good striking, decent wrestling and is solid on the ground. The problem with that skillset is that he doesn’t really have any one thing he can use to overcome Pague’s grappling. Further, he’s giving up three inches to Pague, has fought lesser competition in his career, and is making his Octagon debut.
Camus just doesn’t have the power to take out Pague standing nor the wrestling to bring his striking technique advantage into play. Expect the longer Pague to use his leverage in the clinch to drag the fight to the ground and lock up the rear-naked choke sometime late in the first round.
Prediction: Pague via first-round submission
135 lbs.: Nik Lentz vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
After the most up-and-down undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career in recent memory, things started going south for Nik Lentz (21-5-2) shortly after his come-from-behind guillotine of Waylon Lowe. First, he ran into Charles Oliveira, who punctuated his ass-kicking of "The Carney" with an illegal knee, turning the submission loss into a dreaded "No Contest." Lentz was less lucky against Mark Bocek and Evan Dunham, getting ground out by the first and stopped by the second on a messed-up eye.
A short-notice replacement for George Sotiropoulos against Takanori Gomi at UFC 144, the undersized Mitsuoka damn near stopped the former Pride FC megastar, crumpling him with a counter left hook, taking his back and securing a triangle from there before running out of time. Gomi wound up storming back in the second, pouring on power punches and putting the tiring grappler away.
My irrational fanboyism toward Japanese fighters is well-documented and rightfully the subject of ridicule here, but I’m not so far gone I can’t see this is a bad match up for Mitsuoka. I don’t believe Lentz is as good as his undefeated run in the UFC would suggest, but he is a solid, tenacious wrestler, one who can most likely put Mitsuoka on his back and survive what submissions he attempts from there. Eiji’s stand up isn’t awful, but he’s neither technical nor powerful enough to slow down Lentz’s takedowns.
Lentz is probably not long for the UFC world if he tries to ply his craft in the upper echelon of the featherweight division, but he should be able to beat Mistuoka without much difficulty. The fight will most likely be boring as sin, but expect Lentz to come out on top.
Prediction: Lentz via unanimous decision
Stop by tomorrow for the rest of the fights. Same punch-time, same punch-website.
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of UFC 150, beginning with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook scheduled for around 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition, we will also provide LIVE, real-time results of the main card action as it happens throughout the evening this upcoming Saturday night.