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Donald Cerrone vs K.J. Noons: UFC 160 'Fight of the Night' early pick

Two dynamic lightweight strikers will open UFC 160's pay-per-view (PPV) main card tonight (Sat., May 25, 2013) when Donald Cerrone welcomes K.J. Noons to the Octagon. The pair both boast exciting styles, and when combined, could deliver the "Fight of the Night" at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

An exciting Lightweight scrap is set to open UFC 160's pay-per-view (PPV) main card later this evening (Sat., May 25, 2013) when Donald Cerrone welcomes K.J. Noons to the Octagon for the first time ever at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Their 155-pound scrap, more than likely, will produce fireworks because both mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans have proven histories of delivering heart-racing fights.

Cerrone, a World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran and Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA-trained product, is a fighter skilled in all areas of the sport. With a potent Muay Thai striking game, as well as a very offensive ground game, "Cowboy" brings the fight to his opponents in a way few men can, demonstrating, too, that he is a top-level talent who is very dangerous at all times.

Noons, a former professional boxer and Strikeforce veteran, will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut tonight. And it has been a long time coming. With sharp, crisp striking and a fairly well-rounded game, Noons is a difficult opponent who is no doubt motivated to make a bold statement in the promotion's crowded 155-pound division.

The reason the clash between these two will be exciting is because of the intriguing striking match up.

Cerrone's game focuses on range striking, using his lanky frame to attack with a multitude of Muay Thai techniques. This includes some very damaging kicks, namely his signature switch kick, which has done in many opponents, including Dennis Siver and Melvin Guillard most recently.

His attack also featured some powerful punching attacks, though to a less notable extent when compared to his vicious kicks. His performance against Charles Oliveira was a great showcase of his ability, flooring "Do Bronx" and mixing in a beautiful body shot that sparked a fight-finishing series of ground-and-pound.

Noons' game, as expected from a former professional boxer, focuses heavily on his hands, which he uses very effectively. His combinations are usually sharp; however, he is prone to being overaggressive at times, as well as having occasional defensive lapses. Even though he isn't physically imposing or notably bulky, his punches have fight-ending power, evidenced by his eight career technical knockout victories.

When these two clash, their fight styles are likely to create some interesting exchanges in the stand up department. Noons' forward pressing boxing style may force Cerrone to fight in tight, where he has a strong clinch game, or Noons may be forced to strike at range because of the long and lanky "Cowboy" frame.

Both of these men can take good hits, and they'll need to in this fight. Expect this to be a back-and-forth affair, with both men pressing the action and landing often. It will be a battle of wills, and both men have acknowledged that their fight will likely be a raw, exciting scrap.

Unless there is an early finish, expect Cerrone and Noons to deliver 15 minutes of great entertainment, battling in intense striking exchanges at all ranges. Indeed, when "Cowboy" and "King" open the PPV broadcast later tonight, they'll do it in style.

And with their approaches to striking, don't be surprised to see them turn in UFC 160's "Fight of the Night" in this Memorial Day weekend.

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