This Wednesday evening, Sept. 16, 2009, UFC “Fight Night 19″ takes place at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. The main card, headlined by a lightweight showdown between Nate Diaz and Melvin Guillard , will air on Spike TV beginning at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET and PT.
According to the BetUS.com odds-makers Diaz is being looked at as the favorite. Although he has gone 5-2 since signing with the UFC, Diaz has dropped his last two bouts. He lost a hard fought split decision against Clay Guida at UFC 94 in January and lost a one-sided unanimous decision domination to Joe Stevenson at the TUF 9 Finale in June.
Diaz desperately needs a win here. Not many fighters lose three in a row in the UFC and get a pass. On top of the pressure to win, Diaz could be having some issues making weight. According to a MMAWeekly Twitter post today, Cesar Gracie said “it might not be good” for Diaz to fight at 155 lbs. in the future. Diaz also failed to show up for a teleconference with the press on Monday to help promote the fight.
One thing Guillard has in common with Diaz is his loss to Joe Stevenson. Stevenson submitted Guillard via firat round armbar in just 27 seconds back in 2007.
He also lost his next fight by submission; to Rich Clementi at UFC 79.
However, Guillard seems to have gotten his act together and is currently on a three-fight win streak. He won a unanimous decision over Eric Regan at Rage in the Cage in March 2008, then took out Dennis Siver via first round TKO at UFC 86. Most impressive though was his split decision win over BJJ expert Gleison Tibau at the TUF 9 finale in April.
The match up between Guillard and Diaz is interesting for a number of reasons. Guillard’s weakness has always been his ground game. Six of his seven losses have come by way of submission.
Contrarily, the ground game is Diaz’s strong point. Seven of his ten wins have come from submissions.
Guillard has outstanding natural ability and is extremely athletic and fast. He’s strong and a powerful striker with 13 (T)KO wins on his record.
Nate’s a good boxer but his strikes are not as powerful, and more often than not he will use his strikes as a way to set up his submissions. In many ways Guillard and Diaz have opposing styles. The good thing is both fighters always bring it and will not back down from anyone. It should be a perfect culmination to the night’s card.
Other main card fights scheduled to air on the Spike TV broadcast include Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta, Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger, and Nate Quarry vs. Tim Credeur.
Gray Maynard will be looking to keep his perfect 7-0 record in tact as he goes up against Roger ”El Matador” Huerta (20-2-1) who could possibly be fighting in his very last UFC fight (maybe even his last MMA fight).
After going on an impressive 16-fight win streak, Huerta lost a unanimous decision in his last bout to Kenny Florian at UFC 87 in Aug. 2008.
Maynard is 5-0 in the UFC and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jim Miller at UFC 96 in March. Maynard is known for his wrestling and has won his last four fights all via unanimous decision.
Huerta is more of a striker and more of a finisher. In many ways this fight is a striker vs. wrestler match-up. Gray is a pretty solid favorite according to the odds-makers and Huerta has his hands full in this one.
Knowing Huerta is on his way out the door to pursue his acting career, the UFC probably wanted to give him the best going away present they could think of; one of the best lightweight wrestlers in the game. One thing is for sure, they were not going to give him someone that would help highlight his assets.
Here are the fight lines for “UFC Fight Night 19:”
- (LW) Nate Diaz -260 vs. Melvin Guillard +200
- (LW) Gray Maynard -350 vs. Roger Huerta +250
- (MW) Dan Miller -260 vs. CB Dollaway +200
- (MW) Nate Quarry -300 vs. Tim Credeur +220
- (LHW) Steve Cantwell -300 vs. Brian Stann +220
- (WW) Chris Wilson +110 vs. Mike Pyle -140
- (LW) Sam Stout -200 vs. Phillipe Nover +160
- (WW) Jake Ellenberger +300 vs. Carlos Condit -400
- (MW) Steve Steinbeiss +145 vs. Ryan Jensen -175
- (LW) Justin Buchholz +210 vs. Jeremy Stephens -280
- (WW) Mike Pierce +400 vs. Brock Larson -600