In the co-main event of the evening, The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner Nate Diaz will look to reemerge as a top contender in the division, that is if he can get past the red-hot Donald Cerrone.
Both men are similar in their approaches as the two personify the meaning of "fighter," though the duo are a contrast in styles nonetheless.
Cerrone has become a well-rounded and well-versed fighter as of late. Though his striking and jiu-jitsu skills were always prominently on display, it's his wrestling that has improved by leaps and bounds.
However, despite all of his recent accolades, Diaz's submissions are always weary territory for any fighter.
A brown belt under Cesar Gracie is a black belt anywhere else, and Diaz has displayed skills that are on par even with the most talented of jiu-jitsu practitioners.
Having the Stockton native on top is bad enough, but where Diaz is really dangerous is off his back, as he has been able to cinch up armbars and triangle chokes galore.
Cerrone can survive a few hairy moments on the mat, though the path of least resistance would be to stay away from Diaz's strengths altogether, as the Californian has proven that he can finish fights at any given moment.
Much like his brother, Nate has developed into a talented boxer.
With his range, pressure and volume of strikes, Diaz is an equally imposing figure both on the feet and on the ground, and though Cerrone is equally versed standing, the Greg Jackson fighter has more tricks up his sleeve.
A powerful striker, Cerrone comes from a highly-touted kickboxing background, racking up a 28-0-1 record as an amateur. "Cowboy" has been able to transition his striking arsenal seamlessly into the cage, where he often sets up his fight-ending submission finishes courtesy of his powerful strikes, which wilt his opponents to the canvas.
Diaz may hold an edge in hands alone, but it's Cerrone's full gamut of strikes—both punches and kicks—which make him a dangerous man to face.
Though Diaz is a formidable opponent for any man he faces, Cerrone will have the right answers for the Gracie fighter.
Cerrone will utilize his newfound wrestling skills to keep the fight interesting, moving the action up and down, making Diaz second-guess where the fight will take place.
Standing, Cerrone will chop away at the lead leg of the flat-footed Diaz, slowing down the Stockton fighter long enough to exploit his long jab and kicks to the head and body.
Diaz will make things interesting throughout, though in the end Cerrone will have edged the TUF vet after three hard-fought rounds of action, with Cerrone taking the decision victory.