Even though the UFC card this Saturday is headlined with a title fight and an MMA legend's last hurrah, the real fireworks may happen earlier in the night.
Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone have a lot of work to do to steal the show at UFC on Fox 6, but fans who've followed both of their careers know that this match-up is a highlight reel in the making.
What? You need more convincing that this is the fight you can't miss?
'Then read along. We'll give you five good reasons to make sure that above all else you don't take a food or bathroom break during Pettis vs. Cerrone.
Not only are Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone two of the best strikers in their division, but they're also high-rate finishers inside of a cage.
Between the two of them, "Cowboy" and "Showtime" have had 29 of their 41 professional MMA fights end in knockouts or submissions, with each man coming off a "Knockout of the Night" victory against seriously game opponents in Melvin Guillard and Joe Lauzon, respectively.
That's a recipe for a hell of a finish.
Add in the factor that these guys know they can't afford a decision loss, and you can be sure that they'll be game-planning to get the early stoppage.
Let's be realistic—we're probably not going to see another kick like this.
But what if we DO?
This off-the-wall ninja attack marked the highlight of Anthony Pettis's career, so you have to expect that he'll try something equally crazy, if not the exact same move.
'Just imagine the disappointment you'd feel if you missed a moment like that.
So, the only bad blood on the main card is between Pettis and Cerrone, especially since "Cowboy" has outright told outlets like MMA Junkie that Pettis is ducking fights because he's "scared" to lose.
Pettis hasn't taken too kindly to that, so he's got more than extra incentive to shut Cerrone up.
Fights in MMA are always a little more interesting when both guys (or girls) walk into the arena with a chip on their shoulder, anyway. Even if they drop the beef after the match is over, the mutual disdain should make for a fierce bout.
Ever since the dethroning of B.J. Penn, the lightweight division has been enjoying a fresh surge of challengers for the throne—and we may be seeing the next king here.
Of course, both Pettis and Cerrone have fought for gold already.
Carrying championship experience from their World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) days, both men were on the shortlist for possible standouts after the UFC merger, with Pettis originally lined up for a title shot.
Now, "Showtime" is finally a step away from earning that shot again, while Cerrone is also knocking on that door. Given that both of them have fought Benson Henderson before, they also have the experience and drive to knock "Bendo" off the mountain—provided Gilbert Melendez doesn't do it first.
No point in mincing words here.
Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson are only headlining UFC on Fox 6 due to the necessity of promoting the flyweight belt—and even Fox's marketing wing doesn't want to say "flyweight" if they don't have to do so.
That's pretty bad for the little guys.
Savvy watchers will likely settle in to appraise this high-paced technical battle, sure, but what many casual fans will see is two child-sized athletes running laps around the Octagon.
At least with Pettis vs. Cerrone, the threat of a beatdown is pretty much guaranteed between them.
Saturday's "real" main event may not have a belt at stake, but the added 60 pounds of punishment that Pettis and Cerrone are packing is more ripe for hyping the crowds.