UFC on Versus 5: 5 Questions That Will Be Answered
The UFC goes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for its fifth Versus show and it's bringing a main event with two fighters in Chris Lytle and Dan Hardy who will be looking to pick up much-needed victories.
Currently riding a three-fight losing streak, Hardy (23-9) takes on MMA veteran Lytle (30-18-5) on the August 14 card in a welterweight bout.
This is one of the few fights that doesn't promise a knockout because of the two competitors' chins, but it does promise to be non-stop fight action.
Lytle has never been finished in a career of more than 50 fights while Hardy has only been knocked out once in more than 30 bouts, which includes a five-round championship bout with UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre.
Other fights include Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson, Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone, Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig and C.B. Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman.
No. 5: Has Dan Hardy Improved His Takedown Defense?
Hardy may not be as worried about the takedowns in this fight as he may have been in other bouts versus Georges St-Pierre and Anthony Johnson.
Still, Hardy needs to be worried about the takedowns and he can't ignore them for long, especially in the welterweight division. If "Lights Out" finds himself in trouble, he may even attempt a takedown. Hardy's last opponent, Johnson, made pre-fight statements about standing with him and didn't do so. Maybe Lytle is going to do the same.
If Hardy hasn't worked on his takedown defense since his last fight, it may not be good enough to keep Lytle from taking him down. Lytle isn't the best wrestler in the division but he may have the advantage there in this fight.
No. 4: Will Charles Oliveira Be More Anxious or Cautious Against Donald Cerrone?
After Oliveira's last fight versus Nik Lentz was ruled a no-contest due to him kneeing a downed opponent before pulling off the rear-naked choke, he may not be as anxious to go for the finish in this fight against Cerrone.
It could also have the reverse effect on the 21-year-old. He may feel the need to go out there and make a quick statement against one of the most accomplished WEC lightweight fighters. He wasn't able to do so in his last fight and probably wants to make up for it in exciting and impressive fashion.
Whatever he chooses to do, it's going to be interesting to see how Cerrone reacts to it. "The Cowboy" dominated his previous opponent in his UFC debut but didn't look anxious to finish. If he finds himself not going for it early here and Oliveira does, he may be in for a short night.
No. 3: Will Joseph Benavidez Impress the UFC Enough to Put Him on Main Card?
Joseph Benavidez may have a reserved spot on an upcoming UFC main card, but it all depends on who he gets matched up with.
On the Versus preliminary card, he will be taking on Eddie Wineland, who is coming off a decision loss to Urijah Faber from earlier this year.
The bantamweight division isn't full of contenders and they need fights like these to be broadcast to a wider audience so they get more recognition and start to build a better fanbase. With an impressive victory by either guy, they can assure themselves that they will get a main card spot the next time out.
Benavidez went 5-2 in the WEC with his only losses coming to Dominick Cruz. He is currently 1-0 in the UFC.
No. 2: Will Dan Hardy Be Cut If He Loses but Puts on the Fight of the Night?
Hardy is currently riding a three-fight losing streak to Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson.
Not many fighters get a fourth chance to pick up a victory, but Hardy has been given that chance because of his competitive fighting spirit and for him being the best fighter from the UK after Michael Bisping.
They will probably give him one last fight if he puts on a competitive fight in this one, but a decisive loss will probably mean he receives his walking papers.
Hardy may not go out on his shield as promised if he finds himself on the losing end early in the fight.
No. 1: Do Ben Henderson/Jim Miller Need an Impressive Finish to Get a Title Shot
Jim Miller isn't promised a title shot if he gets past former WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson, but he definitely deserves it more than anyone else.
The winner may have to face Clay Guida first as Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are currently set to battle it out for the third time at UFC 136.
Miller's only two losses are to Edgar and Maynard and he has gone 7-0 since losing to Maynard at UFC 96. He has wins over Duane Ludwig, Charles Oliveira, Kamal Shalorus and Mark Bocek.
Henderson is coming off his UFC debut where he defeated Mark Bocek. After he lost his WEC lightweight title to Anthony Pettis, his UFC title shot dreams were put on hold. He gets another chance to put some momentum on his side in his quest for UFC gold when he takes on Miller.
What many people are expecting to be a close and competitive matchup might turn out to be a decisive victory if either fighter realizes a finish could give them a title shot.