Whether by accident or design, the UFC powers-that-be have another intriguing card for the non-paying public when UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle goes hot. Chris Lytle, Dan Hardy, Jim Miller and Ben Henderson all have considerable stakes on the line, while Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira enter the Octagon with only slightly less to lose.
In the headliner, "Lights Out" Lytle has already announced this will be his last bout before slipping off into retirement. He'll muster one last charge into the fray, and you can bet that Lytle—a man known for going out on his shield—will use every reserve to make it memorable.
"The Outlaw" should be more than happy to oblige, as the brash British striker could be facing an exile of his own should he lose to his opponent.
Of course, Hardy's would be of the involuntary variety. He's coming off three consecutive losses to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, as well as top contenders Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson. That's the cream of the welterweight crop, but a fourth-straight loss would make his presence in the UFC stables tough to justify, regardless of the competition.
Meanwhile, the cluttered lightweight division should make a bit more sense Monday morning.
Jim Miller takes his seven-fight win streak into the cage against former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. Both 155-pounders can claim a top spot in the lightweight pecking order with a victory.
The same can be said to a lesser degree about Cerrone's clash with Oliveira. Cowboy Cerrone has won four contests in a row, including his first two UFC bouts, while "Do Bronx" already boasts 16 scraps at the tender age of 21 with only one loss (to Jim Miller). These two aren't quite as high on the lightweight ladder, but they are on the fringe of the title picture and would move closer to the thick of it with a W.
So join us on Sunday at 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT for the preliminary bouts on Facebook before the proceedings go live on Versus at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Main Card Bouts
Welterweights: Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle—Lytle defeats Hardy by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:17 of the third round.
Lightweights: Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson—Henderson defeats Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26).
Lightweights: Donald Cerrone vs. Charles Oliveira—Cerrone defeats Oliveira by TKO (punches) at 3:01 of the first round.
Welterweights: Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig—Ludwig defeats Sadollah by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Preliminary Card Bouts
Middleweights: C.B. Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman—Hamman defeats Dollaway by TKO (punches) at 3:38 of the second round.
Bantamweights: Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland—Benavidez wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Middleweights: Kyle Noke vs. Ed Herman—Herman defeats Noke by submission (inverted heel hook) at 2:13 of the first round.
Light Heavyweights: Karlos Vemola vs. Ronny Markes—Markes defeats Vemola by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Featherweights: Alex Caceres vs. Jimy Hettes—Hettes defeats Caceres by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:12 of the second round.
Lightweights: Cole Miller vs. T.J. O'Brien—Miller defeats O'Brien by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:28 of the second round.
Lightweights: Jacob Volkmann vs. Danny Castillo—Volkmann defeats Castillo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Bantamweights: Jason Reinhardt vs. Edwin Figueroa—Figueroa defeats Reinhardt by TKO (punches) at 0:50 of the second round.