UFC Fight Night 19 Analysis: Roger Huerta's Focus and Nate Diaz's Floor Tactics

Mitchell Ciccarelli@@mitchciccarelliAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2009

On Sept. 16 the UFC hits Oklahoma City for UFC Fight Night 19, which will be presented live and free on Spike TV.

The stacked fight card will serve as a lead in for the premier of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: The Heavyweights which will air directly after the fights on Spike.

Headlining the event is a lightweight contest between Ultimate Fighter winner Nate Diaz and “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard in a battle between two of the brashest characters in the UFC today.

Also on the card, a returning Roger “El Matador” Huerta takes on undefeated wrestling machine Gray “The Bully” Maynard.

Let’s take a look at the main card for this event with in-depth analysis and predictions on the winners.

Tim Credeur vs. Nate Quarry

This is a battle between two seasoned veterans who have had decent success in the UFC despite not even making the finals on their respective seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.

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In Quarry’s case, an injury kept him from even competing at all on TUF season one, where as Credeur was able to compete on season seven going all the way to the semi finals. There, he lost to Jesse Taylor and then again to CB Dollaway when Taylor was booted out of the competition.

Since then, Credeur has gone 3-0 in his UFC career with finishes over Cale Yarbrough, Nate Loughran, and Nick Catone. Not to take anything away from any of those guys but they aren’t exactly elite-level fighters.

Credeur will be taking a huge step up in competition when he takes on the heavy-handed Quarry, who has gone 6-2 in the UFC and has fought for the Middleweight title once before getting knocked out viciously by then 185-pound kingpin Rich Franklin.

Credeur is a legit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with decent wrestling and an improving stand up game. If he is able to get Quarry to the ground he would have a definitive advantage over ‘The Rock’ though the problem is getting him there.

Quarry has a very strong sprawl and should be able to stuff Credeur’s takedown attempts forcing the fight on the feet. Look for Quarry to knock Credeur’s head into the stands with a powerful right hand which could earn knockout of the night honors.

Nate Quarry by second round (T)KO

Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger

Condit was originally slated to go to war with hard-nosed veteran Chris Lytle but an injury has forced Lytle out of the bout and the UFC has replaced him with a dangerous newcomer in Ellenberger.

Hardly anyone knows much about Ellenberger but he’s been competing since 2005 and has assembled a rather impressive overall record of 21-4.

He is a veteran of the now defunct IFL organization and has also competed for M-1 Global, Bodog Fight and The Bellator Fighting Championships.

Condit is entering this fight as a heavy favorite he was the WEC Welterweight champion right before the WEC merged its 170 lb. division into the UFC.

In his first UFC bout, he took on Martin Kampmann and displayed his ferocious striking ability in a back-and-forth three-round battle.

Though despite a valiant effort he lost a close split decision to Kampmann and is now in a position where he needs to work his way back up the ladder.

Ellenberger should not be underestimated. He comes from a strong wrestling background and trains with Team Quest. which could prove disastrous for Condit, who’s biggest weakness in the past was displayed in his wrestling or lack thereof.

However, since making the transition to Arizona Combat Sports and training on a consistent basis with wrestling studs Jamie Varner, Aaron Simpson, CB Dollaway and Ryan Bader, Condit’s wrestling will have improved leaps and bounds.

Anyone who has ever watched Condit fight realizes the potential this kid has. He really lives up to his nickname as The Natural Born Killer, because he always comes out aggressive looking to finish the fight.

He constantly comes after his opponent with strikes from every possible angle with mean intentions in his eyes.

Not only is Condit an excellent striker but his Jiu-Jitsu is very tight as well and he has finished 13 of his 27 fights by way of submission.

After the Kampmann loss, he’s focused and determined to make his mark in the UFC’s Welterweight division and you can’t help but feel bad for Ellenberger who is likely to be screaming uncle at the end of the fight.

Carlos Condit by first round submission

Co-Main Event

Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta

Normally this fight would have been promoted as the main event of this card but with this being the last fight on Huerta’s contract and it being uncertain whether he will choose to re-sign, its understandable why this fight is only a co-main event.

Huerta entered the UFC with a near-perfect record and a ton of potential. After battling Leonard Garcia in a three-round war he became the very first UFC fighter to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

He’s a very marketable fighter that speaks well and has the looks that appeal to the female fans. He is also very proud of his Mexican heritage and would draw a ton of money if the UFC were to place him as a headliner for an event in Mexico.

However he hasn’t fought in over a year and lost his last fight against Kenny Florian by unanimous decision losing a ton of momentum in terms of potential title contention. Since then he has openly discussed his discontent with the UFC and feels he’s been underpaid.

He has also talked about a potential acting career so with this being his last fight on his contract, all signs point to him leaving the UFC afterwards.

Maynard on the other hand plans on having a long career in the UFC and is gunning for a run at the Lightweight championship.

He competed on season five of The Ultimate Fighter and despite not winning the show or even making the finals for that matter he has maintained a perfect record and is a win or two away from earning a title opportunity.

Both Maynard and Huerta come from strong wrestling backgrounds but Maynard is on a much higher level and should be able to dictate where the fight goes. Huerta is a very explosive striker but Maynard is a more technical boxer and has improved leaps and bounds with his stand up recently.

You also have to wonder where Huerta is at mentally. Is he training hard and determined to work his way back into the mix with a win over Maynard? Or is he just looking to go in there and get his last UFC fight over with while maintaining his movie star looks to go into acting?

It’s hard to tell at this point but either way you can expect Maynard to bully ‘El Matador’ around the Octagon for a very one-sided unanimous decision victory.

Gray Maynard by unanimous decision

Main Event

Nate Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard

This is not exactly a main event to get overly excited about but regardless it should be an entertaining battle between two different styles.

After winning TUF season 5, Diaz started off on the right path with impressive victories over Kurt Pellegrino and Josh Neer. However once the cocky kid from Stockton, California took on higher caliber opponents he came up on the losing end of a decision to both Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson.

Once considered the next big thing in the 155-pound weight class, Diaz is now in desperate need of a win in order to remain relevant in the UFC’s lightweight division, or to remain in the UFC at all for that matter.

Guillard is in a different situation because he’s riding on a three-fight win streak and a win for him would likely lead to bouts with higher-caliber opponents such as Frankie Edgar or Tyson Griffin.

Nicknamed “The Young Assassin,” Guillard entered the UFC through the second season of TUF and lost in his first fight on the show to Josh Burkman.

Since the show he has gone 5-3 in the organization with wins over Marcus Davis, Gabe Ruediger, Dennis Siver and most recently Gleison Tibau.

He is an explosive striker with a good wrestling base but is more comfortable throwing bombs on his feet.

Recently though he has evolved into a more patient fighter and is not as reckless as he once was. However against Diaz being patient might not be the best strategy going into it.

Guillard will have to do what Stevenson and Guida did and that’s to just constantly put pressure on Diaz and not allow him to get into his rhythm though that is easier said than done.

Diaz is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist with slick technical boxing skills and he has a definitive reach advantage over Guillard. 

In the past, Guillard has shown to be very weak on the ground as most of his losses come by way of submission. He has made an effort to strengthen his ground game recently, but it is still a huge hole in his game and Diaz should be able to exploit it.

Nate Diaz by second-round submission

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