Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 2 a.m.
With the rapid stream of events that’s now become the norm, the UFC is routinely reaching milestones.
The Las Vegas-based promotion, for instance, put on its 2,000th fight last month at UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. That event also marked the fifth continent the UFC has visited in less than four months.
Another landmark is in sight as the UFC’s next pay-per-view comes in as its 150th numbered event. UFC 150 goes down August 11 in Denver with a lightweight championship rematch between Ben Henderson (16-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Frankie Edgar (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) as the main event.
“We’re going to make adjustments these next couple months and look at the things we can capitalize on,” Edgar said last month at a press conference. “Obviously, Ben is going to make adjustments too. It’s a little bit of a guessing game, who is going to do what.”
Edgar and Henderson have taken part in some of the most memorable bouts of the last year-and-a-half, including their UFC 144 Fight of the Night in February. It’s exactly the kind of contest the UFC needs in the aftermath of a disappointing pay-per-view last Saturday.
The four headliners of UFC 150 never seem to deliver dull fights. In the co-main event, lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone (18-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Melvin Guillard (30-10-2 MMA, 11-6 UFC) square off.
They were teammates until Guillard left Albuquerque, N.M., for Boca Raton, Fla., last year, but neither is trying to make a big deal out of their time training together. They say there’s no bad blood between them — just overwhelming confidence.
“There is no way that Cerrone can beat me,” Guillard said in a statement, “because for the first time ever, I will be fighting at my full potential.”
The winner of Cerrone vs. Guillard will find himself close to a title shot against either Henderson or Edgar.
“It’s not that it’s tough getting to the top, it’s staying at the top in this division,” UFC President Dana White said. “There are so many talented guys in it and anyone can win on any given day.”
Look below for a list of the rest of the fights slated for UFC 150.
Middleweight bout: Jake Shields (27-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Ed Herman (20-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) Herman, who appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter” 3, has left a mediocre stint earlier in his UFC career behind as he’s won three in a row to set up a marquee matchup with someone like Shields.
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami (27-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rousimar Palhares (14-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) These two former top-10 185-pound fighters find themselves on the fringe of that distinction after recent losses.
Welterweight bout: Chris Camozzi (17-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Buddy Roberts (12-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) Camozzi vocalized his desire to land a fight in front of his hometown after winning his second straight in June and got his wish in form of a pay-per-view opening bout.
Middleweight bout: Jared Hamman (13-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) vs. Michael Kuiper (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) The UFC will likely cut the loser of this bout, as Hamman has already lost two of three and Kuiper dropped his debut in a suddenly flourishing middleweight division.
Featherweight bout: Nik Lentz (21-5-2 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) vs. Eji Mitsuoka (18-8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) A stretch of nearly four years without a loss is now a distant memory for Lentz, who moves to the 145-pound division here after suffering two straight defeats at lightweight.
Featherweight bout: Justin Lawrence (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Max Holloway (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) Two young kickboxers — Holloway is 20-years old and Lawrence is 22 — square off in a bout that could get the crowd riled up early.
Featherweight bout: Dennis Bermudez (8-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Tommy Hayden (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) Bermudez is coming off of an impressive unanimous-decision victory over Pablo Garza at UFC on FOX 3, while Fabricio Camoes submitted Tommy Hayden at UFC on FX 1.
Bantamweight bout: Ken Stone (11-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Erik Perez (11-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) Stone looks to spoil the 22-year old’s status as a bright prospect by using his grappling.