It looks like April 19’s UFC on FOX 11 event from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, just got a lot more action-packed.
Lightweight striking specialists Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza are set to throw down in a bout that will be absolutely pivotal to the career trajectories of both men. No. 8-ranked Cerrone was recently seen destroying Adriano Martins with a thunderous “Knockout of the Night”-winning headkick at UFC on FOX 10 (check out the highlights here). Before that, “Cowboy” notched another Fight Night bonus with a slick triangle submission over Evan Dunham at UFC 167.
The two finishes quieted Cerrone’s critics for the time being. He had been on a downward slide, losing two out of three bouts prior to UFC 167 with his lone win being a decision over sputtering Strikeforce import K.J. Noons. But Cerrone admitted that he had lost his fire and was simply going through the motions of training.
He also came out and said he was broke from “out of control” spending habits and wanted to fight six times in 2014 to make up for the bleeding of cash.
Cerrone will definitely have a chance to score another bonus at UFC on FOX 11, but something tells me it won’t be quite as easy as it was at UFC on FOX 10. The No. 11-ranked Barboza comes in on the heels of an impressive three-fight win streak. He was last seen weathering an early storm against Danny Castillo to earn a split decision at UFC on FOX 9.
Barboza was thought to be one of the lightweight division’s best up-and-coming prospects following his highlight reel spinning wheel kick knockout of Terry Etim at UFC 142 back in early 2012. However, a surprise loss to Jamie Varner at UFC 146 sent him back to the drawing board. He’s responded well to adversity by finishing his next two opponents after former WEC lightweight champ Varner put his lights out.
With both Cerrone and Barboza possessing some of the division’s most dynamic striking, expect this to be a war that could go either way. Both fighters can end nearly any man’s night in a flash, potentially making this one of the most exciting bouts in early 2014.
UFC on FOX 11 is set to feature a pivotal heavyweight main event between Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum that will decide the next challenger to injured champion Cain Velasquez’ title. Miesha Tate will also return to face fellow former title challenger Liz Carmouche. As always, keep your eyes peeled to LowKick MMA for any and all developments on UFC on FOX 11 as they arise.
Photo: David Banks for USA TODAY Sports