UFC 150 takes place August 11 and will be headlined with lightweight champion Benson Henderson and the man he defeated for the gold Frankie Edgar (14-2-1). This is a rematch from their first fight at UFC 144, where Henderson dethroned Edgar who was attempting to make his fourth title defense.
The co-main event also features two contenders in the lightweight division as Donald Cerrone (23-4-1) takes on Melvin Guillard (43-10-2). Cerrone has won five of his last six fights in the UFC, where he has earned Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Fight of the Night twice. After losing two fights in a row, Guillard earned himself a victory just this past July at UFC 148.
All four men took part in a conference call earlier in the day and shared their thoughts on their upcoming fights.
Cerrone: “Denver has the altitude and Melvin and I trained a lot together with Greg [Jackson] and I kind of went away from Greg for this fight. I didn’t want Melvin to think that Greg was giving me all his secrets and whatnot. There’s nothing personal.”
Guillard: “I’ve adopted the Dutch style of kickboxing since I came here. I’ve got another team, another group of great guys. The transition hasn’t been as difficult as it was back when I was with [Joe] Lauzon. I’m a very loyal person and it’s hard for me to leave people when I have that emotional attachment. I still have it for Greg, but sometimes you have to move on to get better at certain things. I’m heading out to Denver to get acclimated to the altitude. I’m expecting the first four to five days to really suck.”
Guillard: “The one thing is I always respected Donald as a straight guy. He’s always been honest with me. He’s like family. It’s not about win streaks anymore and this fight makes sense for both of us.”
Edgar: “Whether it’s a title fight or a non-title fight, I want to go perform and I want to win.”
Edgar: “There’s no advantage because I was with him because he was in there with me not to long ago. It should be a matter of who makes the best adjustments and who can be the better fighter on the 11th.”
Henderson: “[Frankie’s training team] always has a great game plan for rematches. For me, I expect more of the same, just a lot hungrier, tougher, smarter and a more well game planned Frankie.”
Henderson: “There’s no hidden secret on how to be a good fighter. You try to pay attention to the fundamentals, learn new tricks and do the little things to make yourself that much better.”
Henderson is pleased with his coaches as they are always trying to make him better. “It makes our team better.”
Edgar: “Every fighter is different in their own way. Ben is really well rounded. He’s a big guy with big flexibility, his cardio is top notch. He’s always hungry.”
Edgar: “In a rematch, you get to see what your opponent is all about t and it’s all about who makes the better adjustments and at this level. Sometimes it’s about who shows up that night and performs better.”
Henderson agreed as “there aren’t a lot of redoes.” like in other sports were an athlete has many opportunities per season.
Henderson: “I know what he does. He knows what I do. I think it’s more the matter of who got better at the fundamentals and who got the 1% better. It’s more about fundamentals. I’ll always be trying to improve my basics.”
Edgar: “You try to be a better fighter than last time.”
Donald Cerrone: “Greg Jackson will be in my corner, he just won’t work with me these past four weeks. He’s got a lot going on, but he’ll be in my corner.”
Guillard: “That’s why cowboy is such a stand-up guy. I have respect for the guy. We haven’t trained together since last October. He’s a great and fast learner. I don’t think we’ll be the same guys we were when we were sparring partners. That was something close in my mind. I don’t want to turn this fight into an old schoolyard brawl. I want to fight him hard and I know I have to being my ‘A’ game. I can respect what he did as a person and as a fighter. He’ll have my respect until I die.”
Cerrone said no crazy injuries before this fight.
Henderson: “The UFC is doing a great job of promoting the fight. I;m trying to do my job and so has Frankie. They’ve got the full muscle flexing for me this fight. Frankie and I always put on good shows, great performances and you’d better expect we’ll do the exact same thing again.”
Frankie has become used to the elevation after being in Colorado for the last week. Henderson said he will arrive when he normally does for any fight.”
Edgar said his nose was a little banged up, but it’s fine now. “I think my nose breaks after every fight so I’m pretty accustomed to it.”
Henderson: “I want to win my next fight no matter what, whether [Dana White] says I’ll be out of the UFC or have to go to 170 or anything. I want to win my next fight period, very badly. People don’t understand the desire for a fighter to win our next fight. I don’t care what the add-ons are.”
Melvin Guillard: “I never turn down anybody. When Joe Silva and Dana call me and ask me personally to do something, I’m there. I’m a fighter first. That comes with the territory. Some people are born fighters and some people just learn how to fight and try to make something out of nothing. I have well over 80 something fights under my belt and some tough ones. The only thing I’m hesitant about was how he would react to me taking the fight. I never turned any fight down and I wasn’t with this one.”
Guillard: “I never rocked him in practice because in training, you never try to hurt your teammates. You don’t get paid to train, you get paid to fight. I don’t care if anybody’s a better fighter than me in the gym. I never want to be the baddest guy in the gym. He did drop me a few me quite a few times in the gym with leg kicks. Right now my game plan is about checking the leg kicks. I’ll be waiting for those leg kicks. It’s gonna be a great fight. Donald’s tough. I’m tough. This will be the first time we’ll be able to throw punches and kicks and not have to pull them.”
Cerrone: “I’m gonna kick him and kick him. It’ll be a great fight.”
Henderson: “Traveling makes you tired. I toned it down in the lead-up to the fight. Once the fight gets close I want to train. A bunch of guys have wanted to come out and train with us, so that’s cool and nice to feel that.”
Cerrone: “I don’t have this mental block that I can’t beat this guy. I need to be in control to be a better fighter. I go to the gym to get better. I don’t mind getting beat on as it makes me tougher.”
Cerrone and Guillard said the fact that their friendship doesn’t matter when the fight starts, but at the end they will remain friends. They realize one will move forward with their career and other back.
Henderson: “I’m trying not to change my mentality and do as I always have. I want to remain with my aggressiveness.”
Edgar: “I fight to win and always try to make sure I get my hand raised. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the champion or not.”
Cerrone and Guillard said they respect both men in the main event and cannot pick a winner. They just hope to fight them one day.
Guillard: “I don’t feel like I have any personal issues anymore. I’m ready to wear that belt as a man with integrity. Five years ago I wasn’t as a mature.”
Guillard is grateful for everything White has done for him.