UFC 178: Jones vs. Cormier Date: September 27, 2014 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena Broadcast: Pay-Per-View UFC Lightweight Contender Donald Cerrone (-130) Profile: Donald Cerrone (24-6, 1 NC) is one of the most active and exciting UFC fighters. A perennial contender, “Cowboy” has never quite been able to get over the hump. In the WEC, Cerrone was 0-3 in shots for the lightweight title, and he has gone 0-2 in title eliminators in the Octagon. Although the WEC was only absorbed by the UFC at the end of 2010, Cerrone has already fought 14 times in the Octagon, going 11-3 in those bouts. His current form may be the best of his career, as he is on a four-fight winning streak over Evan Dunham, Adriano Martins, Edson Barboza and Jim Miller, with each win coming via stoppage. Most fighters would be happy with those four wins over the course of a career, but Cerrone is still looking to capture that elusive title. Against former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez, Cerrone has yet another chance to move into title contention and even though he’s only 31 years old, it may be his last shot given the hectic schedule he keeps up. UFC Lightweight Contender Eddie Alvarez (-110) Profile: Eddie Alvarez (25-3) has been one of the top lightweights outside of the UFC for the past six years. After initially gaining regard as a welterweight under the BodogFight promotion, Alvarez really made a name for himself by dropping to 155 and surprising most in his run to the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix final. Unfortunately he was not able to compete in the final due to a cut, and was later defeated by the man he would face in the final, Shinya Aoki. Following that loss, Alvarez signed with nascent promotion Bellator and became one of their flagship fighters. The Philly native won his first six fights with the organization and captured its lightweight title. His only loss in Bellator came in one of the greatest fights of all-time against Michael Chandler, and he has since gone on to win his last three bouts, avenging his losses to both Aoki and Chandler in the process, not to mention recapturing his Bellator title. Alvarez has often been the subject of superfight discussions (with then Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez) and had a very public contract dispute with Bellator as he attempted to jump over to the UFC. With new management in place for Bellator that allowed him to leave for the UFC, Alvarez finally has his chance to prove himself amongst the very best lightweights in the world. Opening UFC 178 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Cerrone a very slight -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) while Alvarez opened as a -110 underdog (bet $110 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers. If UFC 178 wasn’t already one of the deepest main cards on paper in recent memory, this bout cements it. Cerrone and Alvarez are two of the most exciting and dangerous offensive fighters in the lightweight division. However, both also have just enough flaws defensively to make their fights incredibly entertaining. The one drawback to this fight being on UFC 178 is that it is the type of bout that screams for five rounds, especially given the stamina and durability both of these men have shown in the past. Each has faced plenty of high-level competition, and despite it being Alvarez’ UFC debut he shouldn’t be too affected by the “Octagon jitters”. Cerrone has been extremely active of late while Alvarez will have been out for nearly 11 months by the time this fight rolls around, which gives a slight edge to the Jackson-Winklejohn product.