Cerrone (19-5) has lost only twice in his last 10 fights, but each time, it served to knock him out of a likely title shot.
Nate Diaz derailed Cerrone from a six-fight winning streak and then, two fights later, he was battling for the belt.
Cerrone won back-to-back fights after that loss, positioning him in a No. 1 contender’s bout with Anthony Pettis. Pettis was on his A-game at UFC on Fox 6, TKOing Cerrone midway through the opening round of the fight, leaving the Cowboy to once again climb the ladder.
The first step back towards a title shot begins with Noons, who is one of the fighters being assimilated into the UFC now that his former promotion, Strikeforce, has been shuttered.
Noons (11-6), although this is his first UFC bout, is in a much more precarious position than Cerrone. He has lost four of his last five fights, including coming off of back-to-back losses to Josh Thomson and Ryan Couture.
Noons needs a victory in a bad way or his tenure in the Octagon may not last long.
UFC 160 takes place May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez puts his belt on the line in a main event rematch with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.