Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look ahead to the main event of UFC Fight Night 126 as Donald Cerrone clashes with Yancy Medeiros in a welterweight bout.
Donald Cerrone (Record: 32-10, -150 Favorite, Power Ranking: C+)
The long time Jackson’s MMA trained fighter enters the UFC Fight Night 126 on the biggest slump of his career having lost three straight fights. The longtime lightweight and welterweight contender last fought in October 2017 when he was knocked out by Darren Till in the first round.
“Cowboy” Cerrone is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. His anyone, anytime, anyplace mentality has made him one of the biggest fan favorites in the sport. His game begins with his striking. He has an excellent kickboxing base with heavy kicks landing just over four significant strikes a minute. His length (73 inches) is still long even with the move to welterweight. In addition to his exciting stand up, he’s got an underrated submission game. In the UFC, he holds submission wins over quality veterans Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham, and Alex Oliveira. Cerrone has had his struggles with fighters who can either land to the body or are able to force him to strike off his back foot. As Cerrone has gotten older, he’s certainly take more punches. He’s still willing to get in firefights, but physically he isn’t able to take damage at the same level as he once could.
Yancy Medeiros (Record: 15-4, +130 Underdog, Power Ranking: C+)
Hawaii’s Yancy Medeiros has been a bit of a late bloomer finally coming into his own in 2017. He’s now won three straight fights including a TKO victory over Alex Oliveira in December 2017 which was a candidate for fight of the year.
In many ways, there a lot of similarities between Yancy Medeiros and Donald Cerrone. Both fighters are thin, lanky and rangy strikers. Furthermore, Medeiros has no fear pushing forward and throwing with heavy volume (4.35 significant strikes per minute). Like Cerrone, Medeiros can be clipped on the feet, but has an innate ability to recover. While he loves to stand and strike, he also has a capable submission game. Medeiros has three wins in the UFC by submission. Most notably, Medeiros is the type of fighter who will go after a finish at all points in a fight. He’s aggressive, exciting, willing to leave it all in the cage. It’s also this aggression that can get him in trouble as he takes a lot of punishment (5.08 significant strikes absorbed per minute).
In a fight that is sure to entertain Donald Cerrone takes on Yancy Meideros in the main event of UFC Fight Night 126. Both of these fighters are aggressive on the feet, take risks, and are not afraid of a firefight. While Medeiros is at his fighting peak thus far coming off a TKO win over Alex Oliveira, Cerrone is on a three fight losing streak and needs a victory to stay relevant in the welterweight division. On paper, I see this being closely contested. Both fighters land with similar volume and throw the kitchen sink on the feet. I could see both fighters landing regularly in this bout. It also wouldn’t surprised me if each fighter gets dropped to the mat in this bout and will have to fight to avoid being finished. I lean towards Medeiros getting the nod as Cerrone has proven much more vulnerable in recent fights and has gotten off to sluggish starts. With all of that in mind, the best bet on this bout and perhaps the entire card is fight doesn’t go the distance (-225). Both fighters consistently look for the finish and are capable of being hurt at any point in the fight. Given the defensive flaws in this bout, it’s very difficult seeing this bout go five rounds.