One of the main card bouts at UFC 187 is a three-round lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone and John Makdessi. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Cerrone is a -500 favorite (bet $500 to win $100) while Makdessi is a +400 underdog (bet $100 to win $400). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Cerrone at -305 and Makdessi at +225, and the betting public is all over Cerrone in this spot. I highly favor Cerrone to win this fight and agree with him being a big favorite. Here’s why. Cerrone (27-6, 1 NC) is 13-3 overall in the UFC with wins over the likes of Benson Henderson, Myles Jury, Eddie Alvarez, Jim Miller, Adriano Martins, KJ Noons, Edson Barboza and Charles Oliveira with his only losses in the UFC coming to Anthony Pettis, Rafael dos Anjos and Nate Diaz. The 32-year-old American is one of the most exciting fighters in the entire sport. He always comes to fight and always puts on a show for the fans, win or lose. He is currently riding a seven-fight win streak and has looked better than he ever has his entire career. On the feet Cerrone is a devastating striker. He has some of the nastiest leg kicks in the sport and also throws heat in his hands, elbows and knees. He is a complete muay Thai striker and is easily one of the best offensive strikers in the lightweight division, although his defence is certainly lacking. As far as his wrestling goes, it’s really improved in recent years. He now looks to take his opponents down when he can to score points and gain control. And he also has an excellent submission game that has seen him earn 15 career tapout victories. He has great cardio, he has an iron chin, and he has a killer instinct that is among the best in the sport, for once he hurts you, he looks to finish you. Right now Cerrone is one of the best fighters in the division, and with a win over short-notice opponent Makdessi, he’ll get his long-awaited UFC title shot. Makdessi (13-3) is 6-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Shane Campbell, Kyle Watson, Renee Forte, Daron Cruickshank, Sam Stout and Pat Audinwood with losses to Dennis Hallman, Anthony Njokuani and Alan Patrick. The 30-year-old Canadian is primarily a striker and he’s very fun to watch. He is very technical on the feet and he throws with power. He has huge power in his hands if he can connect with your chin. He also has an excellent jab that can be used to outpoint his opponents. As far as his grappling goes, he has solid takedown defence for the most part and his wrestling in general has got better over the years. However, he has lost in the past by being taken down by Hallman, so it’s possible that could happen again. Makdessi just fought a month ago against Campbell and is taking this fight on short notice, filling in for Khabib Nurmagomedov, which could either work to his advantage or disadvantage — it’s hard to say. But what is fair to say is that Makdessi is fighting the best opponent by far of his career in Cerrone this weekend. It’s a big opportunity for the Canadian, because if he wins he becomes an immediate title contender. But it’s a very difficult matchup for him, and the betting line is not surprising considering how well Cerrone has been fighting as of late. Like most, I like Cerrone in this fight. I think he’s the better striker on the feet and if this fight hits the mat he’ll be at a huge edge on the ground. He also had a full camp, while Makdessi took this fight on short notice. Makdessi has knockout power, but Cerrone has never been stopped with strikes to the head before and I doubt Makdessi is the first guy to catch him on the chin. I think Cerrone either keeps this fight standing and brutalizes Makdessi with his nasty leg kicks, or he takes this fight to the ground and sinks in the rear-naked choke. He’s -500, but Cerrone has the advantage almost everywhere in this fight, and of all the big favorites this weekend he’s one of the fighters I’m most confident in for parlay purposes. I also think he gets the finish, so keep an eye out for the Cerrone inside the distance prop. If it’s at plus money, then it could be worth a shot.
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