UFC Fight Night 89: MacDonald vs Thompson Date: June 18, 2016 Arena: The Arena at TD Place City: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Welterweight bout: Donald Cerrone (-150) vs Patrick Cote (+140) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for UFC Fight Night 89 will be a welterweight contest between former UFC lightweight title challenger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and former UFC middleweight title challenger Patrick “The Predator” Cote. Cerrone is a -150 ($150 to win $100) betting favorite heading into the contest and Cote is the underdog to win at +140 ($100 to win $140) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (29-7-1 NC MMA, 14-4 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 83 nearly four months ago, where he made his debut in the UFC’s welterweight division and picked up a first round triangle choke submission win over fellow “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira. He now hopes to make it two in a row at 170-pounds by taking out former 185-pound title challenger Patrick Cote. “Cowboy” is an excellent striker with great footwork and speed. He has excellent Muay Thai and is effective from inside the clinch and from striking distance. Cerrone has a variety of kicks in his arsenal, and is effective with all of them. He does damage with his leg kicks, as well as his head and body kicks. The Denver, CO native works both the inside and outside leg kicks really well. He often prefers to end his combinations with a heavy outside leg kick. Sometimes he will throw a combination at half-strength, and then follow it up with a powerful leg kick at full-strength to end the combination with, which he has been quite effective with. The 33-year-old old mixes it up well on the feet, implementing all limbs into his offensive attack. He has a nice uppercut, works a solid jab and puts together some solid combinations on the feet. As effective as “Cowboy” is with his shin, he is just as effective with his knees, and quite accurate with them, too. Cerrone likes to time and catch opponents with his knee as they are either changing levels for a takedown or moving forward attempting a strike, and he has been very effective in doing so. He likes throwing single knee strikes to the body from distance. The WEC veteran fights best when he is moving forward, being the aggressor, and is not as effective when moving backwards. Cerrone is incredibly talented on the mat, as well, having an excellent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game and owning a very impressive 16 of 29 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of submission. He is a serious threat from both top and bottom positions. “Cowboy” loves to choke his opponents out; the triangle choke is his favorite submission to go for, so he definitely does not mind being on his back, as it gives him an opportunity to secure his favorite finish, which he did his last time out against Oliveira. The Denver, CO native has works solid takedowns, including a nice single-leg and a great body-lock takedown. He is a tough and durable fighter who possesses a good chin and better recovery. His cardio is up there, as well, especially considering he trains in high altitude at Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, NM. He should have enough in te fank for a full three rounds of action against “The Predator” tonight, if necessary. Patrick “The Predator” Cote (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) currently enjoys a three-fight winning streak with a unanimous decision over Joe Riggs and a pair of impressive TKO’s of Joshua Burkman and Ben Saunders, respectively. He plans to make it four in a row by taking out Cerrone and draw ranked opposition for his next time out. He has mentioned title shot talks, but those are pipe dreams at this point. He will need to get a couple wins over ranked opposition before he can get a crack at the division’s gold. “The Predator” has solid boxing and Muay Thai skills and is a very well-rounded mixed who has been showing improvements from fight to fight, most notably having greatly improved his wrestling game, though improvements in his striking (and footwork) are clear-as-day, also. He works decent single and double-leg takedowns, has good top control and is quite effective with his ground and pound attack. He also transitions well on the mat, moving from position to position. Cote is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has a very under-rated submission game. He is a threat with his submissions from both top and bottom positions, and he does a great job of reversing position, as well, whenever finding himself on his back. His takedown defense is solid, and when taken down, he generally does a good job of finding his way back to his feet. The former UFC middleweight title challenger possesses a great chin and heavy hands. He is a technical brawler who gets more aggressive when he gets tagged on the feet, but is generally a patient fighter who looks for openings and picks his shots. Cote has a solid jab, nice uppercuts and a vicious overhand hand. He has developed a very good kicking game, as well, using an effective front-kick, and doing an excellent job of working the inside leg of his opponents, and delivering heavy outside leg-kicks, which I think could be a tool for him against Cerrone in this contest. Training out of Brazilian Top Team in Montreal, “The Predator” has great cardio and will be ready for a full three rounds of action against Cerrone, should this fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabe’s Call: Cote by T/KO (punches, 1:01 round 1) Gabe’s Thoughts: I believe this is a tough test for Cerrone at 170-pounds. He is a former lightweight title challenger taking on a former middleweight title challenger. Both are solid fighters. I think Cote’s advantages in size and strength will ultimately be the difference, as I see him moving forward and outboxing Cerrone in this contest, as well as hurting him with his heavy leg-kicks. I think it’s a coin-flip whether Cote wins this fight inside the distance or on the judges’ scorecards, but I think he should be a 2-to-1 betting favorite going in, so I really like him for a play at his current offering price of +140. I think it is also worth noting that Cote will have a hometown advantage, and is the mentally stronger fighter of the two. The crowd could potentially play a role in this contest, especially if it’s a close that that hits the judges’ scorecards for a tally. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Cote (+140) 3.5u to win 4.9u
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