The fight is over.
Justin Gaethje win.
The 155-pound division is arguably the most exciting in the UFC, and we’re set for another cracking encounter as Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje throw up an intriguing match of styles this weekend.
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone was on his way towards another crack at UFC gold before his defeat to Tony Ferguson in June, but the veteran’s momentum was well and truly halted when a gruesome eye injury put a stop to that contest at UFC 238 under doctor’s orders. Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje meanwhile has recaptured some of his momentum after an 18-fight unbeaten start to his mixed martial arts career was ended with back-to-back defeats.
Fight to finish inside the distance
Gaethje has bounced back from those losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier with two KO victories over James Vick and Edson Barboza. The 30-year-old Arizona native displayed his fearsome punching power in those two bouts, as well as his strong fight IQ and tactics. A successful night in British Columbia would continue his recovery and leave the Highlight on the cusp of a title shot. Gaethje is an aggressive fighter who walks down his opponents, but he also has an excellent ground game thanks to his college wresting background. We just haven’t seen much of it yet in the UFC.
Gaethje to win by KO or TKO
Cerrone is also an accomplished wrestler, and the older man may have to take this fight to the canvas to get the win he needs. Cowboy has struggled against opponents in the past who’ve applied serious pressure, not least in his last bout against Ferguson. The wounds from that bloody battle have barely had time to heal, and while his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere, has seen Cerrone write himself into UFC folklore, Cowboy’s camp has to be concerned that he’s not at 100% this weekend
Cerrone to win via submission
Even if he was at full heath, this would be an extremely tough night for Cerrone. His three-fight win streak following the birth of his son last year suggested he was getting better with age, but Ferguson showed Gaethje exactly how to beat him. The Highlight isn’t as technically strong as Ferguson, but his forward pressure and punching power is going to give Cerrone a tough time in the Octagon. Cowboy is a warrior who never gives up, but Gaethje is the favourite with the best betting sites and has the tools to get himself back into title contention here.
Gaethje to win by KO or TKO in the fourth round
Justin Gaethje to win the fight
Donald Cerrone is adored by UFC fans around the world, and there are lots of fighters in combat sports who should take a leaf out of his book when it comes to their schedule and willingness to take on all comers. However, that won’t help Cowboy against Justin Gaethje this weekend, with the 30-year-old looking to get back to the top of the lightweight rankings. The Highlight will apply serious pressure as he walks down Cerrone, unafraid to take punishment on his way in. We could be set for a bit of a slugfest before a brutal KO to end the show at Fight Night 158.
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John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.
All tips by John Abrams