Mixed martial arts fans are in for a treat this upcoming weekend, as the UFC is bringing a stacked card to Rogers Arena. Topping the bill is a potential Fight of the Year candidate, as fan favorites Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone goes up against Justin Gaethje.
You can’t make a more fan-friendly fight than Cowboy vs Gaethje, as neither man seems capable of having a boring fight. Half of Cerrone’s 32 UFC fights have ended with him winning an end-of-night bonus, while Gaethje is a perfect five for five earning bonuses in his octagon career. Fireworks, guaranteed.
So who do the bookies like in this one? “The Highlight”, Mr. Gaethje, is currently a -205 favorite at My Bookie. Surprisingly, this rather modest number still makes him one of the biggest favorites on the card. About half of the 12 fights on the card currently sit as basically pick ’ems, with only Antonio Carlos Junior (-220), Marvin Vettori (-300), and Louis Smolka (-215) and Gaethje above -200. Stacks up to be a night full of exciting, close fights.
After going three for three with our picks last week, let’s see if we can keep the good times rolling.
Justin Gaethje (-205) vs Donald Cerrone
Gaethje was in the -190 range when we first checked these lines a few hours ago, so you might want to jump on it before it gets higher than it’s current -205 level. His relentless pressure could overwhelm Cowboy, especially earlier in the fight as Cerrone is a notorious slow starter. He’s also notoriously susceptible to body shots, so Gaethje would be wise to target him there. Add in Gaethje’s terrific wrestling (which he never utilizes), and Cerrone should also have a hard time getting this fight to the mat.
Augusto Sakai (-110) vs Marcin Tybura
Don’t let Augusto Sakai’s “soft” physique fool you – he’s a very dangerous heavyweight fighter. In his eight year pro career, he’s gone a very impressive 13-1-1. He’s currently on a four-fight win streak, including going a perfect 2-0 in the UFC. And he’s a finisher – 10 of his 13 wins are via (T)KO. Which is all bad news for his opponent on Saturday, Marcin Tybura. While Sakai is on the rise, Tybura is sinking fast. He’s gone a middling 4-4 in his three-year UFC career, including only getting his hand raised one time in his past four fights. He’s also been TKO’d in his last two fights. All adds up in Sakai’s favor.
Miles Johns (-135) vs Cole Smith
We’re going with an octagon newbie here in Miles “Chapo” Johns. Technically, he has fought in the octagon before, as he earned his way into the UFC by winning on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He’s got great high-level experience, against only fighters with winning records, and comes from one of the top camps in the sport, Dallas’s Fortis MMA. While his opponent in this one, Cole Smith, will be fighting in his hometown, Chapo’s relentless pace and superior wrestling should carry the day.
Overall Results for This Column
Earnings (based on $100 bet per): ($144.19)
Return on Investment: N/A