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 132 as Donald Cerrone clashes with Leon Edwards in a welterweight bout.
Donald Cerrone (Record: 33-10, +165 Underdog, Power Ranking: C+)
The long time Jackson’s MMA trained fighter had transitioned well from lightweight to welterweight winning his first three fights in the division, but has since fallen a bit after a knockout loss to Darren Till. His work at welterweight is highlighted by being the first fighter to knockout Canadian Patrick Cote and knocking out Matt Brown with a headkick.
“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 natural welterweights who can either land to the body or are able to force him to strike off his back foot. When Cerrone is not able to be the aggressor, he really struggles.
Leon Edwards (Record: 15-3, -210 Favorite, Power Ranking: C+)
The Jamaica-born, England-raised welterweight made his way into the UFC in 2014. After a 2-2 start in the promotion, he’s reeled off five straight wins and has made his way into the top 15.
The southpaw striker like most English fighters is very dangerous on the feet. He has good movement combined with solid hand speed with real knockout power in his left hand. He can also mix in a strong switch kick. What has surprised me most is just how effective he is in the clinch and how he is able to convert that into takedowns. Edwards was able to take Bryan Barbarena to the mat and keep him grounded to win a fight. In short, he’s proven to be a well-rounded fighter that can both hurt opponents on the feet as well as control opponents on the mat.
An interesting bout in the welterweight division has Donald Cerrone clashing with Leon Edwards on the feet. Both fighters are strong on the feet with a well-rounded striking skill set. I expect Cerrone to be the aggressor, but I expect Edwards striking from a southpaw stance to cause the American problems. Edwards has the ability to land to the body and that is a real vulnerability of Cerrone. If this fight goes beyond three rounds, it does favor Cerrone. However, Edwards youth, size, and speed should give him a distinct advantage in this fight and allow him to get a finish over a struggling Cerrone. Edwards inside the distance is +122 and the best bet on this fight.