UFC Fight Night 45 Fight Breakdown: Donald Cerrone (-250) vs. Jim Miller (+210)

ufc-160 The main event of UFC Fight Night 45 is a five-round lightweight bout between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Jim Miller. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Cerrone as a -250 favorite (bet $250 to win $100) while Miller is a +210 underdog (bet $100 to win $210). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Cerrone at -190 and Miller at +150, and so far there has been action on the favorite Cerrone. I agree with the action on Cerrone as I’m picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Cerrone (23-6, 1 NC) is one of the elite lightweights in MMA. The 31-year-old American has fought basically everyone at 155lbs, and overall he holds a record of 10-3 in the UFC with wins over Edson Barboza, Adriano Martins, Evan Dunham, KJ Noons, Melvin Guillard, Jeremy Stephens, Dennis Siver, and Charles Oliveira, amongst others, and his only losses have come to top-ranked Anthony Pettis, Rafael dos Anjos, and Nate Diaz. He is extremely well-rounded with great wrestling, wicked striking, amazing submissions and a fantastic chin, and he also has fantastic cardio. He is one of the best in the business and his only losses have come to other elite lightweights. The problem with Cerrone in the past has been 1) his striking defence and 2) his mental game. He has often choked in fights that he should win, and he has also taken unnecessary damage in many of his bouts which has cost him. Still, while it looked for a little while he may be on the decline, Cerrone has really turned things around the last year and has once again emerged as a contender. And with a win over Miller in the main event of UFC Fight Night 45, he will be very close to getting that coveted rematch with Pettis, this time with the UFC lightweight belt on the line. Miller (24-4, 1 NC) is also one of the top lightweights in the UFC. The 30-year-old American is 13-3, 1 NC in the UFC with wins over Yancy Medeiros, Fabricio Camoes, Joe Lauzon, Melvin Guillard, Charles Oliveira, Gleison Tibau, Mark Bocek, Duane Ludwig and Matt Wiman, amongst others, and his only losses have come to elite fighters in Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard. Miller is a well-rounded fighter but he excels primarily in the grappling department, having won 13 fights via submission in his career. He is fantastic at securing the neck and getting his opponents to tap out, and he is also great at securing limbs and forcing his opponents to tap. Although he looked to be on a decline after his No Contest against Pat Healy last year, he has really turned things around and once again looks like a contender. However, he hasn’t been fighting elite fighters and going up against an elite lightweight like Cerrone this weekend, he’ll have to be at his absolute best if he wants to pull off the upset, get the win, and move closer to a shot at the UFC lightweight title, something which has eluded him his entire career thus far. I believe Cerrone will be able to keep this fight standing and dictate where he wants it to take place. If he wants it to stay on the feet, he will. If he wants to take the fight to the ground, he can do that too. Regardless, I see him hurting Miller in this fight and eventually finishing him either with strikes or perhaps even with a submission, maybe a guillotine choke. At -250 the line is high on Cerrone but if it drops down a bit he could be worth putting into a two-team parlay. I wouldn’t recommend laying the juice on him straight but along with another fighter like Rick Story, that could be a solid parlay. I also like the prop on Cerrone wins inside the distance at +130 and the prop on the fight not going the distance at -195. Also, a possible hedge to look at is Miller by submission, as that would likely be the only way he wins this fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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