UFC 178 Fight Breakdown: Eddie Alvarez vs. Donald Cerrone

cerrone-alvarez The co-main event of UFC 178 is a three-round lightweight bout between Eddie Alvarez and Donald Cerrone. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Alvarez is a -110 favorite (bet $110 to win $100) while Cerrone is also a -110 favorite (bet $110 to win $100) in a Pick ’em fight. MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Cerrone at -130 and Alvarez at -110, and the lines have tightened to a Pick ’em as the betting public is split on who wins. This is a close fight and I understand why it’s exactly a Pick ’em, but I’m ever-so-slightly leaning towards Alvarez in this spot. Here’s why. Alvarez (25-3) was the Bellator lightweight champion and will be making his UFC this weekend with a possible time shot looming should he defeat Cerrone. At 30 years of age, the American Alvarez is currently at the height of his career, riding a three-fight win streak over Michael Chandler, Shinya Aoki and Patricky Pitbull and looking better and better every time out. Alvarez is a very skilled fighter with an excellent kickboxing attack on the feet as well as the wrestling chops to dictate where most of his fights take place. He has shown a tendency to get rocked and dropped in his fights, but overall his chin has held up for him and he’s proven to have been a hard guy to stop in his career. Alvarez is getting a tough UFC debut here in Cerrone, but if he fights to the best of his abilities, he certainly has the chance to win. And the betting public seems to think so too, as they’ve pegged him as a coin flip against the red-hot Cerrone, which should show you something about the respect people have for Alvarez, who I believe has been one of the best lightweights in the world for a long time. Cerrone (24-6, 1 NC) is one of the top lightweight fighters in the UFC. The 31-year-old American is 11-3 overall in the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win streak with victories over Jim Miller, Edson Barboza, Adriano Martins and Evan Dunham, all of those victories coming by way of stoppage. He has incredible kickboxing skills and as of late has shown off the fact he indeed has knockout power in all of his limbs, especially his legs. On the ground, Cerrone is extremely slick and he’s one of the best at taking the back in the entire division. As well, he has very underrated wrestling, a solid chin, and great cardio. In short, he’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division and a tough guy for anyone to beat. If Cerrone wants to get a UFC title shot, a win over Alvarez is his ticket to the title fight. It’s a tough fight, but if the Cerrone we’ve seen as of late shows up, he certainly has what it takes to win. Either way, it’s going to be a great fight. This is a really, really close fight and I can see it playing out in so many ways. Ultimately, though, I believe the fight will come down to the striking and while I do give Cerrone the overall edge on the feet, I believe in this matchup Alvarez can use his boxing to tag Cerrone on the feet and come away with a close decision. But it’s really close to call, and honestly, I think this fight is the definition of pass. Finding an edge here has been difficult for me as I can see either man winning, so unless you have a better read of the fight than I do, just pass this one, watch it, enjoy it, and look for other fights on the card to bet (there are many of them).

Written by Adam Martin.

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