Saturday's UFC Fight Night Preview
Al Iaquinta battles Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, and the undercard also features quality bouts.
Brad Katona (9-0-0) +125 vs. Merab Dvalishvili (8-4-0) -170Katona has the undefeated record, prefers to go right after his opponents from the opening bell and lands 4.9 significant strikes per minute. He also absorbs punishment with his style, as opponents land 2.77 strikes per minute.
Dvalishvili's style is much different. While Katona prefers standing up, Dvalishvili likes to take the fight to the ground. His takedown average every 15 minutes is 7.33. If Merab turns this into a grappling battle, he will have the edge. If Katona keeps the fight off the mat, he'll have the edge. Katona has the overall edge, because everything he has done has worked so far.
UFC Free Pick: Brad Katona
Cub Swanson (25-10-0) +130 vs. Shane Burgos (11-1-0) -155This should be an exciting battle and mainly off the mat, because both of these guys prefer to stand in front of each other and brawl. Cub Swanson has knocked out 44 percent of his opponents and averages 4.16 significant strikes per minute. Burgos averages 6.54 significant strikes per minute and absorbs a high 5.47 strikes per minute. Although Burgos likes to mix it up in the stand up in most of his fights, he has a very good ground game. Forty-five percent of Burgos' wins have come via submission. He has more flexibility in this match, while Swanson is the more experienced fighter. Flexibility wins out over experience.
UFC Free Pick: Shane Burgos
Derek Brunson (18-7-0) -120 vs. Elias Theodoroux (17-2-0) -115Theodoroux will try to use his skills to pile up points and has won most of his matches via decision. The 6-foot-1 fighter lands 4.17 significant strikes per minute and only absorbs 2.24 per. Brunson might take this fight to the ground every chance he gets. Brunson averages 2.35 takedowns every 15 minutes, but has a 1 1/2-inch reach advantage over Thoedoroux. If he decides to use that reach advantage, as well as his leg reach advantage, he could beat his opponent at his own "let us go to the scorecards" game.
UFC Free Pick: Derek Brunson
Main Event: Lightweights
Al Iaquinta (14-4-1) -120 vs. Donald Cerrone (35-11-0, 1 NC) +100Styles make fights in the octagon the same way they do in the boxing ring. This fight pits Iaquinta's stand-up style versus Donald Cerrone's ground-game style. Iaquinta doesn't have a great ground game, rarely goes for a takedown and has only won a single fight via submission. H does have has power, though. He has won 50 percent of his fights via knockout or technical knockout.
Cerrone can fight on his feet and lands 4.2 significant strikes per minute, but he has an excellent ground game. He's won 49 percent of his fights via submission. Cerrone has a 3-inch reach advantage, so when he is on his feet, he'll use his reach to keep Iaquinta away.
UFC Free Pick: Donald Cerrone