UFC Fight Night 158: Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje preview

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September 11th, 2019

In what could be the last stand for a UFC fan favorite, Donald Cerrone will try to turn away the surging Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC Fight Night 158 on Saturday, September 14. Glover Teixeira vs. Nikita Krylov and Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Uriah Hall also highlight a strong card.

Donald Cerrone (36-12, 1 NC) vs. Justin Gaethje (20-2)

Donald CerroneJustin Gaethje
Time hasn’t been kind to Cerrone. At 5-5 in his last 10 fights and off a doctor stoppage from his last fight, this “Cowboy” is looking like he’s slumping toward the finishing line and Gaethje is happy to move him along however which way he can.

These fighters have careers going in opposite directions. Gaethje is angling for a title shot and remains on top of the lightweight division, whereas Cerrone took bloody loss to Tony Ferguson a little over three months ago.
Cerrone’s age and accumulation of damage over the years hasn’t dampened his support, but the action-heavy Cerrone will need to take a cerebral approach to take out the heavy-handed Gaethje.

Gaethje will face off against an opponent who is going to try and force him into a war of attrition, and unless Cerrone either catches him cold or actively smothers his offense, Gaethje is going to hit paydirt early and often on a presumably still-healing Cerrone.

Because of his propensity for violence, Cerrone is going to make it clear early that he will not be going backward. That veteran savvy will give him some time to blast Gaethje with something big early on, but his window will close almost immediately if Gaethje doesn’t respect his power.

All Gaethje has to do is give Cerrone some false sense of security, pepper him with jabs and follow him around the ring to drop his guard. Once Gaethje does that, he’ll start opening up and beating whatever is left of the aging star.

Expect Gaethje to win an exciting, albeit one-sided scrap by overwhelming Cerrone to force a stoppage in two rounds.

Pick: Gaethje (-205)

Glover Teixiera (29-7) vs. Nikita Krylov (25-6)

Krylov’s reach will be problematic early on, so Teixeira must close the gap and take the fight into close quarters and go to the ground. Teixeira should be able to take advantage of a tactical start and get Krylov to fight at his pace to win a close decision.

Pick: Teixeira (-105)

Antonio Carlos Junior (10-3, 1 NC) vs. Uriah Hall (14-9)

Junior is coming off a decision loss to Ian Heinisch, where the submission specialist scored takedowns early, but got worn down and lost a decision. Hall will survive a similar scare early on, but his heavier hands will keep Junior at bay to win a decision.

Pick: Hall (+175)

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