Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone
|Date & Time||Saturday May 4, 2019, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
Canadian Tire Centre
The Line: Iaquinta -137 / Cerrone +123 -- Over/Under:
Al Iaquinta and Donald Cerrone fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 151 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Al Iaquinta enters this fight with a 14-4-1 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Iaquinta has won nine of his last 11 fights and is coming off a December win over Kevin Lee. Iaquinta is averaging 4.3 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Iaquinta is averaging 0.81 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 23 percent. Iaquinta is coming off a second victory over Lee, a bout in which he landed 49 percent of his total strikes. However, some would say Lee was robbed in the rematch, so take the result with a grain of salt. Iaquinta has now gone to a decision in three of his last four fights and has been on the right side in six of his seven career decisions. Iaquinta is a powerful striker who lands 91 percent of his strikes standing up and has one shot knockout power. However, Iaquinta has improved as a grappler over the years and his conditioning is extremely impressive to the point where he still has knockout power late in fights and can be effective on the ground if needed. While at his best standing up in a striking brawl, Iaquinta is the only fighter to go five rounds with Khabib Nurmagomedov, so he’s more than comfortable being dragged into deep waters. This will be Iaquinta’s first career fight in Canada.
Donald Cerrone enters this fight with a 35-11 record and has won 49 percent of his fights by submission. Cerrone has split his last eight fights and is coming off a January win over Alexander Hernandez. Cerrone is averaging 4.2 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Cerrone is averaging 1.29 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Cerrone is coming off a clean head kick and viscous ground and pound to produce a second round knockout, and each of his last eight wins have been finishes. Cerrone has earned performance of the night honors in back-to-back fights and now has a chance to win three straight fights for the first time since 2016. Cerrone is a versatile fighter who is a well decorated kick boxer, a deep background in Muay Thai and is comfortable on the canvas to the point he has 17 career submission victories. A total of 27 of Cerrone’s 35 victories have come by some sort of stoppage. A polished wrestler who almost always has the edge on the canvas, Cerrone closes range well with those leg kicks and seems to always be comfortable in the octagon. This will be Cerrone’s fourth career fight in Canada.
It’s hard to find people who don’t root for Cowboy, as the guy is a true fighter who does things the right way and often finds ways to win when many are counting him out for whatever reason. It’s always worth considering him in the underdog role. The concerns here is that Iaquinta has some of the best boxing in the division and high level takedown defense, two things that are going to give Cerrone issues. Iaquinta is going to force his style of fight and the combination of pressure along with his boxing ability to going to make Cerrone uncomfortable.
This is a true toss-up fight, as Cerrone has the edge if they fight from the outside. Iaquinta has the edge if he can throw hands on the inside. I’m giving the edge to Iaquinta.