Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje - 9/14/19 UFC Fight Night 158 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje - 9/14/19 UFC Fight Night 158 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje

Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10:45 PM (Rogers Arena)

The Line: Gaethje -229 / Cerrone +201 -- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 158 at the Rogers Arena.

Donald Cerrone enters this fight with a 36-12 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by submission. Cerrone has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a June loss to Tony Ferguson. 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 second round knockout loss that was forced to be stopped after he blew his nose and his eye swelled shut. Cerrone ate 104 significant strikes in the bout and was running out of answers well before the fight was stopped. Cerrone obviously isn’t wasting any time stepping back in the octagon, as this will be his fourth fight of the year and he’s earned performance bonuses in each of his last four fights. Cerrone is a versatile fighter who is a well decorated kick boxer, has 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 36 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 usually gets the fight where he wants it. A tough fighter who clearly isn’t backing down from the competition, Cerrone’s work rate and willingness to take on whomever is why he’s popular with fans. This will be Cerrone’s fifth career fight in Canada.

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Justin Gaethje enters this fight with a 20-2 record and has won 85 percent of his fights by knockout. Gaethje has won 10 of his last 12 fights and is coming off a March win over Edson Barboza. Gaethje is averaging 8.50 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Gaethje is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Gaethje is fresh off probably the biggest win of his career and the most impressive, as he stood in there with a dangerous strike in Barboza, ate the leg kicks and landed a nasty right hand that knocked the lights out. It was a risky game plan, but it’s what we expect from Gaethje, and he showed just how powerful his hands are if he lands clean flesh. Gaethje has earned performance bonuses in all five of his UFC fights. Gaethje has shown throughout his career that the striking power and the chin is there for him to hold his own with anybody standing up, and he proved that even more in his last bout. Gaethje can give and take a beating, and he loves coming forward with pressure, making his opponent uncomfortable and keeping them on their toes. However, Gaethje comes from a wrestling background and has a trainer who works relentlessly on technique, so at some point you’d think that would come into play. At this point, Gaethje seems to be 100 percent dedicated to his standup and wants to head hunt. This will be Gaethje’s first career fight outside of the United States.

First off, we have to commend Cowboy and his schedule, as the guy never takes an easy fight and is back in the octagon before his wounds from his previous battle even had time to heal. Cerrone gives the fans what they want and he’s a legend for that. If other fighters were like him, this sport would be even bigger than it currently is. With that out of the way, Gaethje should win this fight. We saw Cerrone struggle with the pressure, work rate and quickness from Ferguson, and Gaethje is even more wild and careless. The technique isn’t as good and there’s counters there for the opening when it comes to fighting Gaethje, but we’ve seen Cowboy struggle with pressure fighters in the past and it doesn’t get more dangerous than his opponent here. Gaethje is a brawler who is going to walk down his opponent and looks to finish things quickly with powerful hands. Cerrone is going to have a hard time keeping up.

Gaethje wins another big fight and inches closer to a title shot.

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Randy’s Pick Justin Gaethje -229

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.