UFC Fight Night 126

Donald Cerrone vs Yancy Medeiros

There’s been some up n downs in his UFC career for Cerrone lately. When he first went up to welterweight he looked like a world beater. Now he’s on a three fight skid and talking about heading back down to lightweight. It’s the right move I think. You saw the size difference between him and Darren Till and yes Till is a very big welterweight but still he just got destroyed. So it’s one more then back to lightweight trying to get a win here and start to build that momentum again. At 6’1 Donald is tall for the division, very rangy and very accurate. A very good counter fighter with nice kicks. He has excellent combinations and finishing instincts but he doesn’t rush it and he’s very fun to watch. He doesn’t take a lot of time between fights and I don’t know if that has hindered him over the years. I guess with this fight we find out if the latest loses were due to circumstances and tough opposition or if the Cowboy has lost a step.

Almost the opposite situation from Cerrone, Yancy Medeiros is on a roll. He’s on a three fight win streak and against decent opposition like Erick Silva and Alex Oliveira. He’s mainly a striker and a student of Richard Perez. Striking seem to have improved tremendously in these last two years, especially his defence, he’s not so sloppy either and much better technically. Another impressive thing is his recovery speed, he can recover from getting rocked and fire back quickly. This has the makings of a great fight.

Style wise both guys are good counter strikers and both guys have good control of distance. Cerrone has a lot more precision especially with that fast straight right. Donald is also a better kicker to the legs or to the body or the head, they are all fast and they are all very hard. Medeiros can be hit but like I said he is very tough and recovers well but Donald is not the type to rush in for the finish instead he will take his time and work slowly. I give the edge to Cerrone here, I think he’s technically better but his confidence could be an issue but if he fights smart and mixes up his strikes, lots of body shots and leg kicks, I think he will be successful here. I don’t see Medeiros winning a decision here but he could win by TKO. I think has has to take advantage of any mistakes Cerrone makes and make them count. In a five round fight there will be opportunities for but can he capitalise? I don’t think so, I think Cerrone wins a decision.

Prediction – Cerrone by decision

Result – Cerrone by TKO

Derrick Lewis vs Marcin Tybura

Derrick Lewis returns unsuccessfully, temporarily, in his search for ‘Ronda Rousey’s fine ass’. So it’s back to the cage for him to fight Marcin Tybura. Lewis is 6’3 265lbs+, a big guy. He was on a hell of a run, 6 straight wins with 5 finishes before he ran into Mark Hunt but anyone can get Hunto’. Like I said very big guy, very heavy hands and very heavy ground and pound. Might have an issue with cardio later in the fight but most heavyweights do.

Marcin Tybura is coming off a loss as well but he did reasonably well against Werdum. It shows you though that there is a big gap between even guy in the top ten and the really top guys. Tybura is pretty well rounded. Punches and kicks well, decent grappling, he has finished 13 of his 16 wins and he moves well for a big man.

I’ve been going back and forth on this one. All week I’ve been thinking Tybura takes it but there is just this thought in my head saying Derrick Lewis so for absolutely no other reason than following my instincts I’m saying Lewis.

Prediction – Lewis by TKO/KO

Result – Lewis by TKO

James Vick vs Francisco Trinaldo

James Vick has a problem in that his name isn’t big enough for the risk that a fight with him represents. Does that make sense? What I mean is that for a ranked guy the value of beating Vick is small considering how hard a fight he is. Risk vs reward. He’s a very tall lightweight and he fights tall. He looks awkward at times but I suppose that can put people off. Once he gets his range he is very good at pumping that left jab in an opponents face. He’s 30 years old and like I said 6’3 with a record of 12 wins and only 1 loss. Not a lot of hype but a hell of a hard fight.

I don’t think a guy like Trinaldo really cares who he fights at this stage. He’s 39 years old, 5’9 and a solid built 155. He’s a former Brazilian kickboxing champion with an mma record of 22 wins and 5 losses. He’s southpaw and obviously a very good striker he’s aggressive and really loads up that big left from the southpaw stance.

Like I said Vick uses distance and reach well and it wears his opponents down. Guys who look good against him in round 1 often fade badly by round 2 and beyond. I see that happening here, where Trinaldo comes hard in the first round looking for those big shot and having success making Vick fight very defensively the as the fight goes on Vick could wear Trinaldo down with his jab and front kicks to the body. Vick also closes distance by throwing a kick or knee and coming behind it with punches then clinching and it works very well for him. Honestly if Trinaldo is gonna do it he’s gonna do it early. I think Vick by decision.

Prediction – Vick by decision

Result – Vick by decision

Thiago Alves vs Curtis Millender

Thiago Alves used to be one of my favourites to watch, the guy was a destroyer. He had the look and the skills and he took people out. I remember Tony DeSouza, Karo Parisyan and especially Matt Hughes. His fight against Josh Koscheck is probably still one of my 5 favourite bout of all time. He first came to the UFC at 22 years old, he’s 34 now with a record of 22 wins and 11 loses. He fought GSP for the title in 2009 and has been very inconsistent since then. He’s still a dangerous guy but just something seems to be missing. I think health issues and injuries have taken their toll.

Curtis Millender is making his UFC debut here but he’s been around a bit at Legacy Fighting Championships and 2 stints at Bellator. His record is 14 wins with 3 losses. He’s a tall guy at 6’2 with very long arms and legs and his style relies a lot on in and out movement and speed. He very similar to Michael Page at times maybe not the extreme cockiness but you can see shades of it at times. He’s currently on a 6 fight win streak with his last 2 coming from head kick knockouts. Can he keep going? We’ll find out.

Contrasting striking methods here. Alves is more of a Muay Thai stylist, hands high stalking forward, some of the best leg kicks is the division and throws almost everything with power. Millender on the other hand is one of those sport karate looking dudes lots of movement and flick fast kicks and punches then he will slam them in as well. I can absolutely see Millender keeping his distance and reach and frustrating Alves for 3 rounds. I can also see Alves using leg kicks and getting inside and landing those hard shots. I’ve seen Millender get sloppy and get caught when he throws those kicks and I’m backing Alves to do enough damage over 3 rounds to get the decision.

Prediction – Alves by decision

Result – Millender by KO

Sage Northcutt vs Thibault Gouti

Super Sage Northcutt, the Golden Boy, the Next Big Star! Hasn’t quite worked out like that, not yet anyway. Got to feel for the kid with all the pressure and hate that came his way for something that had absolutely nothing to do with him. He’s still young and very skilled he obviously had a hole in his game with submission defence but hopefully he can sort that out. Another plus is that he’s staying at Alpha Male and has a bit of distance from his allegedly overbearing father. Physically he is very impressive 6’0 tall a solid 155lb and he fast, strong and very athletic. He uses movement very well working from the outside before exploding in and he’s only 21 years old. Lots of time to improve and limitless potential.

So Thibault Gouti has his back against the wall a little bit. Came to the UFC undefeated then lost his first 3 fights (all finishes) before getting 1 back against Holbrook. A win here would be handy if he wants to stick around. He’s 30 years old, 5’10 with a record of 12 wins and 3 losses. As far as skills go he’s sort of OK everywhere but I don’t think he standsout anywhere.

Gouti seems to like being sort of a pressure fighter. Likes to move forward and not give people a chance to settle but he’s not really good enough to fight like that at this level. He gets hit too easily and yes he’s tough but that’s not enough. I think he’s tailor made for Sage who likes to stay on the outside. I see Sage hitting him at will and probably getting the finish in the second round.

Prediction – Northcutt by TKO

Result – Northcutt by decision

Steven Peterson vs Brandon Davis

This fight has been bumped up to the main card because Jessica Aguilar lost her opponent and was removed from the show. I’ll make this quick.

Both 27, both about the same size. Both newcomers with Peterson making his debut and Davis coming off a loss to Bochniak. They both like to move forward and fight aggressively. Davis uses a lot more movement and like to hit from strange angles, moves his head a lot. Although this sometimes leads to him kinda walking into things. Peterson is your regular bite the mouthpiece and go to war type. Should be a fun fight and could go either way but if I have to chose I’m gonna Davis by decision.

Prediction – Davis by decision

Result – Davis by decision

Rest of the Card

Jared Gordon vs Diego Ferreira – Gordon (result – Ferreira)

Geoff Neal vs Brian Camozzi – Neal (result – Neal)

Roberto Sanchez vs Joby Sanchez – Sanchez (result – Sanchez)

Sarah Moras vs Lucie Pudilova – Pudilova (result – Pudilova)

Joshua Burkman vs Alex Moreno – Moreno (result – Moreno)

Oscar Piechota vs Tim Williams – Piechota (result – Piechota)

Prediction results 10/12

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