Welterweights take centre stage as fan favourite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone looks to halt the hype train that is Yancy Medeiros in Austin, Texas this Sunday night.
In a rare Sunday night outing for the UFC, locals in Austin, Texas are being treated to an intriguing match up at 170lbs. #11 Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (32-10) takes on #15 Yancy Medeiros (15-4).
HALTING THE SKID
With ‘Fight of the NIght’ honours in all 4 categories, it must hurt Cerrone knowing that he comes into this fight having lost his last three fights. In what will be his 8th fight competing in the welterweight division, it is imperative that “Cowboy” cements himself as a legitimate contender and move up through the rankings.
Cerrone once prided himself on halting hype trains with his ferocious victory over Myles Jury coming to mind. Having been unsuccessful in stopping hot prospect, Darren Till last time out, Cerrone knows that a win over Yancy Meideiros will put the division on notice and will look to reclaim former glories this Sunday night.
Hawaii has always had tough fighters within the UFC – BJ Penn being the most recognisable – but in 2018, fellow statesman Max Holloway is dominating the featherweight division and Medeiros is currently on the crest of a wave and looks to remain there for a long time to come.
Medeiros is somewhat of a surprise package in the UFC and has won 3 of his last fights in convincing fashion with 2 TKO and 1 Submission victory in the process.
Coming off one of 2017’s best fights against Alex Oliviera, the Hawaiian announced himself to the masses by knocking off one “Cowboy” and he now hopes to claim another “Cowboy” to legitimise himself as a true contender at 170lbs.
On paper this is a very well matched fight with two fun styles to watch. Cerrone, a submission specialist (16 SUBS) and Medeiros with an onslaught of punches at his disposal (8 TKO’s) make this a must watch bout.
Both fighters bring fantastic energy to their fights and this should be no different. Look for Cerrone to shoot early and often for takedowns. His ground work is top notch and loves hunting the neck of his opponents.
However, don’t write off Medeiros too quickly. We saw in his last fight that Yancy has the tools to sweep opponents at will and find himself in dominant positions and land some vicious elbows of his.
Cerrone isn’t shy of a KO/TKO victory himself with 8 of them to his credit and has good range and likes to lead with kicks from all angles. Interestingly enough, he does the opposite of most fighters and sets up punches by leading with kicks to keep opponents on the outside.
Medeiros is no stranger to being put on the back foot and in his last fight, he showed great speed in his left hand to stun Oliveira. This is something Cerrone will need to be careful of especially since he was susceptible to the counter punch against Darren Till.
Cerrone certainly has the experience and has done it all. He needs to make it a brawl against Medeiros early to give him no chance to think about his next move.
However, Medeiros does have a strong chin and can take a punch and land some of his own almost out of desperation. Medeiros has long range and he would be wise to stay on the outside of Cerrone and pick shots off without over committing and attempt to frustrate Cerrone into loading up and making a mistake.
Cerrone’s guard on the feet has been suspect of late and has eaten unnecessary shots which was ultimately his downfall in his last fight against Darren Till.
Closing the distance and smothering Yancy is his best opportunity to win the fight but Yancy is not exactly one to shy away from a close quarters fight and when pushed, he does offer very strong and sneaky elbows in the clinch.
It very may well come down to a battle of chins. Cerrone has looked quite vulnerable of late and Medeiros has taken big shots in each of his last three fights but has been able to overcome every one of them.
Mindset is everything in MMA and momentum plays a big factor. Can Cerrone shake off his three previous losses? Does Medeiros come into this fight with any over confidence having been dragged through deep waters and still coming out victorious?
It’s a fun fight and I’m sure like many others, we can’t wait to see it.
WRITING IRISH PREDICTION: Yancy Medeiros via TKO, Round 2