The UFC continues it’s jam packed winter with a Fight Night card in Austin, Texas this coming Sunday. The headlining fight is Donald Cerrone vs Yancy Medeiros, but the entire main card is pretty solid with James Vick vs Francisco Trinaldo, and Derrick Lewis vs Marcin Tybura, also scheduled on the card.
The card gets underway a little bit earlier than normal, with the 3 Fight Pass prelims beginning at 5:30pm EST, followed up by the Fight Network prelims at 7pm and then the main card getting underway at 9pm EST, instead of the usual 10pm for most Fight Night cards.
All of the odds are taken from BetOnline.ag, our top rated betting site for MMA. Here’s our full BetOnline review for you to check out if you’re interested in opening an account and placing some bets.
Donald Cerrone vs Yancy Medeiros
Cerrone is on the worst stretch of his career with 3 straight losses in 2017. He was outclassed by Jorge Masvidal, lost an extremely close fight to Robbie Lawler and then was simply pummeled against a much larger opponent in his loss to Darren Till. The jump to 170 pounds seems to finally have caught up to Cerrone after starting out with 4 straight wins at that weight class. The size difference was especially evident in the Till fight, where Cerrone simply looked far outclassed in terms of strength, power and reach.
In this fight with Medeiros, Cerrone is at least fighting another guy who was a former 155 pounder. Medeiros though has found a lot of success at 170 pounds, winning 3 straight fights. That said, the first two wins came over weak opponents and the recent win over Alex Oliveira was a back and forth war where Oliveira gassed before being knocked out in the third round.
Even with the winning streak vs the losing streak, I think that Cerrone is the significantly better fighter in this match-up. He is by far the more technical fighter and he’s also the superior athlete in this bout. That said, there is some question about Cerrone’s defense and heart after he crumbled to both Masvidal and Till on this recent losing streak. Cerrone is getting up there in fight years and you have to worry that a well placed liver shot or a clean strike to the chin could end his fight. Medeiros will not be an easy out, so Cerrone has to be ready to go all three rounds while maintaining strong defense to get this win.
All of that said, I do think that the superior skill, athleticism and experience will lead Cerrone to a win to kick of 2018. His 3 losses in 2017 were all to top 10 opponents and I simply don’t think Medeiros is at the level needed to hurt Cerrone in this fight.
Play: Cerrone -145
Derrick Lewis vs Marcin Tybura
Lewis fights are very hard to call. He’s often getting beat before pulling out a big win and he also seems to fight injured quite often, so we never know if what we are watching is his best stuff. In his loss to Mark Hunt it was obvious he was hurting for at least a few rounds before getting knocked out. Even in his TKO win over Travis Browne he looked like he was basically done before landing a big knockout punch.
Then, in his recent scheduled fight with Fabricio Werdum last October, Lewis wasn’t event able to get out of bed the morning of the fight, resulting in him having to pull out. All of that said, when he’s at his best he is one of the most dangerous fighters in the heavyweight division throwing every punch looking to finish the fight. If he is at his best, I give him a great chance to win this fight with Marcin Tybura.
Tybura is a guy with solid technique and good stand up with interesting kicking attacks, but if Lewis is able to get him to the mat I think it will be game over. Tybura was taken down 3 times by Luis Henrique in their fight before getting a late knockout. If Lewis somehow ends up on top and is able to dish out some ground and pound I don’t think Tybura is getting back up.
This is a very tough fight to call, but I think Lewis is dangerous enough to warrant the dog play in this spot.
Play: Lewis +130
Francisco Trinaldo vs James Vick
James Vick is the real deal. I personally think that Joe Duffy is one of the best fighters in the lightweight division and watching what Vick was able to do to him back in November was extremely impressive. That knockout win makes 3 straight wins for Vick, all of them coming via finishes and all of them over decent names in the division (Trujillo, Reyes, Duffy). They were all dominant wins as well and Vick really seems to have developed into a smart, technical fighter who is able to use his height and reach to maintain distance, while remaining extremely dangerous both with his striking and his underrated grappling game.
Trinaldo is by no means an easy out for Vick though. He’s a tank of a lightweight who comes forward throwing bombs. He’s quietly gone 8-1 in the UFC, with his only loss coming to Kevin Lee via second round submission in a fight he was definitely winning to that point. Some big names on his defeated list include Jim Miller, Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros and Chad Laprise.
This is an extremely competitive fight, but I think Vick should be able to keep the distance and pick Trinaldo off with well placed strikes as he tries to close the distance. Trinaldo could win rounds with takedowns, so it will be up to Vick to keep this fight standing or else transition well on the mat and look for submissions.
I give the edge to Vick, but it’s not a confident play at this price. That said, whichever one of these guys does get this win should be in line for some top 5 opponents moving forward. This will be a great fight.
Play: Vick -210