It’s difficult to predict the outcome of a fight because of it’s sheer unpredictability. However, statistics manage to give a rough estimation about who might have an edge going into the fight. On that note, it will be Cerrone’s 11th welterweight fight of his career. He has relatively more experience at the division, compared to Conor McGregor. Due to these reasons, Donald Cerrone is seen as a favorite by many, partly because of his experience, and mostly due to his impressive ground game. Something that has been repeatedly exploited as Conor’s weakness inside the octagon.
But how good is Donald Cerrone at the welterweight division?
While power and weight difference will play a vital role in the outcome of the match, it’s impossible to deny the fact that Cerrone hasn’t been very keen on competing at 170.
Donald Cowboy Cerrone made his welterweight debut in 2016 against Alex Oliveira. He won the fight via submission in the first round and announced his arrival in the new weight category.
In the following matches, Cerrone faced Patrick Cote, Rick Story, and Matt Brown. He impressively won all the fights to mark a four fight win streak in the division. With back to back head kick knockouts, Cerrone was able to finish all his opponents in his first four fights in the welterweight division.
After a stunning run at 170, Cerrone faced Jorge Masvidal in a losing effort. He lost the fight via TKO in the early minutes of the second round. He next faced former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, and lost unanimously in the judges’ scorecard. Cerrone’s next opponent was a young Darren Till, and yet again Cerrone fell short of everybody’s expectation as he succumbed to a first round knock out loss.
However, Cerrone bounced back with a win over Yancy Medeiros. But the win didn’t last for long, as he fell prey to Leon Edwards in a unanimoud decision loss at UFC Fight Night.
He submitted Mike Perry in his last fight at the welterweight division, and moved to lightweight for championship opportunitites.
How scared should Conor McGregor be of Cerrone’s submission game?
In his last 20 fights for UFC, Cerrone has only won twice via submission. Most of Conor’s victory using submissions have come during his time with WEC, and initial fights with UFC. He had a very impressive run during the start of his career, where he won 9 of his first ten fights via submission. However, Cerrone’s submission moves aren’t as common as they used to be.
Cerrone’s durability is top notch at 170
He has lost four fights in the wleterweight division, against some of the best fighters at 170. However, he hasn’t been finished in all his loses, and has the experience of fighting five rounds with Leon Edwars, and three rounds with former champion, Robbie Lawler. He was absolutely brilliant with someone as talented as Leon Edwards, who will be fighting former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley next.
It’s clear Cerrone has to withstand the early storm. Something he wasn’t able to do entirely against Jorge Masvidal, and Darren Till. Something, he will have to manage against Conor. However, if the fight goes till the fifth round, it isn’t just about Conor’s cardio, but about Cerrone’s impressive boxing skills which can bring the advantage back to his side. Additionally, a head kick during any time of the game, can certainly change things for Conor.
I low-key like Dana White and his decisions, but that doesn't mean I am not a fan of super fights. Always up for a chat related to UFC, Nikhil is a passionate photographer and storyteller.