Ride 'Em, Cowboy: Take Cerrone to Bring Edwards Back to Earth

Andreas Hale

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:56 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018 2:56 PM UTC


After a week off, the UFC returns Saturday in Singapore as rising lightweight Leon Edwards meets veteran Donald Cerrone, and Tyson Pedro battles Ovince Saint Preux in a light heavyweight match.

UFC Fight Night 132Leon Edwards vs. Donald CerroneFree UFC Pick: Cerrone +180Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Leon Edwards has been on a steady climb in the welterweight division over the past couple of years. He has won five fights in a row since losing to Kamaru Usman and looks to get his sixth straight victory when he squares off with Donald Cerrone, who ended a three-fight losing stream with a first-round TKO of Yancy Medeiros in February.

Oddsmakers like the man with the momentum here as Edwards is a pretty significant favorite at -200 while Cerrone is viewed as being on the downside of his career at +170.

To be honest, this line is simply too good to pass up. Edwards may have the momentum but he hasn’t defeated a ranked opponent during his current streak. While impressive, he shouldn’t be this much of a favorite over Cerrone. There is some concern that "Cowboy" Cerrone is on the wrong side of his career. However, losses to top 10 welterweights Darren Till, Robbie Lawler and Jorge Masvidal aren’t necessarily indicative of a fighter who should be a 2-1 underdog to an opponent who has lost his only fight to a ranked welterweight.

If anything, this should be close to an even fight. From a skills perspective, Edwards is a well-rounded athlete facing squaring off with an opponent who has proven to be both a devastating striker and an exceptional grappler. It takes a special opponent to down Cerrone and I’m not quite sure Edwards is it. Edwards hasn’t quite faced an opponent with the ability of Cerrone but could have an advantage if he stays disciplined and utilizes his grappling and striking to keep Cowboy at bay for five rounds. However, if he shows any signs of weakness or even a smattering of respect, Cerrone will pounce all over him. The nine-year age difference (26 to 35) certainly puts things in favor of Edwards but it’s really difficult to put down money on the former BAMMA champion knowing what Cerrone brings to the table.

Over the course of five rounds, there are more chances for Cerrone to land a devastating strike and use his aggression to his advantage. With the line where it’s at, I’d certainly feel more comfortable picking a fighter who has proven himself against top-tier competition time and time again.

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The man. The myth. The cowboy.@CowboyCerrone rides into #UFCSingapore with history in mind. pic.twitter.com/eqUWmvPfie

— UFC (@ufc) June 18, 2018

Tyson Pedro vs. Ovince Saint PreuxFree UFC Pick: Saint Preux +114Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The co-main event finds two light heavyweights trying to find their place in the division as Tyson Pedro squares off with Ovince Saint Preux. Interestingly enough, both have suffered losses to Ilir Latifi with OSP getting submitted in the first round in February, and Pedro losing by unanimous decision last September. MMA math doesn’t necessarily apply here but it’s certainly something to look it when it comes to the grand scheme of things with their respective records. Saint Preux had just come off of a three-fight winning streak before the shocking first-round finish, while Pedro has only one loss on his record, and that’s to Latifi. Also of note is that Pedro has only gone to the scorecards one time, which was the loss to Latifi. Aside from that, he has won seven fights with not a single victory going to the scorecards.

All signs point to a finish here as Saint Preux has devastating, yet unorthodox power while Pedro is the more polished of the two but lacks the raw finishing ability of his counterpart. They are very closely matched, which explains why Pedro is a narrow -125 favorite to OSP’s +105. This is a tough fight to bet on either fighter considering that they both can end the night in a blink of an eye. Pedro hasn’t quite fought the level of competition that OSP has, which might give his opponent a slight edge. But he does have youth on his side as he is nine years OSP’s junior.

Nevertheless, taking into account the current line, OSP would be the bet here because of his portfolio and ability to end a fight at any given moment. Granted, if the lines were flipped I would suggest to go to Pedro. It really is that close and you can safely back away due to the uncertainty of it all. But if you’re asking me, the value is with OSP.

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