UFC Picks Cerrone vs. dos Anjos II: Every Underdog Has His Day

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 4:02 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 4:02 PM GMT

Rafael dos Anjos will put his title on the line against the most entertaining fighter in MMA, Cowboy Donald Cerrone. Let’s analyze this matchup & determine which fighter to include in our UFC picks.

Donald Cerrone (28-6, 5 KO’s, 15 Subs)
The Cowboy is back in the saddle once again only now it’s title time. Cerrone is getting his reward for never ducking and constantly fighting. The 32-year-old Denver native has reeled off eight consecutive wins since his last defeat which happened to come courtesy of the man who now holds the UFC Lightweight strap, Rafael dos Anjos.

Cerrone’s elevated trajectory since his defeat to dos Anjos has incorporated changing levels to his lethal Muay Thai. The Cowboy has three of his five career KO’s over just the last year-and-a-half all coming via head kicks. Cerrone is a complete fighter with sublime submission skills, devastating Muay Thai and plenty of power packed in both fists.

Tristar Gym protégé John Makdessi was the latest to experience the power and fury of Donald Cerrone’s head kicks, resulting in a broken jaw, forcing him to retire from their UFC 187 bout in May of this year. But perhaps the most impressive victory of his career came in the previous fight when he was awarded a unanimous decision over former UFC lightweight king Benson Henderson whom he fought only three weeks after scoring a unanimous decision over Myles Jury. His showdown with dos Anjos will mark his fourth fight in 2015.

 

Rafael dos Anjos (24-7, 4 KO’s, 8 Subs)
Rafael dos Anjos has scaled the pinnacle of the UFC lightweight division after his stellar performance over Anthony Pettis to claim the crown in March of this year and earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus to boot. The Brazilian native and BJJ mat master was installed by the UFC odds makers as a +350 underdog in his championship match with Pettis and when the judges announced their unanimity in declaring him the new lightweight king all those who included dos Anjos in their UFC picks were paid off big time.

Those who have followed dos Anjos understand his rise to the top has not been without its share of setbacks. His first fight under the UFC banner, way back in ’08, resulted in a knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens followed by a second consecutive loss to Tyson Griffin. Since that loss to Griffin dos Anjos has gone 10-2 inside the Octagon and his stunning victory over Anthony “Showtime” Pettis proved that he is indeed the premier lightweight in the world today.

 

UFC Pick
Rafael dos Anjos scored, what was back in 2013, a mild upset of Donald Cerrone when he earned a unanimous decision victory in their first match. This time around the UFC odds makers are hanging the champ as close to a -270 favorite. The knock on Cerrone has always been that he can’t win the big one but his victory over Ben Henderson may have stemmed the tide of public opinion regarding his seeming inability to beat the best.

In their first bout dos Anjos surprised Cerrone with a more aggressive stand up game than the Cowboy anticipated. There is no doubt that the champion has continued his upward boxing trajectory and has turned a deficit into an asset. Last year the wily Brazilian starched Jason High and then Benson Henderson in consecutive matches, attesting to his new found fistic prowess.

However, Cerrone has evolved since that 2013 date as well and this five-round championship format will suit him nicely as dos Anjos started to get gassed in the final round of their previous three-round fight. Cerrone is also more aggressive and his world class submission skills could bring this chess match to an abrupt conclusion.

While dos Anjos’s victory over Anthony Pettis to win the title was dominant and overwhelming I cannot quite wrap my mind around the fact that Cerrone is such a large underdog. The Cowboy has tied Gray Maynard’s eight-fight win lightweight win streak and will make history in more ways than one if he avenges his loss to dos Anjos. I say we’ve got a live dog on our hands which is where my money is going.

Free UFC Pick: Play Cerrone +210 at Bookmaker

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