UFC Fight Night 158: 3 reasons why Justin Gaethje will beat Donald Cerrone
This weekend sees the UFC present Fight Night 158 live from Vancouver, British Columbia on ESPN+ and in the main event, viewers will be salivating as fan favorites Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje clash. ‘Cowboy’ and ‘The Highlight’ are two of the most exciting fighters on the entire UFC roster, and whenever either man steps inside the Octagon, fireworks seem guaranteed.
Of course though, in any fight, there has to be a winner and there has to be a loser. And in this fight? Sorry Cerrone fans, my money is on Gaethje. ‘Cowboy’ is still a great fighter and should see plenty of success in the future, but for me, this won’t be his night.
Here are 3 reasons why Justin Gaethje will defeat Donald Cerrone this weekend.
#1 Pressure, pressure, pressure
Donald Cerrone is obviously a great fighter, and while he hasn’t held UFC gold since arriving in the promotion in 2011, the fact that he’s won a ridiculous 23 fights, finishing 16 of them, should speak for itself. But even the greatest fighters have weaknesses, and for Cerrone, one of them is his distinct lack of ability to handle pressure.
I’m not talking about pressure as in the pressure of the moment; Cerrone never falters mentally even in the toughest fights. I’m talking about his issues with opponents who simply show no fear of his offense and walk him down, forcing him backwards and corralling him towards the Octagon fence. Cerrone has 9 UFC losses to go along with those wins and in the majority of them, he was faced with opponents who were able to pour on the pressure from the word go.
Gaethje is one of those kinds of opponents, which makes Saturday’s fight very worrying for ‘Cowboy’. There’s little nuance to Gaethje’s game – he simply looks to walk his opponent down and destroy them with his striking power, as he showed when he took out Edson Barboza in the first round of their fight in March.
All Gaethje needs to study for a blueprint to win this fight is the way that Darren Till dismantled Cerrone in 2017, giving him no room to breathe or put together any offense of his own before he found himself trapped on the fence, eating punches en route to a TKO. Is that a gameplan Gaethje can pull off? For sure, and I think he’ll do it.