This weekend at UFC on FOX 23, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in the co-main event, in a battle between the #5 and #12 ranked welterweights. The bout represents a continuing trend being seen in MMA, as the two longtime-lightweights have decided to be less concerned with shedding the pounds, and (somehow) more focused on whooping ass. And hey, what do you know? It’s worked out for both of them.
While there isn’t a ton of bad-blood between the pair heading into the bout, the backstory goes something like this, as per MMAJunkie: Masvidal had a few fights in the past scheduled against some high-ranked opponents, one thing or another happened, and it just so happened that both times those high-ranked opponents got rescheduled to face Cowboy. Masvidal took offence, called out Cerrone, Cerrone pushed the fight to Dana White, and here we are now.
I’ll be the first to say it: Great job, fellas. You provided a reasonable (and true) story for your fight, didn’t hide from one another and will in all likelihood provide us with a brilliant display of violence to settle the score on the weekend. Mixed martial arts at its finest.
The fight is an important one for Cerrone. And before you say it, yes of course it’s important to Gamebred too, but should Cerrone win (stay tuned for a prediction below) he’ll have put himself into the discussion for #1 contender status in the welterweight division… at least until Rafael dos Anjos completes his transition to welterweight…Cowboy is currently riding a 4-fight, all finishes winning streak since his switch to welterweight. A great look at the number of UFC records that Cowboy has or is near the top of is excellently compiled (along with plenty more numbers) over at MMAJunkie, too.
As for how this fight is going to play out, I think the answer seems obvious. Look for the majority of the encounter to be contested standing, as both look to test their kickboxing skills.
Neither man is afraid of mixing in grappling, so the action will hit the mat at some point (likely with Cowboy on top). Overall, I expect Cowboy to be the bigger, longer and more well-versed fighter; however Masvidal is as tough as they come, so don’t be surprised when this fight goes to the judges scorecards, with Donald Cerrone claiming the victory.