Bad blood is brewing between Jorge Masvidal and Donald Cerrone ahead of their welterweight clash at UFC on FOX 23, and it’s about to spill out on to the Octagon mat where these two hell raisers will (hopefully) settle their grievances once and for all.
First and foremost, Cerrone, 33, has no beef with Masvidal – it’s the other way around. “Gamebred” has taken serious umbrage to “Cowboy” swiping food from his plate (top-ranked opponents) – not once, but twice. Albeit Cerrone isn’t the matchmaker, the Miami native still sees their co-main event as payback time.
In December of 2015, Cerrone’s impressive eight-fight win streak came crashing down to earth via vicious TKO, courtesy of the then-lightweight title holder Rafael dos Anjos. Following that fight, the Jack-Wink resident opted to make the jump to the 170 class.
To suggest the move from the murderer’ row division to welterweight has been anything but fruitful would be a huge understatement. Currently, Cerrone is sitting pretty amongst his new 170 associates having scored four stoppages in as many outings, including two Performance of Night awards.
Only four bouts contested in that weight class and the Ohio native is already ranked No. 5 – that’s seven places above 12th-ranked Masvidal (31-11 MMA, 8-4 UFC).
Masvidal’s return to welterweight hasn’t been an unmitigated success – he dropped two split decisions, whilst registering three wins. Still, in his last bout, he did claim the scalp of the once heralded Jake Ellenberger.
The street fighter turned mixed martial artist is at the stage of his career where a loss sends him tumbling into obscurity. Howbeit, a win against the resurgent Cerrone catapults him to the division’ top-ten.
Masvidal, 32, has everything lose and everything to gain from this match-up.
Apropos of striking ability, it’s a level playing field. However, of late, Cerrone (32-7-1 NC MMA, 19-4 UFC) appears to have upped the ante– the man’s scoring highlight reel T/KOs for fun.
His most recent fight (Ellenberger) – a clinical display in how to apply (finishing touches) the arts in mixed martial arts whilst despatching a foe was combative poetry in motion.
With sixteen submission wins to his name, if this should play out on the ground, it’s a sure-fire bet Masvidal will have a new weighty backpack for company; only this one will have neck strangle intentions.
On paper, this is Cerrone’s to lose, but I have a slight gut feeling that pulls me in the direction of “Masvidal.
It’s not a given, but no way this ends in a decision victory.
So, expect the game “Gamebred” to upset the odds and run the sharpshooting “Cowboy” out of town.
UFC on FOX 23 is slated for Sat., Jan. 28, 2017 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO