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UFC Fight Night 132 card: Donald Cerrone vs Leon Edwards full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight athletes Donald Cerrone and Leon Edwards will clash this Saturday (June 23, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 132 inside Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.

After many years of consistent success inside the Octagon, 2017 hit “Cowboy” like a truck to the tune of three straight defeats. The veteran bounced back in February with a solid first-round stoppage victory over Yancy Medeiros, but he still needs another strong showing to get his feet back under him. Meanwhile, Edwards has steadily been climbing the ranks for the past few years, winning seven of eight bouts including his last five. Edwards is improving quickly, going from prospect to well-rounded contender in a short amount of time.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Donald Cerrone
Record: 33-10 (1)
Key Wins: Rick Story (UFC 202), Matt Brown (UFC 206), Eddie Alvarez (UFC 178), Yancy Medeiros (UFC Fight Night 126), Benson Henderson (UFC Fight Night 59)
Key Losses: Jorge Masvidal (UFC on FOX 23), Darren Till (UFC Fight Night 118), Robbie Lawler (UFC 214), Rafael dos Anjos (UFC on FOX 17, UFC Fight Night 27)
Keys to Victory: An excellent representative of Muay Thai, Cerrone mixes punches, kicks and elbows to all areas of the body. He pushes a brutal pace and breakdowns down the body and legs in the process, making him a grueling foe. In addition, “Cowboy” is a very solid wrestler with underrated Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

This is a very interesting match up, as Edwards represents some — but not all — of the traits that historically trouble Cerrone. On one hand, he is a Southpaw with some nice straight punching and decent power. At the same time, Edwards is not truly a pressure fighter either.

For Cerrone to find success, he has to get his kicking game going. That’s generally true in most of his fights, but it’s very important opposite a longer puncher in Edwards. To keep the Englishman off him, Cerrone should put extra emphasis on his right teep kick, which can be thrown with little set up opposite a Southpaw. In addition, Cerrone should be actively looking for counter takedowns, another way to prevent pressure. Plus, if there’s one thing that has never failed the veteran, it’s his conditioning, and the combination of kicks and wrestling makes for an exhausting fight.

Leon Edwards
Record: 15-3
Key Victories: Vicente Luque (UFC Fight Night 107), Albert Tumenov (UFC 204), Bryan Barberena (UFC Fight Night 115)
Key Losses: Kamaru Usman (UFC on FOX 17)
Keys to Victory: Even early in his career, Edwards finished opponents with both knockouts and submissions. Nevertheless, his early UFC career most showed his promise as a striker, whereas Edwards is now dangerously well-rounded.

As mentioned, Edwards fits half the mold of the men to defeat Cerrone. Given his well-rounded skill set, he should be able to adjust and complete the blue print. The major key here is that Edwards puts the pressure on Cerrone, as the kickboxer does not fight nearly as well when forced to fight from his back foot.

From the beginning of the fight, Edwards should be walking down Cerrone, hand-fighting and shooting left hands down the center. Each time Cerrone tries to plant and round kick, Edwards should meet him with the left hand. If Edwards’ punches connect early, Cerrone will have a very difficult time figuring out his distance ... and that’s when “Cowboy” tends to struggle.

Bottom Line: It’s a crossroads fight for both men.

There’s a lot on the line for Cerrone: Namely, his status as a contender. Cerrone currently holds the No. 11 position, just outside the Top 10, but has not fallen out of relevancy yet. If he wins, expect Cerrone to move a couple rungs up the ladder and face someone like Santiago Ponzinibbio next.

If not, Cerrone may head back to Lightweight, but either way, he’s in a difficult position.

As for Edwards, this is not his toughest opponent yet — that honor currently goes to Kamaru Usman — but that was a fight between prospects. This is Edwards’ moment to shine: A main event slot opposite a well-known and respected veteran. Furthermore, it’s very possible Edwards’ chance to advance into the Top 10. Indeed, a win creates all new opportunities for the up-and-coming contender, opportunities he’s been working towards for a long time.

Meanwhile, a loss leaves him empty handed.

At UFC Fight Night 132, Donald Cerrone and Leon Edwards will meet in the main event. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?

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