Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight scrappers Donald Cerrone and Niko Price will throw down this weekend (Sat., Sept. 19, 2020) at UFC Vegas 11 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cerrone’s current four-fight losing streak isn’t a good thing, but perhaps the situation isn’t as desperate as one would first assume. The first three losses came to absolutely elite competition, Lightweights currently in the title mix. Anthony Pettis may not quite meet that mark anymore, but “Showtime” is still dangerous, and “Cowboy” arguably deserved the nod.
Long story short: Cerrone ain’t dead yet.
Alternatively, Price is still on his way up. “The Hybrid” hasn’t yet found consistent success against Top 15 opposition, but he’s always dangerous of ending the bout in an instant, which has certainly built him a fan base.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys victory for each man:
Record: 36-15 (1)
Key Wins: Eddie Alvarez (UFC 178), Benson Henderson (UFC Fight Night 59), Al Iaquinta (UFC Fight Night 151), Alexander Hernandez (UFC Fight Night 143), Yancy Medeiros (UFC Fight Night 126), Rick Story (UFC 202)
Key Losses: Conor McGregor (UFC 246), Tony Ferguson (UFC 238), Justin Gaethje (UFC Fight Night 158), Jorge Masvidal (UFC on FOX 23), Leon Edwards (UFC Fight Night 132), Rafael dos Anjos (UFC on FOX 17, UFC Fight Night 27)
Keys to Victory: Cerrone may be 37 years of age, but the man is still a workhorse. “Cowboy” throws punishing kicks at a really brutal rate, which can break an opponent down quickly. He’s also an underrated wrestler and grappler, skills that can certainly came in handy against a dangerous puncher like Price.
Wrestling seems like a really, really good idea in this bout. Can Cerrone theoretically pick apart his opponent with low kicks and use all that Muay Thai experience to his advantage? Definitely! However, Price’s crazy long arms seem to guarantee that he’ll land on Cerrone’s jawline at some point, and this Florida man hits stupid hard.
The best way to limit the chance of such a connection is to gain top position. Cerrone doesn’t have to rush his takedown — that’s not his style anyway. Staying long and active early, while still taking the first opportunity to duck a punch into a takedown is the best move here.
It wouldn’t be the first time “Cowboy” handed a prospect a submission loss.
Record: 14-4 (1)
Key Wins: James Vick (UFC Fight Night 161), Tim Means (UFC Fight Night 146), Randy Brown (UFC Fight Night 133), Alan Jouban (UFC Fight Night 114)
Key Losses: Vicente Luque (UFC 249, UFC Fight Night 119), Geoff Neal (UFC 240), Abdul Razak Alhassan (UFC 228)
Keys to Victory: Price doesn’t make any sense. How does one secure two separate knockout wins over solid opponents from bottom position? That just doesn’t happen in the modern era of UFC, yet Price’s incredible knockout power made it so.
“The Hybrid” has finished all but one of his career victories.
This match up reminds me of Price’s bout with Alan Jouban. Like Cerrone, Jouban was the more technically-proficient kickboxer, a crafty man at range. Also like Cerrone, he was decidedly less durable/powerful in comparison to Price, so there was nothing to really stop Price from marching into the pocket with aggressive combinations and shutting off the lights.
The same thought-process applies here. Price will have to be wary of the takedown, but this is a Welterweight bout, so Price may have a bit of size and strength on the former longtime Lightweight. If Price comes forward and throws heat immediately, there’s a very real chance he dusts the infamous slow-starter in the opening couple minutes.
Could this be Cerrone’s last stand?
I wrote in the intro that “Cowboy” has been fighting tough competition and performing decently, but that doesn’t change the fact that a loss here would make it five-straight. UFC may not cut the veteran outright, but would one of those forced-retirement situations really shock anyone if he takes another knockout loss?
Returning to the win column definitely buys Cerrone some valuable job security.
As for Price, he’s still looking to build momentum in a crowded Welterweight division. Rough patch or not, Cerrone’s name carries value, and stopping him would surely improve Price’s own standing in the division. Don’t be surprised if Price is back in the cage with ranked opposition should he pull off the victory here!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 11 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ 8 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 11: “Covington vs. Woodley” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC Vegas 11, Donald Cerrone and Niko Price will go to war in the co-main event. Which man remains standing when the dust settles?