The UFC sets up shop in Singapore for the third time in company history for UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Edwards. The main event features veteran finisher Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone taking on rising prospect Leon “Rocky” Edwards.
As always with these destination events, the card is filled with plenty of relatively local talent. There will be plenty of fighters from Asian nations littered across this card, including the likes of Li Jingliang, Daichi Abe and Teruto Ishihara.
If you are wondering just what to bet for UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Edwards, don’t worry. Here is my breakdown and predictions for the three biggest fights on the card.
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Donald Cerrone vs Leon Edwards
Cerrone (+160) is one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. “Cowboy” is primarily looking to create space in the striking game so he will methodically chip away at an opponent with his vicious kicking game. However, pressure has been Cerrone’s kryptonite. If an opponent can force him to move backward, he can wilt. Cerrone is also the owner of a black belt in BJJ. He will aggressively pursue a wide array of submissions if the fight goes to the mat. His wrestling is stout defensively thanks to his use of space in the striking game but it is nothing to write home about offensively.
Edwards (-200) finds himself slowly climbing the welterweight ladder due to his well-rounded skill set. Entering the UFC, “Rocky” was known as more of a striker but has since worked diligently on his grappling game. Edwards still owns a nice, counter-based striking attack that works behind an underrated jab. However, since his loss to Kamaru Usman, he has put a focus on his grappling skills and uses those more than just striking. The Jamaican-born fighter has a nasty clinch game that now incorporates a wide array of takedown techniques. Once on the mat, he works hard to advance position and looks to initiate nice ground and pound.
Edwards is clearly the fighter on the rise and the UFC is hoping he can get an emphatic win over the more well-known Cerrone. However, Cerrone’s aggression on the feet and penchant for getting triangles from his back makes me think “Cowboy” can hold off his hard-charging opponent.
Prediction: Donald Cerrone (+160) vs submission
Ovince Saint Preux vs Tyson Pedro
Saint Preux (+105) is an athletic marvel who has still yet to technically refine those gifts into a consistent package. That being said, OSP can provide plenty of problems for his opponent based on his extremely long reach and fight-ending power. Saint Preux is at his best when he sits back and counter-strikes with his opponent, allowing him to be less exposed by his unorthodox technique. He is not a fantastic wrestler but he excels at scrambles and has devastating ground and pound if he gets top control.
Pedro (-135) is one of the most exciting prospects in the heavyweight division and has flashed all the tools to be a legit contender in the future. He has good power in his hands and works behind a great jab. Striking is not his best skill set but this is only the fourth fight camp of his life without working a job on the side, so you should expect growth. His wrestling isn’t perfect and he can be grinded out – see his fight vs Ilir Latifi – but Pedro owns a slick submission game that is quickly becoming one of the best at 205.
This fight is basically a coin flip – something that is mirrored by the odds. Saint Preux has the power advantage but Pedro has the grappling edge. However, I expect to see improved striking technique from Pedro, which will give him the edge in a close contest.
Prediction: Tyson Pedro (-135) via decision
Jessica-Rose Clark vs Jessica Eye
Clark (-140) is a high-octane fighter who has started making big strides in her game since moving to Las Vegas to train with Syndicate MMA. Her skill set is based in technically strong boxing technique but leg kicks have become more of a focal point recently. “Jessy Jess” is most comfortable in the clinch, as her positional awareness, strength and boxing skills can really shine. Her grappling, though a little raw, is more than good enough for her to hold her own against the bulk of opponents.
Eye (+110) is still trying to get her footing within the UFC but the introduction of her natural weight class – 125 pounds – should be a big help. “Evil” Eye is largely a striker by trade, working behind some nice combinations. When she is on her game, Eye works a quick pace that can break down opponents but she has often been too cautious to throw in the cage. She is not going to shoot for a lot of takedowns but she does so intelligently, only making that decision when she feels confident she can follow through.
I am actually very high on Clark. She has shown a well-rounded skill set and seems to be growing at a rapid pace. Eye is experienced but she is still just 1-4 in her last five fights and does not exactly inspire confidence for bettors.
Prediction Jessica-Rose Clark (-140) via decision