mma / Columns

411’s MMA Roundtable Preview – UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Till

October 20, 2017 | Posted by Dan Plunkett
UFC Fight Night 118

WELCOME:
UFC heads to Poland for a card streaming live on Fight Pass. In the main event, Donald Cerrone fights up-and-coming welterweight Darren Till! In the co-main event, Karolina Kowalkiewicz takes on Jodie Esquibel. At light heavyweight, Jan Blachowicz takes on Devin Clark. Plus, Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson, and more!

THE STAFF:

  • He’s 411’s Jack of All Trades, Jeffrey Harris!

  • He’ll lock you in the guillotine, Robert Winfree!

  • And your host for this roundtable, Dan Plunkett!

    Preliminary Card
    UFC Fight Pass
    Featherweight Bout: Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett
    Bantamweight Bout: Lina Lansberg vs. Aspen Ladd
    Welterweight Bout: Salim Touahri vs. Warlley Alves
    Featherweight Bout: Artem Lobov vs. Andre Fili
    Middleweight Bout: Sam Alvey vs. Ramadan Emeev
    Bantamweight Bout: Damian Stasiak vs. Brian Kelleher
    Heavyweight Bout: Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
    Lightweight Bout: Marcin Held vs. Nasrat Haqparast


    THE MAIN CARD:
    Middleweight Bout: Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

    Jeffrey Harris: California boy, Johnny “Bravo” Wilson, opens the main card against the undefeated Poland native, Oskar Piechota. Piechota makes his UFC debut here. Wilson is 1-2 in the UFC, and he’s lost two in a row. He’s in desperate need of a win here in order to keep his spot on the roster. he faces the undefeated Piechota. This is a bit of a crap shoot since you have one unknown prospect, and another fighter who has been fairly middling in the UFC thus far. I’m going to go ahead and go with the undefeated Piechota here to have a victorious spotlight in Poland.

    Winner: Oskar Piechota, Decision

    Robert Winfree: Jonathan Wilson is the interesting part of this equation, he went 1-2 up at light heavyweight but had a decent amount of hype behind him as an athletic prospect. Now he’s in a must win scenario to keep his job, and the UFC is giving him as soft a touch as they can with the debuting Oskar Piechota. I’m leaning towards Wilson, but if the weight cut is a big deal for him he might wind up back on the regional scene getting more experience.

    Winner: Jonathan Wilson, Decision

    Dan Plunkett: Piechota is an accomplished grappler, while Wilson is a good athlete with power. I like Piechota to win the fight on the ground.

    Winner: Piechota, Submission, Round 2

    The staff picks Oskar Piechota, 2-1.


    Light Heavyweight Bout: Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark

    Jeffrey Harris: Jan Blachowicz is really getting a spot on the card here as a showcase for the Polish crowd. He faces the 2-1 light heavyweight Devin Clark. One would assume this fight is merely a way to showcase another Polish fighter to look good on the card. However, Blachowicz has proven to be very beatable in the UFC. He does boast a win over Ilir Latifi, but he’s overall 2-4 in his UFC career. Blachowicz might be the hometown favorite, but an upset by the 8-1 Devin Clark would not surprise me.

    Winner: Devin Clark, Decision

    Robert Winfree: Devin Clark only has one loss, when he took a short notice fight down at middleweight. He’s won his last two fights and is a solid well rounded fighter. Jan Blachowicz is just 1-4 in his last five fights, and while he’s got a wicked first round he tends to gas after that. If Clark gets out of the first this is probably his to lose, and Blachowicz has looked incredibly pedestrian lately.

    Winner: Devin Clark, TKO, Round 3

    Dan Plunkett: Blachowicz lost a brawl to Pat Cummins his last time out in which he gassed. Clark has won his last two fights, and is the better wrestler. I like Clark.

    Winner: Clark, Decision.

    The staff picks Devin Clark, 3-0.


    Strawweight Bout: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Jodie Esquibel

    Jeffrey Harris: Karolina Kowalkiewicz looks to get back on the winning track against the debuting Jodie Esquibel, a former pro boxer and Invicta FC veteran. Kowalkiewicz has lost her last two, but those losses were to Joanna Jędrzejczyk in a title bout, and another one was to a former title contender in Claudia Gadelha. Esquibel might be tough, but I don’t think she has enough to deal with Kowalkiewicz high-level striking and kickboxing here. The Polish Princess gets it done here and gets to look like the conquering hero in her home country.

    Winner: Karolina Kowalkiewicz, TKO, Round 2

    Robert Winfree: Here’s the get well fight for the native fighter. Karolina Kowalkiewicz is a really good fighter, she displayed a shocking weakness on the mat in her last fight and before that had very little to offer the champion but on the whole she’s really good. She’s a striker with a solid clinch game, and Jodie Esquibel is more of a point style fighter. Esquibel likes sniping from distance or bulling into top position. I’m just not sure she’s going to have much success in either area here, this seems like a near gimme for Kowalkiewicz.

    Winner: Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Decision

    Dan Plunkett: I like Karolina Kontender to beat Esquibel on the feet.

    Winnter, Kowalkiewicz, Decision

    The staff picks Karolina Kowalkiewicz, 3-0.


    Welterweight Bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till

    Jeffrey Harris: This is a big step up in competition for the undefeated prospect, Darren Till. Till remains unbeaten in the Octagon, but he did have a majority draw with Nicolas Dalby about two years ago. He faces an experienced, seasoned veteran in Donald Cerrone, who is looking to rebound from two back-to-back losses to Robbie Lawler and Jorge Masvidal. This is a tough fight, and Till has looked pretty good in the UFC so far. He’s a young kickboxer with a ton of potential. At the same time, Cerrone might have a lot of miles under him, but I think he has enough tools in his belt to take care of business here. This is not the first time he’s faced a young and promising prospect. Cerrone only tends to have hiccups when he’s in really big marquee bouts where a belt is on the line or he’s in a borderline title eliminator. I think this is the case where Cerrone looks impressive, and the Cowboy will reign supreme. I see this being a tough battle, but Cerrone will use his superior grappling and BJJ work to get the victory.

    Winner: Donald Cerrone, Submission, Round 3

    Robert Winfree: This is a solid fight. Darren Till is undefeated and has a legitimate skill set, he’s got wicked elbows, accurate punches and a very effective sniping style as he bounces in and out of range. Cerrone is a known quantity at this point, he has good combinations, underrated takedowns, and a solid ground game be it from top or bottom position. The biggest knock on Till thus far is his pacing, he seems to coast a lot. That’s worked for him thus far, but he’s only ever been out of the third round once and that was against a much lower level of competition. Cerrone will keep a solid pace and can accelerate as the fight continues where Till has yet to show that ability. Cerrone has to be careful for the first couple of rounds, he’s a slow starter and his defense is far from impregnable which could be a liability against an accurate power puncher like Till. That said, Cerrone is also resilient unless the accumulation of damage has started catching up with him and I’m comfortable picking him here.

    Winner: Donald Cerrone, Decision

    Dan Plunkett: Till has looked really good lately, but I think Cerrone is too much, too soon.

    Winner: Cerrone, TKO, Round 4

    The staff picks Donald Cerrone, 3-0.


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