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411’s MMA Roundtable Preview – UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Medeiros

February 18, 2018 | Posted by Dan Plunkett
UFC Fight NIght 126

WELCOME:
Donald Cerrone looks to break a three-fight losing streak when he battles Yancy Medeiros in the main event of UFC Fight Night! In the co-main event, Derrick Lewis faces Marcin Tybura. At lightweight, contenders James Vick and Francisco Trinaldo square off. In welterweight action, Thiago Alves fights Curtis Millender. Plus, Steven Peters goes up against Brandon Davis, Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti, 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
    Middleweight Bout: Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams
    Welterweight Bout: Alex Morono vs. Josh Burkman

    Fox Sports 1
    Bantamweight Bout: Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova
    Flyweight Bout: Roberto Sanchez vs. Joby Sanchez
    Welterweight Bout: Brian Camozzi vs. Geoffrey Neal
    Lightweight Bout: Jared Gordon vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira


    THE MAIN CARD:
    Lightweight Bout: Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti

    Jeffrey Harris: Sage Northcutt, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Sage Northcutt, Decision
    Dan Plunkett: Northcutt, Decision
    The staff picks Sage Northcutt, 3-0.


    Featherweight Bout: Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis

    Jeffrey Harris: Steven Peterson, Decision
    Robert Winfree: Brandon Davis, Decision
    Dan Plunkett: Davis, Decision
    The staff picks Brandon Davis, 2-1.


    Welterweight Bout: Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender

    Jeffrey Harris: Thiago Alves takes his first fight since a victory over Patrick Cote in April 2017. He faces the veteran Curtis Millender, who makes his Octagon debut here. Millender is a younger more unknown quantity here. He’s fought in both Bellator and LFA. He’s also won his last six fights. Thiago Alves has had a lot of ups and downs in his career, but he’s never been able to get back to that elite contender level he was at back in 2009 when he fought Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title. I don’t see Alves getting back there, but I think he’s skilled enough with his striking and kickboxing to put Millender away.

    Winner: Thiago Alves, Decision

    Robert Winfree: This is a bit of a gimme for Alves, Millender has been around and has fought in Bellator and LFA plus he’s got a decent winning streak going but Alves is a serious step up in competition. Alves is primed to fall off the performance cliff given his years and miles in the sport, and while I wont be shocked if that time has come for him I tend to feel he’s got enough left to win this kind of fight.

    Winner: Thiago Alves, Decision

    Dan Plunkett: Alves’s inactivity has made it difficult for him to gain any real momentum in the past several years. He had a two year break from 2012 to 2014, then an eighteen month break from mid-2015 to the end of 2016, and Sunday marks his first fight in ten months. Millender is a long welterweight at 6’2”, which poses something of a challenge for the shorter Alves, but this is a major step up in competition.

    Winner: Alves, TKO, Round 2

    The staff picks Thiago Alves, 3-0.


    Lightweight Bout: James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo

    Jeffrey Harris: The rising lightweight James Vick faces the battle-tested veteran Francisco Trinaldo. Both men are so good and tough, you can probably make arguments for both of them being in the top 10 of the division. Trinaldo might be 39 years old, but he’s not to be underestimated. He’s 8-1 in his last 9 UFC fights. He’s 12-4 in the UFC overall. However, I think James Vick definitely has a skill set and tools to dominate and beat Trinaldo. I see him getting this fight to the ground and using his wrestling to get a dominant decision win. It will be a hard-fought victory for James Vick as the hometown favorite.

    Winner: James Vick, Decision

    Robert Winfree: These two are actually on great runs, Trinaldo’s only recent loss is to top contender Kevin Lee while Vick’s only loss professionally is to Beneil Dariush. Trinaldo has a kick boxing background, and his left body kick in particular is really good, but he’s not terribly adept at dealing with the kind of height and reach disparity he’ll have to contend with here. I think Vick keeps it long and once Trinaldo gets frustrated he starts shooting bad double legs and Vick punishes him for that before finishing him.

    Winner: James Vick, Submission, Round 3

    Dan Plunkett: James Vick has been tremendous recently, stopping Abel Trujillo, Marco Polo Reyes, and Joe Duffy in succession. Trinaldo, despite his age, has been one of lightweights most consistent performers of the past six years, going 12-3 in his UFC run. Despite their successes, neither fighter has been afforded the opportunity of going against an elite fighter, but it will be hard to deny that opportunity to the winner of this fight. Trinaldo is a tank, while Vick is one of the rangiest lightweights you’ll come across. I think Vick hurts Trinaldo on the feet and finishes it.

    Winner: Vick, TKO, Round 2

    The staff picks James Vick, 3-0.


    Heavyweight Bout: Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura

    Jeffrey Harris: Derrick Lewis makes his return to the Octagon after dealing with some back issues that put him out of his scheduled heavyweight fight with Fabricio Werdum last October. He’s looking to get back on the winning track. Marcin Tybura is in the same boat after suffering a loss to Fabricio Werdum last November. Provided Lewis has healed up his dings, I’m favoring him to win here. Lewis doesn’t have world class cardio, but he seems to have better cardio than even Francis Ngannou. That’s helped him in quite a few fights where he was able to finish them later in the game. Tybura might steal a round, but Lewis will endure and ultimately get the finish.

    Winner: Derrick Lewis, TKO, Round 3

    Robert Winfree: I just hope it ends quickly. It wont, given the skills of these two, but I can hope. Tybura is the superior technical striker, and if he keeps things technical he should be able to out point Lewis over the three rounds. That said Tybura can get clipped, and Lewis swings very hard even though his technique leaves a lot to be desired. If Tybura’s defense were better I’d probably lean towards him, but I feel like he’ll win the majority of a round then get rocked and wind up losing a decision.

    Winner: Derrick Lewis, Decision

    Dan Plunkett: My only hesitation in picking Lewis is his nagging back injury, which hindered him in his fight last summer against Mark Hunt, caused him to announce his retirement shortly thereafter, and forced him out of a fight with Fabricio Werdum late last year. At his best, Lewis has brain scrambling power, which is why I like him here.

    Winner: Lewis, KO, Round 1

    The staff picks Derrick Lewis, 3-0.


    Welterweight Bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros

    Jeffrey Harris: This is definitely a fun fight on paper. The issue is that Yancy Medeiros now appears to be the surging fighter. Meanwhile, Donald Cerrone appears to be on the decline of his career. He’s coming in with three straight losses. Medeiros has been in the UFC almost five years, but it looks like he’s finally coming into his own. He’s put together a three-fight winning streak, and he finished all those fights. He’s dangerous standing up and on the ground. In his heyday, Cerrone was equally formidable. But Cerrone might be hitting that time where he peaked in his MMA career. I’m leaning toward Medeiros for this fight. Cerrone always tends to be a slow starter in his fights, and if he’s not careful, I think Medeiros might end this quickly.

    Winner: Yancy Medeiros, TKO, Round 1

    Robert Winfree: Two guys for whom defense is a distant second concern to getting in their own offense. Both guys get hit a lot, but both guys have good offense as well. Cerrone has been on a bad streak lately, and has been a notoriously slow starter to boot, against a guy who’s more inclined to do a bat out of hell routine than sit back and let you settle into a rhythm. Medeiros is pretty good everywhere, hopefully this one is fun for as long as it lasts but I see this bearing a resemblance to the Cerrone vs. Diaz fight.

    Winner: Yancy Medeiros, TKO, Round 1

    Dan Plunkett: Yancy Medeiros is tough as hell. His last fight was one of the best fights of the year in which he and Alex Oliveira slaughtered each other for money. Cerrone has had a tough run. Last January, Jorge Masvidal beat the hell of out of him. In July, Cerrone looked good against Robbie Lawler, but dropped a close decision. Then in October, Cerrone never got going against Darren Till and didn’t make it out of the first round. Cerrone is a much more refined striker than Medeiros, but Medeiros is going to fire at him as long as he’s conscious. I think Medeiros will make it a fight early, but Cerrone will settle in and eventually get a finish.

    Winner: Cerrone, Submission, Round 3

    The staff picks Yancy Medeiros, 2-1.


    Remember to join 411’s coverage of UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Medeiros on Sunday!

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