Who wins the Donald Cerrone-Patrick Cote fight at UFC Fight Night 89, and how?
MICHAEL BANE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Patrick Cote asked for Nick Diaz, but Diaz is really only interested in putting down the pipe for big money fights, and Cote doesn’t qualify. Frankly, I doubt Nick Diaz knows who Cote is. Heck, I’m not convinced Nick Diaz knows who Nick Diaz is half the time, but we’re getting off track here. Donald Cerrone is a fine consolation prize for Cote, and a lot bigger name than I’d have expected him to get. Cote’s been on a roll since he dropped down from middleweight, winning five of six, and knocked his last two opponents out.
Cote’s likely getting this fight because Cerrone likes to stay active. I mean hey, the guy’s gotta get paid, and Cerrone has been pretty open about how he’s ripped through his paychecks. After getting annihilated by Rafael dos Anjos in a title fight, Cerrone has moved up to 170 pounds which opens the door to a lot of exciting matchups. At six feet tall, he’s been one of the larger lightweights, and his win against an over-matched Alex Oliveira shows he’s at least not going to embarrass himself in his move up. And if he does, it’s not like it can be any worse than what RDA did to him, so there’s that.
Both fighters have shown proficiency on the feet and on the ground, with Cowboy showing might higher tendency to win fights via submission. Cote is a large welterweight, and Cerrone may be a small one, so it will be interesting to see if Cerrone has the strength to implement a ground game against the Canadian. A standing war may be a bit of a push, but I’d give the edge to Cote as he packs more power. Neither have been knocked out in their careers, Cerrone’s TKOs were due to body kicks, and Cote’s lone KO loss was due to injury. If it comes down to a battle of chins, Cote recently knocked out the previously unknockoutable (don’t play that word in Scrabble) Josh Burkman, and I could see him doing the same to Cerrone. Cote’s power makes the difference, and he takes the fight by decision.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Cerrone wins a slugfest. I think things might start off slow and then pick up around the middle of the first round and into the second. From there, I think Cerrone starts peppering Cote with jabs and legkicks and starts wearing him down until he knocks him out with some explosive striking. Cote is fairly tough, but I don’t think he’ll be able to withstand a full-on Cerrone assault. I think we’re in for an exciting fight, with both guys gunning for the highlight finish.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Cote’s run since returning to the UFC in 2012 has been quietly very good, as he’s won six of eight fights with both losses coming by decision. At 36, he’s looked as dangerous as he’s ever looked in two TKO wins over Joshua Burkman and Ben Saunders in his last two fights, but Cerrone might be the best fighter he’s faced since the 2010 version of Alan Belcher.
Cerrone’s first “welterweight” fight in February wound up coming against a fellow lightweight moving up, so in the former Middleweight Title challenger in Cote he’s got a fighter who has some legitimate size to him by comparison. Cerrone’s a tall fighter in his own right, so height and reach aren’t nearly as much of a factor as they might be for some other fighters moving up, but they’re also not nearly as much of an advantage as he’s often faced.
Cote is an extremely well rounded fighter with black belts in multiple disciplines, and throughout his career he’s been competitive at worst with just about everyone he’s faced. Cerrone’s been hurt a number of times in his career, but more often than not he’s durable enough to stick around at worst. I’d expect this one to be a close fight, especially as a three round bout, and I think there’s an even chance for either of them to edge out a decision. Were it to end in the distance, I think I’d actually believe Cote finishing things over Cerrone, but both are capable of pulling that out as well. It’s a solid co-main event regardless, and should be highly entertaining.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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