For the second time in UFC history, the organization will hold a card in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa. Saturday’s Fight Night event is headlined by a lightweight non-title fight between Al Iaquinta and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, with the former a slight favorite on the latest UFC odds.
UFC Fight Night 151 Odds, Preview & Expert Picks
- When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
- Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Canada
- Live Stream: ESPN+
Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone
Iaquinta (14-4-1) is a -123 favorite at Mybookie.ag for this lightweight bout with Cerrone (35-11) at -107.
Iaquinta was last in action in December and took a great unanimous decision win and upset over Kevin Lee. Twice in the course of five rounds, Iaquinta had Kevin Lee stuck to his back, threatening with his ground game after hitting key takedowns. And each time Iaquinta survived and returned to his feet. Lee spent the first half of the final round working for a takedown that never materialized. Iaquinta then stalked Lee and landed heavy blows to wobble him. Iaquinta’s strong finish locked down the nod from the judges and pulled the upset. The scores were 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.
The win was Iaquinta’s first fight since his loss to current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on April 28. During his UFC stint, Iaquinta has picked up impressive wins against Diego Sanchez, Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, and Ross Pearson. Four of Iaquinta’s eight UFC victories came via knockout.
Cerrone comes off a January second-round TKO win over Alexander Hernandez. In Round 2, Cerrone took over where he left off in Round 1 and started pummeling Hernandez, who did little to avoid the damage. More knees in the clinch and another elbow over the top stunned Hernandez. Cerrone then leveled Hernandez with a nasty head kick that put the youngster down. More punches eventually forced the referee to step in.
With 30 fights inside the UFC, Cerrone beats Iaquinta in terms of experience. In fact, he tramples almost everyone except Jim Miller, who has had 31 UFC bouts. Cowboy has defeated some of the best at lightweight and welterweight. His victories include wins over Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, Edson Barboza, Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, and Benson Henderson. His eight losses came at the hands of Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler, Darren Till, Leon Edwards, and Rafael dos Anjos twice. The more experienced Cerrone has 16 finishes out of 22 Octagon triumphs.
Cerrone has started focusing more on his underrated wrestling game, and Iaquinta’s historically weak submission defense could provide an opening for Cerrone at some point during the fight. There are big concerns for Cerrone, too, as Iaquinta is a smart enough boxer to work on Cerrone’s notoriously weak body.
Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
The No. 2 fight on the card features middleweight Derek Brunson (18-7) as a -111 underdog against relative unknown Elias Theodorou (17-2), who is -119. Theodorou is the token Canadian on the card – the UFC always likes to have as many fighters from the country the card is held in as possible.
Both Brunson and Theodorou are Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belts. While Brunson is more known for his punching power, he has also utilized his ground game quite well. This has led to three submission victories over John Bryant, Lumumba Sayers, and Brian Houston all via rear-naked choke. Meanwhile, Theodorou has tallied one submission win, a rear-naked choke finish of Steve Hodgson.
Brunson is on a two-fight skid, having been knocked out quickly by Ronaldo “Jacare’ Souza in their rematch and Israel Adesanya. While those losses are far from embarrassing, Brunson has also lost to Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, so he’s somewhat outside of the top tier in the division. To remain in the top 10 and perhaps earn another chance at a top fighter he needs to dominate Theodorou.
An unorthodox and diverse fighter, Theodorou has picked up hard-fought victories over Eryk Anders, Trevor Smith, Cezar Ferreira, and Sam Alvey. He’s now set to stake his claim as a title contender. Theodorou hasn’t finished a fight since his UFC 185 TKO over Roger Narvaez. He owns five other victories by knockout, and these were against Tanner Tolman, Rich Lictawa, Mike Kent, Travis Clark, and Sheldon Westcott.
With 14 first-round stoppages, Brunson clearly has a knack for finishing fights early. Theodorou, on the other hand, has two stoppages in the first frame, but both were outside of the UFC. Brunson probably will not pay for his missteps, as Theodorou has not shown much in the way of finishing power.
Expert Picks for UFC Fight Night 151Cerrone by submission and Brunson by decision.
Rest of the Main Card
- Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos
- Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Walt Harris vs. Sergey Spivak
- Marc-André Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
- Macy Chiasson vs. Sarah Moras
- Aiemann Zahabi vs. Vince Morales
- Kyle Nelson vs. Matt Sayles
- Arjan Bhullar vs. Juan Adams
- Mitch Gagnon vs. Cole Smith