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UFC 205 Picks: Can Donald Cerrone Cement Himself As A Weltwerweight Contender If He Beats Kelvin Gastelum?

UFC 205 coverage is sponsored by MetroPCS

It’s finally here. UFC 205 is an event that will forever change the complexion of mixed martial arts as the biggest MMA promotion in the world has it’s first major event in the state of New York. Throughout the week there will be plenty of topics to talk about, but you know I’ll be salivating at the chance to breakdown the event fight by fight. Each match would be a potential main event attraction on any other card, which means there’s going to be high level bouts throughout the night. First up for analysis: the welterweight match between Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum and perennial contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Kelvin Gastelum was a scrappy wrestler when he first entered the UFC ranks. These days we’ve seen the young contender turn from wrestler with decent striking to a much more well rounded fighter. His last outing against former champion Johny Hendricks shows just how far Gastelum has come. He was able to use great movement coupled with with leg kicks and a sharp jab cross combination to obtain victory. While he may not be a better striker than Donald Cerrone, Gastelum is more than comfortable on his feet and also has the great equalizer: wrestling. If Gastelum wants to throw Cerrone off of his game he’ll have to engage in an extended battle on the feet, get his opponent comfortable, then shoot for single legs, preferably after throwing his left cross. He’ll have to be careful about telegraphing these strikes as Cerrone has a dangerous counter knee that will be awaiting him every time he chooses to close the gap.

Speaking of Cowboy, Donald Cerrone has become a wrecking machine at welterweight. Without having to worry about a crazy weight cut, Cerrone instead can focus on his technique to confound opponents on the feet. He has also developed a strong wrestling game of his own and uses it to throw usually superior wrestlers off their game. Cowboy should continue the trend in this fight against Gastelum in order to confuse his less experienced opponent. Cowboy has such fearsome striking that throwing anything different at his opponent will always catch them off guard. When the fight does remain on the feet, Cowboy should have two plans of attack. In the beginning he should avoid rushing in and trying to start too fast as Gastelum is likely to have the power advantage and is most certainly looking to come forward. Cowboy should play counter fighter on the outside for the first couple of minutes of the bout then steadily increase his output once he understands Gastelum’s timing and strategy. Gastelum does fall prey to a lack of creativity at times so Cowboy can use that to his advantage by grasping the TUF winner’s rhythm and then thoroughly breaking that rhythm throughout the fight.

This is a closely contested bout with plenty on the line. It’s a coin flip, one that can easily see either man coming out on top. But my gut is telling me that Donald Cerrone picks up another win by finding Gastelum’s timing and picking him apart over the course of three rounds. The pick is Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by decision.

Who do you think wins at UFC 205?


Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

 

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