UFC on ESPN+16: Cowboy vs. Gaethje

Preview and Predictions for UFC on ESPN+ 16: Cowboy vs. Gaethje by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 


The UFC heads to Vancouver, Canada 🇨🇦 this weekend for UFC on ESPN+ 16: Cowboy vs. Gaethje LIVE Saturday night  from the Rogers Arena. The action begins with:
Prelims            5:00PM/ET        ESPN+Main Card       8:00PM/ET        ESPN+
UFC Vancouver Main Card Predictions

 
#15 Misha Cirkunov (-110) vs. Jim Crute (-110)
Misha Cirkunov (14-5-0) battles Jim “The Brute” Crute (10-0-0) in a Light Heavyweight contest to kickoff the Main Card. Undefeated Aussie prospect Jim Crute earned his UFC contract on Season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series and has ran with his opportunity to compete in the UFC jumping out to a 2-0 record with the promotion in wins over veterans Paul Craig and Sam Alvey. Misha Cirkunov was 4-0 in the UFC and on the brink of title contention before running into Volkan Oezdemir. With stoppage losses to Oezdemir, Glover Teixeira, and Johnny Walker, Cirkunov has lost three of his last four bouts and may lose his place in the divisional rankings, and could even lose his spot on the UFC roster unless he comes away with a convincing win over Crute this weekend. There will be a lot of pressure on both Cirkunov and Crute to perform on Saturday, but I think these fighters are headed in opposite directions as the Jimmy Crute continues to shape into a legitimate contender at Light Heavyweight.  
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Crute via Decision 
D’Bo’s Pick: Crute via First Round TKO


#12 Uriah Hall (+200) vs. #13 Antonio Carlos Junior (-250)
 Ultimate Fighter alums Uriah Hall (14-9-0) and Antonio “Cara de Sapato” Carlos  Jr. (10-3-0,1NC) meet in what should be an entertaining Middleweight matchup. Affectionately know as  “Shoeface”, Antonio Carlos Jr. had been a winner in his previous five Octagon appearances before being outwrestled and struck by Ian Heinisch at UFC Rochester in May. The loss  to Heinisch came as a surprise to some as Shoeface is a great grappler with fight ending abilities on the ground, having submitted four opponents during his five fight win streak. “Primetime” Uriah Hall has won two of his last three bouts and is coming off of a Third Round KO of Bevan Lewis at UFC 232 in December, as an underdog. While Antonio Carlos Jr. is a 2.5/1 favorite over Hall to begin a new winning streak, Uriah Hall seems to prove his doubters wrong more often than not (vs. Lewis and Mousasi, for example) and rise to the occasion. I’m looking forward to see who prevails in this contrast of fighting styles, but I am leaning toward Uriah Hall to pull off the upset victory. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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Hall via First Round TKO 
D’Bo’s Pick: Hall via Decision 


Michel Pereira (-600) vs. Tristan Connelly (+450)
Michel “Demolidor” Pereira (22-9-0,2NC) looks to remain unbeaten inside the Octagon  as he welcomes newcomer Tristan “Boondock” Connelly (13-6-0) into the UFC. Connelly will be moving up to Welterweight as he makes his debut on the heels of a four fight winning streak, with all four wins coming by way of stoppage, competing on the regional West Coast fight scene. “Demolidor” made a helluva impression in his promotional debut back in May at UFC Rochester, finishing Danny Roberts via Third Round TKO (Flying knee/Punches). While both fighters have a fight ending prowess, I expect Pereira to prove once again why he is one of the most exciting additions and prospects to the UFC Welterweight division. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Pereira via First Round KO
D’Bo’s Pick: Pereira via Third Round TKO


Todd Duffee (+100) vs. Jeff Hughes (-125)
After a four year layoff, Todd Duffee (9-3-0) makes his return to the Octagon to face Jeff Hughes (10-2-0) in a Heavyweight matchup. Both Duffee and Hughes will be looking to make a statement as Hughes is coming off a Split Decision loss to Maurice Greene in his promotional debut and Todd Duffee will be hungry for a taste of victory having been out of competition for so long. Duffee went 3-3 inside the Octagon after he knocked at Tim Hague in just seven seconds in his promotional debut ten years ago at UFC 102. The last time we saw Duffee compete, he was on the wrong end of a massive right hand starching from Frank Mir a minute into their headlining bout at UFC San Diego in 2015. Duffee had shown flashes of brilliance in bouts past, will he be able to turn back the clock and put on a strong showing? I think so. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Duffee via Decision 
D’Bo’s Pick: Duffee via First Round TKO

#9 Glover Teixeira (-115) vs. #13 Nikita Krylov (-115)
Former title challenger Glover Teixeira (29-7-0) takes on Nikita “The Miner” Krylov (25-6-0) in what should be an exciting and explosive Light Heavyweight contest. In his six professional losses, Nikita Krylov has been submitted five times and been knocked out only once. In his twenty five professional wins, Krylov has ten wins by knockout and fifteen victories by submission. Nikita Krylov has never gone the distance in his entire pro career, in thirty one fights! That is insane! Nikita has won five of his last six, and is 1-1 in his second stint in the UFC. Krylov is coming off of an impressive submission win over OSP at UFC 236 in April in his last Octagon appearance. Glover Teixeira has been on quite the resurgence as of late winning three of his last four, highlighted by back to back Submission wins over Ion Cutelaba and Karl Roberson. It is hard to go against Teixeira right now, who has only lost to top level competition.  Leaning towards Krylov. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Krylov via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Krylov via Decision 

MAIN EVENT 
#4 Donald Cerrone (+170) vs. #5 Justin Gaethje (-200)
In a battle between Top Five Lightweight contenders, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone  (36-12-0,1NC) meets “The Highlight” Justin Gaethje (20-2-0)  in the UFC Vancouver Main Event. Justin Gaethje’s confidence has continued to grow with back to back devastating First Round knockouts of James Vick and Edson Barboza. Next in line for Gaethje is Donald Cowboy Cerrone. Three months ago, Cerrone had an amazing three fight winning streak brought to an end by Tony Ferguson via Second Round TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) in their bout at UFC 238. Like a real cowboy, Cerrone is right back on his horse, looking to get back into it with the next dangerous opponent waiting in line. Both fighters are fan favorites and I expect them to put on a show. Cerrone is always game, but I don’t think he will be get through Gaethje, who is always just a moment away from making a highlight reel out of his opponent. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Gaethje via Third Round KO
D’Bo’s Pick: Gaethje via Decision 


Next week the UFC travels to Mexico City  🇲🇽 for UFC  on ESPN+17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens. Please share  your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!! 

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