UFC 249 Betting Pick: Anthony Pettis vs Cowboy Cerrone II

Rematch!

This one didn’t even make it out of the first round the first time these two lethal strikers went at it back in January of 2013.

Donald Cowboy Cerrone and Anthony Pettis are both quite popular and have fought a litany of the who’s who in the UFC for a couple of generations now.

This fight will take place at 155 pounds.

That is very important to note.

The first time these two men fought was at lightweight as well.

Donald Cowboy Cerrone is a very big lightweight and Pettis is about average size for the weight class.

The weight cut was never easy on Cerrone and he has been notoriously weak to the body when cutting to lightweight.

This can be the case for anyone who cuts a lot of weight especially in an unhealthy way and/or in a short amount of time.

I cut 20 pounds in a week once just to make 145 and I was an overall hot mess gassing after 5 minutes and getting TKO’d.

While I don’t think Donald is cutting the weight in an unhealthy manner, just the fact that a man his age (37) is cutting the weight, to begin with, is no bueno.

Ha, I just realized Cowboy was born one year to the day after me.

I was lucky enough to meet him several times, the first was at a UFC Fan Expo when I asked if we could have a staredown as our picture.

He quickly obliged and as I was beginning to drown in a sea of blue, he bucked at me hard and I jumped back like a little you know what.

The only thing missing was Kevin Hart saying “He wasn’t readdyyy”.

He would come to train at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas whenever he was in town and seeing him train in person was pretty special.

He’s not a bully at all and genuinely cares about his sparring partners.

“Showtime” Anthony Pettis is a former UFC Lightweight World Champion and the only MMA fighter to be featured on a Wheaties box.

It is safe to say, though, that both fighters are on the way down from their respective career peaks.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us.

Let’s make our prediction for Donald Cowboy Cerrone vs Anthony Showtime Pettis II.

Anthony Pettis (-140) vs Cowboy Cerrone (+120)

OVER 2.5 ROUNDS
+105
UNDER 2.5 ROUNDS
-135

Before we can make our decision about the rematch on Saturday, let’s revisit their first meeting 7 long years ago.

Setting the stage:

  • Donald was 19-4 at the time with a UFC record of 6-1
  • Anthony was 15-2 and just 2-1 in the UFC
  • Both men fought with great success in the WEC just prior to their UFC debuts
  • Pettis would go on to win the UFC Lightweight World Title from Benson Henderson in his next fight after Cerrone

Here is the fight. Don’t worry. It isn’t long.

Anthony out-landed Cerrone 18-4 in this one with the final four strikes being the most devastating.

It usually only takes one powerful Thai kick to the liver to send one’s opponent into excruciating pain shutting down the body.

Cowboy is a tough son of a gun as we know and did his best to recover but Pettis has true killer instincts and finishing skills.

I mentioned in the introduction that it is imperative to note that this fight is taking place at 155 pounds.

Yes, that is the natural weight class for each give or take 5 pounds but they have both been competing at Welterweight at times lately.

170 is a big jump from 155. That’s a 10% difference.

Cerrone’s fight against Conor McGregor not even three months ago was at 170.

Cowboy just turned 37 and Pettis is still 34.

That’s a big 3 years, believe it or not.

This is especially true when you think about all of the miles on Cowboy’s horse trailer.

Donald had been submitted before but the Pettis fight was the first time he had been TKO’d.

Unfortunately for him, though, it wouldn’t be the last.

Cowboy would go on to be finished by strikes in 6 more fights and the last 3 in a row to the division’s best Ferguson, Gaethje, and McGregor.

None of these fights were really close.

Anthony lost his last fight pretty badly to Diego Ferreira, who is an absolute dog and terrible matchup for Pettis.

The fight was at 155, though.

Here are two things that stand out to me:

  1. Cowboy had 50 feet of intestine removed as a child after a motocross accident.
  2. Cowboy wasn’t put to sleep but took some heavy shots in his TKO loss to Conor McGregor less than 4 months ago
His accident is a big reason why he is so weak to the body at 155 and 4 months is a little too quick of a turnaround for me to get behind him here

Pettis is a fast starter and Cowboy is a slow starter.

If Donald were a grinding wrestler who likes to take his opponent into deep waters, he would be the perfect guy to beat Anthony Pettis.

“Showtime” almost always wins the first round but then starts backing up and waiting on this highlight reel finish that rarely presents itself.

He won the first round in his recent matchup with Nate Diaz and arguably won the first stanza against Tony Ferguson who he did drop with a right hand.

Even if Anthony begins to fade, Donald is more of a kicker and that plays to Anthony’s strengths.

The blueprint to beat Pettis is getting past his kicking range and boxing him and/or clinching until he wears down allowing you to finish.

Cowboy simply isn’t that guy.

I think Pettis will catch him with some good punches around his high guard and when Donald is expecting the liver kick, the Milwaukee native goes high and clack!

My Picks
ANTHONY PETTIS

In Conclusion

I love rematches!

Not only because the winner of the first fight has a distinct advantage we can use to make money but it gives the loser an opportunity to right a wrong.

This doesn’t happen often in life and even less in combat sports.

While both men have seen their best days and boy were they some amazing days, I still believe we could get the highlight of the night in this contest.

Both are masters of the high kick.

Anthony comes from a Taekwondo background while Donald is Colorado Muay Thai all the way.

I love the matchup too.

I hate when you have a fighter who is clearly declining and you throw him up against a young lion who is tailor-made to beat him.

That’s pretty much what happened in each of their previous fights.

Cowboy had nothing for the hands, shoulders, and even legs of Conor McGregor.

And Pettis’s Achilles heel is a grinding in-your-face cardio machine and that’s exactly what he got.

I think Pettis will put him away in the first round just like their first fight, except this time, he will drop him from a head-shot.

Get your bets in now!

This line has already moved and will continue to give us less valuable odds on a Pettis win.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.