UFC Fight Night Betting Picks: Niko Price vs Cowboy Cerrone

Donald Cowboy Cerrone is still doing it, man. He put on the mixed martial arts gloves for his first professional fight back in February of 2006.

Cerrone submitted Nate Mohr with a triangle choke in the first round.

He made it to 9-0 with wins over Anthony Njokuani, Danny Castillo, and Razor Rob McCollough. It was time to fight for the WEC Lightweight World Title against wrestling and boxing stylist, Jamie Varner.

Cowboy lost a close split decision.

After losing twice to Benson Henderson for the belt, Donald got his revenge on Varner with a win. One more victory after that and Cerrone was signed by the UFC.

7-3 in his first 10 bouts with losses to current UFC stars Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, and Rafael dos Anjos.

Cowboy then wins 8 straight and gets a rematch with dos Anjos and this time it’s for the UFC Lightweight World Title.

The slow-starting Cerrone was TKO’ed in the first by the Brazilian and he would have to start that climb up the lightweight hill once again.

After going 4-0 in 2016, Donald had a really rough ‘17. Darren Till, Jorge Masvidal, and Robbie Lawler all beat him. He rebounded, though, by winning 4 of 5 fights but since then, it has been 4 consecutive losses.

Those losses were to Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, and Conor McGregor who are all top 5 and his most recent defeat to Anthony Pettis is highly arguable. So, he isn’t done.

Cowboy is not toast but the man has some miles. He is coming up on a decade of fighting inside the Octagon.

Cerrone is a hitter, for sure, but he is also quite hittable himself, usually falling victim to better hands in his losses. He is weak to the body as well but that has usually been at 155 pounds.

This is because of an atv accident. Cerrone was just a kid when he had to get some of his intestines taken out.

Both Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos jumped on him early in the first with big left body kicks that gashed the guts of Cerrone rendering him nearly defenseless.

7 TKO losses total for Cerrone who is very susceptible to getting caught cold in the first round.

His opponent, Niko Price, is not as technical as Donald Cerrone in the striking or grappling departments but he makes up for it with creativity and fight-ending power with any limb from various positions.

Price also has a huge frame for welterweight. His shoulders are incredibly broad and he has a 76-inch reach on just a 6’ frame.

Donald is not a small guy by any means but Niko will be the bigger man in there and Donald has struggled early in fights with bigger opponents who can crack.

This is a very interesting matchup.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this weekend’s UFC event from Las Vegas.

Niko Price (-140) vs Cowboy Cerrone (+120)

Over 1.5 Rounds
-110
Under 1.5 Rounds
-110

Wow, you do not see that very often. The round totals are a pick’em and it’s set at 1.5 rounds too. Most sportsbooks are putting the fight goes to a decision betting line at (-300). BetOnline.AG is not playing around, though. They set it at (-1300)!

I don’t think Niko Price has ever gone to a decision in a fight inside the Octagon. He is 7-4 in the UFC and every single fight has ended inside the distance.

Donald Cerrone has gone to the judges’ scorecards 3 times in his last 18 appearances. I believe it is fairly safe to assume that this one will end inside the distance.

The over 1.5 is tricky, though. The books might have it right as a pick’em.

I have really been off my game picking round totals lately, especially post lockdown before I knew the kind of difference the slammer Octagon made.

Let’s see where these betting odds opened. Not far at all from where they are now. Price was (-130) and (+110) for Cerrone. Bettors are a little bit puzzled.

I think Niko was pretty raw when he got to the UFC and the brass didn’t hesitate to throw him to some real killers. Heck, they made him fight Vicente Luque twice! Why?!

Sandwiched in there was Al Hassan who hits super hard and the surging Geoff Neal who Price stood toe to toe with but eventually fell victim to tighter punches that hit with more force.

Price beat Vick, Means, Randy Brown, and Alan Jouban. They are all long skilled strikers fairly similar to Cowboy’s style.

Donald’s kryto has been better hands and/or bigger guys. Niko is bigger, I think but does not have better hands.

Price is not afraid to trade, though, and I think because of that, he will defeat Donald Cerrone this Saturday night in Las Vegas.

If Price were the type to sit at range and play that game for 3 rounds, he will likely get picked apart by the better much more experienced.

Niko stood in front of Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal and forced them to trade! It wasn’t the smartest thing a fighter has ever done in there but the fans sure loved it.

Cowboy does not hit like either of those guys, though.

Donald normally finishes his opponents with a head kick and they are usually 155 pounders who are short and don’t have the wrestling to get the man to the ground. Or they just don’t want to deal with the triangle choke attempts from Cerrone’s guard.

The point is that Niko is the type of guy that will knock Cerrone out. He has the power edge in the striking, the heart to throw with volume, and the will to kill or be killed.

In all likelihood, Niko Price is going to stand in front of Donald Cerrone and force him to trade. I think that’s when Cerrone will get clipped and Price will quickly follow up for the TKO win.

1st or 2nd round.

Cerrone could change this outcome by timing a double leg or two and drastically decreasing the probability that he is going to get knocked out.

It definitely doesn’t eliminate the chances, though, as Niko has 2 KO’s from his back in his last 3 wins.

Price is a wild card so I can’t tell you I’m supremely confident but I feel like Price’s tag should be around (-200). That gives us a nice edge.

I say throw two units on Niko.

My Pick
Niko Price

In Conclusion

Saturday night’s fight card from the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas is freaking loaded with big names and talent.

The main event is a grudge match that probably won’t live up to the hype because of the style of both Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley.

The style of both Niko Price and Cowboy Cerrone, though, whew… Don’t you blink, now.

Both men are gamers with all the heart in the world to fight anyone at anytime and anywhere. You hear a lot of mixed martial artists talk that noise but they simply aren’t about that life.

Some are saying this is a changing of the guard and that Niko is going to be the next Cowboy Cerrone. I don’t like to hear that because there will never be another Cowboy like him.

Please Note:

Niko is a pretty special fighter, though. It’s not every day you see a guy get knocked out by one hammer fist from the bottom.

Price also upkicked James Vick for the KO win but he swung his foot and it traveled laterally and he connected with all heel.

Ugly/beautiful stuff from these cage fighters once again.

The deciding factor for this pick is Price’s aggression. I don’t think he is going to give the slow starting Cowboy Cerrone a lot of time to set up his shots.

Donald can get overwhelmed and that’s exactly what I think is going to happen this Saturday night in the Mojave Desert.

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.