UFC Fight Night 126 tips: Best bets for Cerrone v Medeiros
We make our pick for the welterweight main event in Texas, plus two of the other fights on Sunday night's exciting main card.
Donald Cerrone v Yancy Medeiros
Medeiros earned this spot in the main event – his first in the UFC – by knocking out Alex Oliveira in the third round of the 2017 Fight of the Year at UFC 218 in December.
That was the Hawaiian’s third consecutive victory, and perhaps his most impressive, given that he was in danger of being stopped several times but showed heart and a great chin to stay standing.
Medeiros is unbeaten at welterweight, and can score a huge win over a big name in Cerrone, who’s on a three-fight losing streak.
‘Cowboy’ was stopped in the first round by Darren Till – another rising star – in his last fight in October, and it’s telling that the 34-year-old’s been beaten by strikers in each of his last three bouts, despite being considered one of the UFC’s best on the feet.
Medeiros is so dangerous when going toe-to-toe. It’s surprising that he’s considered the underdog, given how impressive he’s been since he moved up to welterweight.
The 30-year-old’s toughness should prove crucial in what’s poised to be an exciting fight that probably won’t reach the final bell.
Derrick Lewis v Marcin Tybura
In a meeting of heavyweights coming off defeats to big-name opponents, expect both to slug it out looking for a knockout.
Lewis was on a six-fight winning streak with five stoppages before he was beaten in the fourth round by Mark Hunt last June. The American is one of the division’s top knockout artists, with 16 of his 18 wins coming inside the distance.
In Tybura, he faces a more balanced fighter who has only lost three times in 19 fights including last time out against former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum.
He’s nowhere near as explosive on the feet as Lewis, but the Pole is tighter defensively, a better wrestler and has a key weapon to use against the American: body kicks.
Lewis’ body has shown vulnerability in the past, and that’s a real concern against someone who uses strikes to the gut as well as Tybura.
Expect the 32-year-old to utilise liver shots early on, wear his opponent down and score a stoppage in the second or third round.
James Vick v Francisco Trinaldo
A spot in the lightweight top 10 could be up for grabs for this winner of this fight.
Vick is a giant of the division at 6ft 3in, and will hold a five-inch height advantage over his more compact opponent on Sunday night.
The American isn’t just tall, he’s a polished fighter, too, having won 12 of his 13 professional bouts to date, including each of his last three.
Vick has been knocked out once, and he’ll have to be careful against the dangerous Trinaldo, who’s won eight of his last nine fights in the UFC.
Ultimately, though, the size advantage between these fighters should prove too much, as Vick will pick apart the Brazilian from long range.
Given that Trinaldo has never been stopped and Vick has just three KO victories to his name, a decision win for the 30-year-old is the best bet.