On Sunday, February 21, at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will take on Alex “Cowboy” Oliviera. This is Cerrone’s first fight back since being defeated by champion Rafael dos Anjos, as well as his first time fighting in the welterweight division. Originally, Tim Means was set to face Cerrone until he was forced off the card due to a failed USADA test, and Oliviera stepped up on short notice to headline against Cerrone.

Besides the headliner fight, a lot of other intriguing bouts include #13 Derek Brunson taking on #15 Roan Carneiro, a bout between hard hitting #11 John Lineker and Team Alpha Male’s rising star Cody Garbrandt is a fight that guarantees excitement and an easy FOTN candidate. Two top featherweights in #8 Dennis Bermudez and #12 Tatsu Kawajiri will do battle.

Below are the odds released by 5 Dimes Sportbook:

Alex Oliviera +240 vs. Donald Cerrone -280
Roan Carneiro +310 vs. Derek Brunson -370
Cody Garbrandt +115 vs. John Lineker -135
Tatsu Kawajiri +265 vs. Dennis Bermudez -325
Joe Riggs +200 vs. Chris Camozzi -280
Shane Campbell +130 vs. James Krause -150
Alex Garcia -105 vs. Sean Strickland -135
Oluwale Bamgbose +160 vs. Daniel Sarafian -210
Trevor Smith -160 vs. Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes +120
Nathan Coy +180 vs. Jonavin Webb -260
Ashlee Evans Smith +150 vs. Marion Reneau -190
Anthony Hamilton +100 vs. Shamil Abdurahimov -140

Live Dogs:

1. Alex Oliviera +240

Oliviera has looked very impressive so far under the promotion, going 3-1, and currently on a three-fight winning streak. Oliviera has shown that he is a very well-rounded fighter, who can finish his opponent wherever the fight goes, whether it be in the standup where he uses his length very well as well as his submission game. Oliviera is going to be the way bigger fighter in this matchup, and with Cerrone coming back this fast from his last bout, in a fight where he absorbed a ton of heavy blows in a minute that led to his ko, could lead to a poor performance for Cerrone.

Although if the fight does go the full five rounds Oliviera could be in trouble since he is fighting on short notice and has never experienced a 5-round fight, meanwhile, Cerrone is very comfortable going the distance. I do believe that the end result will be a finish, and think that Oliviera at +240 ($100 to win $240) is a great bet with a lot of value due to the current odds.

2. Cody Gabrandt +115
“No Love” Garbrandt is one of the UFC’s young rising stars. I am very shocked to see that after only two fights under the promotion he is getting such a big step up in competition, yet alone a ranked fighter. Both fighters are extremely dangerous strikers who are always looking to finish, and I expect this fight to contain some wild striking exchanges. In a fight like this, it really comes down to which fighter has the better chin, and who will have the better cardio if the fight goes the distance. This is an extremely tough fight to pick a winner but due to the five inch high difference that plays into Garbrandts favor, if he doesn’t try to engage in a brawl the way Fransico Rivera did in his last bout against Lineker, and sticks to the game plan that he has going into the fight and not fighting with his emotions, that he has a great shot at breaking Lineker down. This fight will determine how good Gabrandt truly is and where he lies in the division.

3. Oluwale Bamgbose +160
Both Bamgbose and Daniel Sarafian like to look for the finish and that is what I fully expect in this bout. Bamgbose made his UFC debut on short notice and faced an extremely tough opponent in Uriah Hall. Prior to his debut loss, all of his professional fights resulted in five straight first round knockouts. This will be the first time he is able to have a full camp and I expect to see a much different fighter when he steps in to face Sarafian, who is 2-3 in the UFC. This fight will likely not see the judges score cards and I believe there is a good chance that Bamgbose’s power will be to much for Sarafian to handle.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.