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UFC on FOX 6 Preview: Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone

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Anthony Pettis

by Matt Lo Cascio
Most fight fans agree that the Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone bout has ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it. Cerrone is usually cashing bonus checks after his fights and Pettis is one of the fastest, most dynamic strikers in the sport. There’s also a firm grudge in place and title shot implications abound. It is can’t-miss TV come Saturday night. Here’s a preview of one of the most anticipated fights on the card.

THE BACKGROUND

Cerrone told MMA Junkie that “The dude’s (Pettis) been running scared for two years,” he said. “He doesn’t fight. You can’t just not take fights. Three fights in two years.”

Pettis did the one thing that Cerrone could not: defeat Benson Henderson and claim the WEC lightweight title. Cerrone had two chances against Henderson back in the WEC. The first fight was won by Henderson via unanimous decision and the rematch wasn’t much of one at all as Henderson choked out Cerrone before two minutes had expired off the clock in the first round.

Cerrone had one other title shot in the WEC against Jamie Varner and he also dropped that fight to a split decision.

So when Cerrone says that Pettis has been ‘running scared’, it’s hard not to filter that through what’s happened in recent years. Pettis had one title shot and made the most of it. He landed one of the greatest kicks in MMA history and took the belt from the champion in his one and only chance at the title. Cerrone had three shots and came up empty each time. He also dropped a bout to Nate Diaz that would have earned him another shot at Henderson.

Both fighters are coming off impressive victories. Cerrone scored a first round knock out of Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in August. Pettis knocked out Joe Lauzon in the first round of his only fight in 2012.

The winner of the Pettis vs. Cerrone fight likely gets a title shot against the winner of the Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez fight, so the stakes are extremely high for both combatants.

THE BET

When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer…superstition ain’t the way.” – Stevie Wonder, “Superstition

Anthony Pettis takes on Donald Cerrone at the United Center on Saturday, and if you believe in superstition, your money will be firmly behind The Cowboy before the cage door and betting windows slam shut.

Pettis has two losses on his pro record, both courtesy of Chicago-area fighters. Clay Guida handed Pettis his most recent loss in 2011 and Bart Palaszewski beat Pettis back at WEC 45 in 2009. So far, Chicago hasn’t been too kind to Pettis.

Oddsmakers basically have it even right now. I’ve seen Cerrone at -120 and Pettis at -110, as well vice versa.


About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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