Summer is just about in the rear-view mirror but the action is heating up in mixed martial arts as the temperatures outside start to cool down and the winds of change from summer to autumn begin to gust.
Saturday night, the UFC makes a stop in western Canada, specifically Vancouver, BC’s Rogers Arena for UFC on ESPN+ 16. Undercard action begins Saturday afternoon on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. PDT, with the main card at 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT that evening. In total, UFC on ESPN+ 16 (also known as UFC Fight Night Vancouver) will feature a 13-fight MMA card, highlighted by a five-round non-title fight in the UFC’s Lightweight division.
This weekend’s main event will see No. 4 contender Donald Cerrone, the winningest fighter in UFC promotional history at 36-12 with one no-contest, meet No. 5 contender Justin Gaethje at 20-2.
Heading into Saturday night’s main event, Donald Cerrone is the taller contestant, standing at 6-foot-1, two inches taller than Justin Gaethje’s 5-foot-11 frame. Both fighters have posted 3-2 marks in their last five UFC fights.
Cerrone’s last fight resulted in a TKO loss to Tony Ferguson during UFC 238 at United Center in Chicago on June 9. That contest was halted at the end of the second round on the advice of the fight doctor due to Cerrone sustaining an eye injury.
In the other corner, Gaethje enters this main event on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, he knocked out Edson Barboza in the first round of their fight in UFC on ESPN 2 in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center on Mar. 30 with a right hook.
The Tale of the Tape
UFC.com shows that Cerrone holds the reach advantage (73 inches to 71 inches) over Gaethje, along with a 40.5-inch leg reach. No such leg reach information is accessible for Gaethje.
Prediction: Donald Cerrone by first-round KO.
Other fights on Saturday night’s main card include
No. 9 contender Glover Teixeira (29-7) vs. No. 13 contender Nikita Krylov (26-6) [Light Heavyweight, co-main event]
Todd Duffee (9-3) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-2) [Heavyweight]
Michel Pereira (22-9, two no-contests) vs. Tristan Connelly (13-6) [Welterweight]
Sergey Khandozhko (22-5-1) withdrew from Saturday’s card.
No. 12 contender Uriah Hall (15-9) vs. No. 13 contender Antonio Carlos Junior (11-3-1) [Middleweight]
No. 15 contender Misha Cirkunov (14-5) vs. Jimmy Crute (10-0) [Light Heavyweight]
UFC on ESPN+ 16 at a Glance
Prelims: Saturday, 5 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. PDT, ESPN+
Main Card: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT, ESPN+
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