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Cowboy v. Masvidal: Similarities stir the imagination ahead of matchup

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He’s as game as they come.

He’ll fight anyone, anywhere, any place…

Pick your MMA cliché. Now apply that to the names Donald Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal, and you’ll see that they, more often than not, will fit.

There’s a ton of similarities in the way these two not only approach the fight game, but life in general. If you listen to them talk, you can tell that fighting is not just something they do, fighting is just a component of how they live their lives. It’s an impulse that drives them.

In many ways, professional fighting allowed that impulsiveness to manifest itself in a positive way for both men. It led a troubled teen that was getting in trouble with the law constantly to travel the world and mentor new up and coming fighters at his ranch. It led a young street fighter, that didn’t have the grades to wrestle in high school, to become an elite level athlete.   

“The only reason I got into fighting was because a. I love it, it’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world, still is. But, I would get to see the world. They’d call me, and I was the guy they would call…you know, all everyone talks about me taking short notice fights like ‘Cowboy you’re crazy’ man, I used to take fights on three days notice, I’m taking them now in four weeks, I’m f*cking good.”  Cerrone told Joe Rogan on episode #699 of the JRE.

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“I got into fighting because I loved it. It was the only thing that I wanted to do. You know, I want to fight, and it wasn’t out of machismo or something like that, it was just, I loved it. It’s what I like to compete in. Some people played basketball, people would break dance, I would put on the gloves and box in the front yard and that would get my adrenaline going. That was the only thing that would keep me happy.” Masvidal told Ariel Helwani in a March 2016 episode of the MMA Hour.

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If their circumstances were switched, it would be easy to see a young Cerrone betting money on himself in unsanctioned Miami street fights as well as a young thrill seeking Masvidal mountain climbing, wakeboarding, and more mischievous endeavors up in the Colorado mountains.

Their similarities don’t stop there. When it comes to skills, according to FightMetric, both have very similar stats:

 

They are only a year apart in age, both have at least 40 pro fights a piece, and both have recently moved up from lightweight to welterweight. Their styles are complementary as well. Both prefer to stay standing, Cerrone predominantly implementing his Muay-Thai and Masvidal his Boxing. Both are great defensive fighters and have sneaky grappling skills. Cerrone’s Jiu Jitsu allows him to throw kicks with abandon, knowing that his ground offense is very serviceable should he be taken down. Masvidal, on the other hand, can switch his offense up with an occasional takedown, even if it does’t land, the threat is enough to make his opponents aware of it, giving way for more creative striking.

The big difference, which might ultimately be why this fight favors Cerrone in the current betting odds, is Cerrone’s recent streak and his ability to finish fights. He has won 12 out of his last 13 fights, his lone loss coming in a lightweight title fight against Rafael Dos Anjos. Of those 12 wins, nine have ended by finish. Masvidal, on the other hand has gone 6-3 in his last nine, seven of those fights (win or lose) have ended in decisions. Plus, the fight is in Cerrone’s back yard of Denver, Co.

Regardless of outcome, this excellent piece of matchmaking will prove to be a great fight.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal will be throwing down this Saturday, January 28th, as the co-main event of UFC on Fox 23.

This article comes to you via @GavelPro 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V69WmzlSf40

Richmond, VA by way of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A long time combat sports fan, Felix has spent years covering the regional Virginia amateur and pro MMA scene. He now shifts his focus to writing about national MMA.

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