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Best Bets for UFC Fight Night 126: Cowboy vs Medeiros

Trevor Dueck

by Trevor Dueck in Mixed Martial Arts News

Updated Mar 23, 2020 · 10:29 AM PDT

Donald Cerrone at UFC 206
Donald Cerrone hasn't won a fight since he beat Matt Brown in December 2016. Photo by MMAJunkie (Twitter)
  • UFC Fight Night 126 takes place in Austin, Texas, this Sunday (Feb. 18, 9:00 PM ET).
  • Who’s the value bet in the Cowboy vs Madeiros main event?
  • Are there any props or parlays on the card that are worth a wager?

Looking at the explosive matchups on the UFC Fight Night 126 card, it’s entirely possible that the judges will get the night off.

There’s no denying that we should have taken last week off, as our “expert” team went 0-5 with our UFC 221 Best Bets, dropping our overall record to 18-16. Too bad there’s no handbook on mixed-martial arts betting tips – oh wait, there is!

This Sunday, we have a chance to put our losing ways behind us, just like Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who will be facing Yancy Medeiros in the main event on a card stacked with potential highlight reel finishes. Let’s find the South by South-best value.

Best Bets to Win

Yancy Medeiros (left), who finished Erick Silva (right) at UFC 212, has won three in a row to climb the welterweight rankings. Photo by: USA Today Sports (YouTube).


This is an exciting matchup between two fighters going in opposite directions in their careers. Donald Cerrone (32-10) is currently on a three-fight losing streak while Yancy Medeiros (15-4) is riding a wave of momentum, having won his last three. But let’s not focus on streaking and instead look at the striking.

Both men are warriors and love to throw down; Cerrone averages 4.22 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 48-percent, while Medeiros averages 4.35 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 36.4-percent. However, both men also eat a lot of punches, and for Cerrone, that punishment has become an occupational hazard, having been knocked out in two of his last three fights. It’s evident that all the damage he has sustained in his career is impacting his durability.

… all the damage [Cerrone] has sustained in his career is impacting his durability.

Medeiros is younger and faster, and has finished his opponent in 12 of his 15 wins. Bringing his usual propensity to brawl would be a solid game-plan against the waning Cerrone.

In addition to a weakened chin, Cerrone’s desire may also be on the decline. He’s a 34 year old with the physique of a man ten years older, and you have to truly question if he has that burning desire to be a great fighter again. If anything, “Cowboy” is turning into a welterweight gatekeeper, and Medeiros should be able to blast that gate open and continue his movement up the welterweight rankings.

There is decent value in taking Medeiros at +125.

$25 on Yancy Medeiros (+125) $31.25 profit


Unfortunately for Joby Sanchez (11-2), who is on an impressive four-fight winning streak, this matchup is a stylistic nightmare for him. Bringing sub-par takedown defense into a fight with Roberto Sanchez (7-1) is a recipe for disaster. Roberto was choked out in his UFC debut against Joseph Morales, but had won his previous six fights by submission in the Legacy Fighting promotion, thanks to his strong wrestling and grappling game.

“Little Fury” is going to do nasty things to Joby on the ground and likely submit him via rear-naked choke.

Joby also lacks any real power in the striking game and it’s hard to envision his standup deterring Roberto from shooting for takedowns. “Little Fury” is going to do nasty things to Joby on the ground and likely submit him via rear-naked choke.

It won’t be a huge upset if it does happen, but Roberto Sanchez at +103 is a good moneyline to grab.

$25 on Roberto Sanchez (+103) $25.75 profit


Brandon Davis (8-3) let us down at UFC 220 but now gets a chance to redeem himself against UFC newcomer Steven Peterson (16-6), albeit on short notice.

Davis is a brawler who loves to stand and bang. In one sense, Peterson’s similarly aggressive style plays into Davis’ hands. But unfortunately for Davis, Peterson also has an iron chin, as demonstrated by his Legacy days. In what’s almost certain to be a standup war, the man who can take the most shots will likely end up with his hand raised, and that favors the newcomer.

Kyle Bochniak provided a blueprint at UFC 220 to beat Davis: circle away from his power and pick your shots. Normally we stay away from these types of pick’em fights, but Peterson at +145 deserves a bet.

$25 on Steven Peterson (+145) $36.25 profit

Best Prop Bet

This week, we are dialing it back on props. There are no quality over/under lines to bet on, and as it says in our 6 Tips for Successful MMA Betting, “Be strategic or be a sucker … restraint is crucial to betting successfully.” Wise words.

Best Parlay Play

Last week’s parlays failed miserably, but they are too much fun to pass up, especially when a small wager can net you a big payout.


Derrick Lewis (18-5) brings his scary, hard-hitting ways to a heavyweight showdown with Marcin Tybura (16-3). Lewis will be looking for the KO while Tybura will likely try to get the fight to the ground. Lewis has shown decent takedown defense (57-percent) and if he can keep the fight standing, he has enough power to finish Tybura.

In part two of the parlay, Thiago Alves (22-11) is facing another athletic striker in Curtis Millender (14-3). Both guys have a penchant to throw leather, so expect this to be nothing more than a kickboxing match. Alves is the superior striker and the wise wager.

$25 on Lewis + Alves (+247) $61.72 profit
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