UFC Fight Night 158: Cerrone vs Gaethje Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

By Rick Rockwell in MMA on September 12, 2019

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Minute Read

On Saturday, September 14th, the UFC will be live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, for UFC Fight Night 158 also known as UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Gaethje or UFC on ESPN+ 16. The main event of the evening is an exciting lightweight battle between Justin Gaethje and one of the most beloved fighters in the UFC, Donald Cerrone.

The co-main event is a light heavyweight showdown between Glover Teixeira and Nikita Krylov. Also on the card are notable fighters like Todd Duffee, Michel Pereira, Uriah Hall, Jim Crute, Louis Smolka, and others. There’s a total of 13 fights scheduled for this event.

The preliminary card is set to begin at 5 PM ET and the main card will start at 8 PM ET. The entire event will stream live on ESPN+.

The top UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of UFC Fight Night 158 fights. Let’s examine the latest MMA betting odds, identify value, and KO our picks. All of the UFC betting odds listed here are courtesy of BetOnline.

UFC Fight Night 158 Prelims

The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 5 PM ET on ESPN+:

Austin Hubbard (10-3) vs Kyle Prepolec (12-6)

  • Austin Hubbard (-140)
  • Kyle Prepolec (+120)

Austin Hubbard comes in as the slight betting favorite and looking to rebound from his UFC debut loss in May to Davi Ramos. Hubbard won three of his last four fights and looked poised for a strong debut. Unfortunately, it was a dud.

Kyle Prepolec also laid an egg in his UFC debut four months ago as he lost via unanimous decision to Nordine Taleb. He’s won four of his last six fights and has some striking skills to boast. Seven of his 12 wins have come via TKO/KO.

This fight has “going the full distance” written all over it. Combined, both men have gone to the scorecards on 12 occasions. For Hubbard, four of his last five fights went the distance and Prepolec went to the judges in three of his last four fights.

I’m taking Hubbard to win here, as I believe he can rack up some points with the judges by taking down Prepolec who has shown very little ability to defend the takedown or win from his back. Both men are proficient strikers with Prepolec having the slight advantage.

UFC Bet: Austin Hubbard (-140)

Louis Smolka (15-6) vs Ryan MacDonald (10-1)

  • Louis Smolka (-210)
  • Ryan MacDonald (+180)

Like the fighters above, Ryan MacDonald also lost his UFC debut this year via unanimous decision. It was the first loss of his career. However, MacDonald was a late replacement for that contest. Out of his 10 pro wins, six have come via stoppage.

Louis Smolka is a seasoned UFC veteran on a second run with the company. His first stint started out 5-1, but a four-fight losing streak cost him his job with the company. After three wins in regional promotions, the UFC brought him back and he’s gone 1-1 since then.

Smolka also lost his last fight, which was this past March. I doubt the UFC will keep him around for another four-fight losing streak. This fight feels like desperation for both men if they want to stick around longer. 13 of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven of those by way of submission.

Despite his rocky career inside the octagon, Smolka is a rugged fighter. This matchup suits him better since MacDonald has a poor takedown defense. I believe Smolka will get the win based on his strengths and tougher resume.

UFC Bet: Louis Smolka (-210)

Chas Skelly (18-4) vs Jordan Griffin (17-6)

  • Chas Skelly (+125)
  • Jordan Griffin (-145)

Skelly is the underdog in this fight, but not by much. Unfortunately, he’s dropped three of his last five fights including two in a row. He also hasn’t fought since last November. 10 of his 17 wins have come via submission.

Griffin earned his UFC contract by winning on DWTNCS last summer. He debuted last December, but lost via unanimous decision to Dan Ige. 13 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight of those by way of submission.

Griffin is more of a mauler than a proficient grappler and submission artist. He will have the advantage in power and strength, but that will all be nullified once Skelly takes him to the mat. Skelly can lock on a submission from any position, which is going to be tough for Griffin to defend.

I see an upset here, as Skelly’s ground game is too tough for Griffin to overcome.

UFC Bet: Chas Skelly (+125)

Brad Katona (8-1) vs Hunter Azure (7-0)

  • Brad Katona (-165)
  • Hunter Azure (+145)

Brad “Superman” Katona is a Canadian and will certainly have fans supporting him. He was undefeated until his last fight four months ago where he lost via unanimous decision. I actually picked him to win that fight, but Dvalishvili outworked him and took the victory.

With that said, I don’t see Azure doing the same thing. Hunter is 7-0, but he hasn’t really fought anyone the caliber of Katona. He does have four stoppages in his six wins and a decent blend of striking power and technical skills. Additionally, his wrestling skills are solid as well.

I believe that Katona’s experience, jiu-jitsu, and striking will be the difference in this fight. Although he’s giving up inches in height and reach, he should be able to bounce back from his last fight and take this one via decision.

UFC Bet: Brad Katona (-165)

Marvin Vettori (13-4-1) vs Andrew Sanchez (11-4)

  • Marvin Vettori (-276)
  • Andrew Sanchez (+236)

Both fighters come in with a lot of potential for rising up the ranks. Unfortunately, only one of them can win this fight. I do believe that Sanchez is worthy of a flier at these odds. I think that online betting sites have overvalued Vettori some. Sanchez is a rising prospect with tons of talent.

Sanchez has won two straight fights including solid wins over Marc-Andre Barriault and Markus Perez. He has seven stoppage victories in his career and possesses some great jiu-jitsu skills. He balances that out with strong wrestling and underrated striking skills.

I am a fan of Vettori. First of all, I love his nickname, “The Italian Dream.” Secondly, I enjoy his fights. Vettori might not be the most technical fighter in the UFC, but he applies pressure and is aggressive for all three rounds.

Vettori returned to the octagon in July and defeated a tough Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision. He’s also the only fighter to really give Israel Adesanya any troubles as he lost via split decision. Vettori has eight submission wins, but might want to avoid going to the ground with Sanchez in this one.

Vettori’s pace and cardio should be the difference in this fight. Unless he makes a mistake on the ground, I believe his pressure will be too much for Sanchez to handle. I’m taking Vettori to win, as he is the safe play here, but Sanchez offers great value and is worthy of a flier.

UFC Bet: Marvin Vettori (-276)

Cole Smith (7-0) vs Miles Johns (8-0)

  • Cole Smith (+115)
  • Miles Johns (-135)

This is arguably one of the most exciting fights on the entire card. It features two rising prospects looking to remain undefeated.

Cole Smith is a former BFL bantamweight champ looking to notch his second win inside the octagon. He made his UFC debut in May and won via unanimous decision over Gagnon. Smith is Canadian and looking forward to fighting in front of his fellow countrymen.

Miles Johns earned a UFC contract after winning on DWCS this past June. He’s a former LFA bantamweight champion and has underrated striking power to go along with his strong wrestling background.

Smith should have the edge in striking and stamina, while Johns has the edge in power and wrestling. If this fight goes longer, then it favors Smith and his pace. I’m not sure if Johns can finish this fight before he tires. I believe Smith will capitalize on Johns’ fatigue and pull away for a decision victory.

I’m going with the betting upset here as the Canadian Cole Smith will take the win.

UFC Bet: Cole Smith (+115)

Marcin Tybura (17-5) vs Augusto Sakai (13-1-1)

  • Marcin Tybura (-123)
  • Augusto Sakai (+103)

In the main prelim fight, we have a hotly-contested heavyweight battle between two fighters looking to move up in the division.

Marcin Tybura is the more experience fighter inside the octagon between the two. However, he is coming off a TKO loss this past April. Yet, Tybura scored an impressive victory over Stefan Struve last July. He’s also battled against names like Derrick Lewis, Fabricio Werdum, and Andrei Arlovski.

13 of Tybura’s 17 wins have come via stoppage. He’s scored seven TKO/KO wins in his career, but has also suffered three TKO/KO losses.

Sakai is making his third UFC fight and has won four straight contests coming into this heavyweight showdown. He’s also defeated Arlovski via split decision. Sakai is a former Bellator contender who left after losing via split decision to Cheick Kongo 28 months ago.

10 of his 13 pro wins have come via KO/TKO. His lone loss to Kongo was via decision. He also has one draw, which came in Bellator against Dan Charles in May 2016.

This fight comes down to who has the most power in the latter rounds. With that said, I believe it will be Sakai. He’s a more powerful striker and does defend the takedown well. That will cause problems for Tybura who won’t be able to grind out a win on the mat.

Most likely, we will see two tiring heavyweights throwing massive shots at each other in the second half of the fight. With that said, I like Sakai in that scenario. He has better stamina and should be able to maintain a better output late in the fight than Tybura.

UFC Bet: Agusto Sakai (+103)

UFC Fight Night 158 Main Card

The main card of the Fight Night event features six fights and is set to begin at 8 PM ET on ESPN+.

Misha Cirkunov (14-5) vs Jim Crute (10-0)

  • Misha Cirkunov (-112)
  • Jim Crute (-108)

This lightweight battle is an exciting way to kick off the main card as the rising, undefeated Jim Crute takes on the 15th ranked Misha Cirkunov. This fight is about as even as you can get with MMA betting sites.

Misha Cirkunov has dropped three of his last four fights, including his bout in March against Johnny Walker. He’s also lost to Teixeira and Oezdemir over that span. Misha does claim a victory over Krylov who’s fighting Teixeira in the co-main event of the evening.

12 of his 14 wins have come via stoppage with eight of those wins via submission. In his last victory, 11 months ago, Cirkunov forced Patrick Cummins to tap out via arm-triangle choke. Misha has a strong ground game, as he’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu and is more experienced than his 23-year-old counterpart.

Crute is a rising prospect looking to crack the Top 15 with a big win this weekend. In his first UFC fight, he out-grappled veteran Paul Craig and won via submission. In his second fight, which was seven months ago, he out-struck veteran Sam Alvey. He defeated both men at their own game.

Crute has shown that he can quickly adapt in the UFC and has all of the potential in the world to rise up the ranks. This weekend’s fight will be the toughest test of his career. And I believe he will pass this test.

I like Crute and his tenacity. He’s proven to have the heart and toughness to win inside the octagon. Furthermore, he’s taken out two veterans that were expected to win just like Cirkunov. I believe Crute’s best chance to win this fight is by keeping it upright. He has the wrestling to defend himself on the mat and to defend takedowns.

However, I think he has the advantage in striking, and I question Cirkunov’s chin after his loss to Johnny Walker six months ago. In fact, three of his last four fights have ended with Misha on his back, looking up at the lights.

I’m taking Crute to win via TKO. Both men offer value in this fight.

UFC Bet: Jim Crute (-108)

Uriah Hall (14-9) vs Antonio Carlos Jr. (10-3)

  • Uriah Hall (+170)
  • Antonio Carlos Jr. (-200)

This middleweight contest features two Top 13 ranked fighters within the division as the 13th ranked Antonio Carlos Jr. is a large betting favorite over the 12th ranked Uriah Hall. It’s also a clash of styles, as Hall is a noted striker while ACJ is a reputable grappler.

Uriah Hall has had a tough stretch in his career having lost four of his last six fights. He was able to end a three-fight losing streak two years ago when he defeated Jotko via TKO. Since then, he’s gone 1-1. His last fight was in December and he won via KO. 11 of his 14 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Hall believes that he can win this fight as long as it stays upright:

“Just move my feet and keep it standing, I have been doing it my entire life. When you go out there, the game plan can go out the window. Just the main thing is to stay on task. Just go out there and have fun and take him out. The game plan is to win. When you step into the Octagon, you step in there to win.”

Antonio Carlos Jr. is well aware of Hall’s striking abilities. In fact, he admires Uriah, but is prepared to win this clash of styles:

“Uriah Hall is someone I really admire and like, but this is our job. I couldn’t turn down this bout. He’s highly dangerous. On more than one occasion, he was losing a fight and managed to win by knockout. He manages to reverse bad situations. So, I have to be very alert. I can’t blink. At any moment, he could pull a rabbit out of his hat. He’s a striker, and I come from grappling. It will be a clash of styles.”

ACJ is coming off a loss four months ago via unanimous decision to Ian Heinisch. Prior to that loss, he had won five straight contests. He’s a highly accomplished grappler with eight of his 10 pro wins coming via submission.

If Hall can keep this fight upright, then he will win. I just don’t see him being able to. ACJ is a grappling guru, and I expect him to go for the takedowns immediately. Once it gets to the mat, the fight is over. Hall is a risky flier, but does have a puncher’s chance. I’m taking ACJ to win via submission.

UFC Bet: Antonio Carlos Jr. (-200)

Michel Pereira (23-9) vs Tristan Connelly (10-6)

  • Michel Pereira (NA)
  • Tristan Connelly (NA)

This fight was originally supposed to be between Pereira and Sergey Khandozhko, but Sergey was forced out of the fight due to visa issues. Pereira was a -165 favorite over Khandozhko (+145) prior to the substitution.

Connelly is making his UFC debut on very short notice. He’s a Canadian fighter from Vancouver and has won five of his last six fights. All 10 of his professional wins have come via stoppage with eight of those victories via submission.

Pereira made his UFC debut four months ago and had a surprising win over Danny Roberts. Pereira hit Roberts with a flying knee and won via first-round KO. 15 of his 22 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine of those victories by way of TKO/KO.

I admire any fighter who steps in on short notice, but I have a hard time thinking that Connelly is going to win this fight. I liked what I saw from Pereira in his UFC debut, and I believe he will be too much for Connelly to handle.

As of this writing, there are no available betting odds. However, I would imagine that Pereira ends up being a sizable betting favorite. This contest should be switched to the prelims and the heavyweight fight moved up into this slot.

UFC Bet: Michel Pereira (NA)

Todd Duffee (9-3) vs Jeff Hughes (10-2)

  • Todd Duffee (-105)
  • Jeff Hughes (-115)

This fight is rather bizarre and hard to pick. Todd Duffee, the slight underdog, is returning to the octagon for the first time in a little over four years. We don’t know what kind of fighter to expect in his return. It’s hard to even look at his past resume to get any indications of what might happen.

For example, Duffee lost his last fight via KO to Frank Mir. That’s actually probably the last time that Mir has been relevant. Duffee has never seen the scorecards in his 12 pro fights. He’s either KO’d someone or has been KO’d himself.

Jeff Hughes isn’t someone that’s going to light up the TV screen despite his nickname of “Lights Out.” He lost his last fight in March via split decision to Maurice Green. It was his octagon debut, and it was a disappointing one. Hughes was a former LFA champ, but didn’t do enough to win his fight against Greene.

Perhaps, Hughes will turn it up a notch against Duffee this weekend. However, there’s a chance that Hughes will have another disappointing performance, we just don’t know. With that said, I have to go with Hughes to win this fight, because Duffee’s four-year layoff has to be too much time away. Isn’t it?

Honestly, this is probably the one fight I wouldn’t even touch.

UFC Bet: Jeff Hughes (-115)

Glover Teixeira (29-7) vs Nikita Krylov (26-6)

  • Glover Teixeira (-105)
  • Nikita Krylov (-115)

In another close betting matchup where both men offer value, two Top 13 light heavyweights Glover Texeira and Nikita Krylov will go to war inside the octagon for a right to move up the rankings.

Teixeira is the veteran at nearly 40 years old, but he’s still competing at a high level and ranked ninth within the division. In fact, he doesn’t want to stop fighting until he’s at least 50:

“I’m almost 40 but I’m feeling well, and I still enjoy training. Of course, I train the correct way, to avoid injuries. I use my experience to allow me to continue fighting, and having fun. I want to stay on this path. As far as when I might stop, I hope I can keep on fighting and beating people until I’m 50. Can you imagine that? But when the time comes to stop, I already have other things going, like my own academy. I may not be rich, but I’m doing fine.”

I doubt he will be able to do that unless he heads over to bare knuckle fighting. Glover is riding a two-fight win streak with both of those contests coming in 2019. Each one ended via submission, which bumped his career win total up to eight. However, it’s his hands that have really been his biggest weapons.

17 of his 29 pro wins have come via KO/TKO. Teixeira is dangerous in the clinch and on the mat. He has the advantage in close quarters contact.

Krylov is a dangerous striker from a distance, which means he will try to stay away from Glover’s dirty boxing. If the fight ends up on the mat, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for Nikita who has solid jiu-jitsu skills. 25 of his 26 pro wins have come via stoppage, with 15 of those wins by way of submission.

The #13 ranked Krylov is also on a two-fight win streak in his second stint with the UFC. He’s won five of his last six overall fights and has a 7-4 record inside the octagon. Krylov spoke about his upcoming fight with Teixeira and what he thinks about his opponent:

“Teixeira is older than me and I think that I will be physically stronger, but I also saw what kind of shots he endured in the fight with Jon Jones and how he can knock his rivals out. He is a tough opponent and it’s always difficult to fight with those who have powerful hands and who are not afraid of the fight going to the ground. I think I will need to move more and hit a lot from a distance in order to exhaust him.”

Like Krylov alluded to, this fight is going to come down to whichever fighter can keep it at their preferred distance. With that said, I believe that Teixeira is very capable of closing the distance and making this a dirty boxing match. Eventually, he will wear down Krylov and get the win.

In 31 professional fights, Krylov has never gone the distance. I don’t see it happening here as well. One of these men will get the stoppage, and I expect it to be Teixeira by TKO. Both fighters offer betting value.

UFC Bet: Glover Teixeira (-105)

Donald Cerrone (36-12) vs Justin Gaethje (20-2)

  • Donald Cerrone (+175)
  • Justin Gaethje (-205)

Here’s the biggest reason I’m watching this event, Donald Cerrone. Yes, I’m a big fan of Cerrone as are millions of UFC fans. I was very surprised to see these odds so high, considering how well Cerrone has looked as of late.

Cerrone lost to Tony Ferguson in June via doctor stoppage after his eye ballooned to the size of a grapefruit. However, Cerrone was very competitive in the contest and went toe to toe with one of the baddest men on the planet.

Prior to the Ferguson fight, Cerrone won three straight contest and defeated high quality opponents including Mike Perry, Alexander Hernandez, and Al Iaquinta. This will be his 4th fight in 2019 and it’s against a “buddy” of his:

“He’s my buddy. I hung out with him in Vegas for International Fight Week, we just drank beer at the pool all weekend. He’s my friend, we trained a lot together. Obviously, we’ve grown apart training-wise, and he trains somewhere different..but it should be fun.”

For Gaethje, he views this fight as a chance to secure a bigger payday in his next octagon appearance. He’s come out and stated that after he wins against Cerrone, then he wants McGregor or the winner of Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson.

Gaethje believes he’s one of the best lightweights in the world. In fact, one would be “a fool” to disagree with #5 ranked lightweight:

“You have to be a fool to say I’m not one of the best in the world. I fought Dustin Poirier, he was fighting for the world title. Eddie Alvarez is world class and I fought stupid fights against them. I didn’t fight my best fight. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere for a couple of years.”

Justin has won his last two bouts via KO over Barboza and Vick. However, he’s not fighting an opponent of that caliber this weekend. Furthermore, both Vick and Barboza lack a ground game like Cerrone’s. 17 of his 20 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Both career losses were by TKO/KO.

This fight will truly come down to the last man standing, as both fighters like to exchange vicious strikes and won’t back down. Gaethje has the technical advantage and will counter a lot of Cerrone’s throws at him. His wrestling background will also make things tough for Cerrone to get him down and keep him there.

Many factors line up for Gaethje, but there are a few that could lean toward Cerrone and help him win. Cerrone needs to be patient enough to pick apart Gaethje or push a pace that tires Justin out. In 22 fights, Gaethje has only gone the distance twice. So, stamina and endurance could be key.

I believe Cerrone will weather the early storms and slowly work his way back into this fight. I also believe he will push it the distance and win via split decision due to taking the third round. The second round will be key for both fighters. Either Gaethje will get the TKO or Cerrone will have cracked the code.

The safe bet is on Gaethje, but since I’m a Cerrone fan and not 100% sold on Gaethje being one of the best in the world, I’m taking a flier on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone to win via split decision.

UFC Bet: Donald Cerrone (+175)

UFC Fight Night 158 Betting Value

The following MMA fighters offer potential betting value based on their current UFC betting odds, UFC Fight Night 158 matchups, and career success.

  • Chas Skelly (+125)
  • is the underdog against Jordan Griffin, but has a dangerous ground game that will be too much for Griffin to handle. Skelly should be able to pull off the upset with a submission victory.

  • Cole Smith (+115)
  • has better stamina, cardio, and striking than Johns. As the underdog, he has a good chance at weathering the early storms and pulling away late in the fight for a decision win in front of his fellow countrymen.

  • Augusto Sakai (+103)
  • is the slight underdog against Marcin Tybura (-123). Both men offer betting value, but I believe Sakai will outlast Tybura in what should end up being a slugfest.

  • Jim Crute (-108)
  • versus Misha Cirkunov (-112) is going to be a fun way to open up the main card portion of the evening. These two guys can go toe to toe on the ground or standing up and exchanging punches. I question Cirkunov’s chin, and I think Crute will pull off the biggest win of his career.

  • Glover Teixeira (-105)
  • and Nikita Krylov (-115) both offer value to those bettors placing wagers on UFC Fight Night 158. I’m leaning towards Glover winning due to his clinch, dirty boxing, and ground game.

  • Donald Cerrone (+175)
  • is a big underdog in this fight. However, he has the experience, confidence, and understanding of who Gaethje is as a fighter, considering they were training buddies. I believe he’ll crack the Gaethje code and take this via decision.

Final Thoughts on UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Gaethje

UFC Fight Night 158 has plenty of betting opportunities with many fights having close MMA betting odds. For me, this card all comes down to the main event, as I’m a big fan of Cerrone. He and Faber are my favorite fighters. With that said, I’m not blind to the fact that Gaethje has the skills to win this fight.

I expect several of the prelim and undercard bouts to provide fans with excitement and fireworks. Canada will be rocking during UFC Fight Night 158, and I can’t wait to get my popcorn ready.

UFC Fight Night 158 Betting Recap

  • Austin Hubbard (-140)
  • Luis Smolka (-210)
  • Chas Skelly (+125)
  • Brad Katona (-165)
  • Marvin Vettori (-276)
  • Cole Smith (+115)
  • Augusto Sakai (+103)
  • Jim Crute (-108)
  • Antonio Carlos Jr. (-200)
  • Michel Pereira (NA)
  • Jeff Hughes (-115)
  • Glover Teixeira (-105)
  • Donald Cerrone (+175)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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