When we last left our heroes...Cerrone has kept himself busy, perhaps not realizing he isn't on The View, doing a tell-all confessional to those that will listen about how broke he is. I don't have much to add except to point out that the comments are grade A.
His last win over Evan Dunham was clinical, and impressive. It was also the first time Evan Dunham had ever been submitted. However, don't expect a similar outcome against Martins.
By Cowboy's own account, he's never heard of him. Which is fine. Sometimes the best strategy is to concentrate on what you do best. But it would be a mistake to overlook the 31 year old Brazilian from Manaus.
Martins is on a six fight winning streak. He's got some grappling chops with a CBJJO World Cup Silver Medal to prove it, and he's coming off as impressive a win for a fighter making his UFC debut as you'll find, beating Daron Cruickshank by straight armbar in November.
What both men can do: Martins is sneaky good on the feet. It doesn't look pretty(ish), but from his southpaw stance, he does the majority of his work moving his shoulders, feinting, moving, and pouncing.
He's got a quick right leg kick that he chambers well, and similarly descriptive straight left. Daron is a pretty good striker, and Martins utterly dominated him with one punch for the duration. Then he dummied him on the ground, which tells you a bit about his grappling. He doesn't have many submission wins, but he's active on top, always looking to pass guard, or finding ways to pick the arm.
As for Cerrone, I won't pretend to know more than Connor Ruebusch, so just walk on over to his article to read more about Cerrone's switch kick.
In addition to a lethal kicking game, Donald is a gifted offensive threat on the ground. From his back, he moves his hips as fluidly as anyone in the game, and in top control, he's brutal when it comes to classic ground and pound.
What both men can't do: It's hard to really pinpoint Cerrone's tangible weaknesses. Against Diaz, we saw what a rugged volume puncher could do to him. Against Pettis, a strong body attack. Against dos Anjos, a questionable gameplan (?). I'm actually a dos Anjos mark and have been since his calf slicer on Tyson Griffin, but Cerrone hurt himself in that one by not being active enough.
If there's a constant lately it's been Cerrone's boxing. He seems hesitant to get it going when faced against someone with either legit power, or with legit speed from the southpaw stance. Martins' straight left will pay huge dividends if he's to win this one.
This isn't an easy fight for an unprepared Cowboy.
For Martins, inactivity can be problematic. For all the moving and feinting, he doesn't throw a lot of strikes, which could leave him open for Cerrone's kicking attack. Plus he has a habit of throwing kicks inside, and within range of being countered. Cerrone should be looking for those at all times. It'll certainly make life easier.
I wouldn't expect Martins to accomplish much on the ground, and vice versa. I feel like Cerrone's offense will be mostly stifled on the ground, barring someone being hurt beforehand.
X-Factor: Strong legs. I feel like this bout will be waged on the feet with lots of kicking exchanges. Both guys are prone to kind of letting their feet do the talking while using their fists situationally (in flurries, to counter, or when finding the seam). In which case, the fight favors Cerrone.
In-Fight Soundtrack: I couldn't settle on a theme for this bout so I'm just gonna post what I've been listening to.
Prediction: Donald Cerrone by TKO, round 3.