Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon UFC Odds, Pick & Prediction: 2 Bets for Saturday’s Co-Main Event (June 18)

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon UFC Odds, Pick & Prediction: 2 Bets for Saturday’s Co-Main Event (June 18) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon.

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon Odds

Cerrone Odds
Lauzon Odds
2.5 (-185 / +145)
Moody Center, Austin, TX
Approx. 9 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via Caesars.

Editor's Note: Cerrone-Lauzon is off, as Lauzon has a health issue.

We know the names in Saturday's UFC Austin co-main event, but predictions for the outcome of Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon are all over the place.

Understandably, it's hard to know which versions of these grizzled and battled-tested veterans will show up on Saturday night.

Despite nearly 100 combined MMA fights between them, 39-year-old Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) and 38-year-old Lauzon (28-15) have tallied just one win in their past 10 fights combined.

Additionally, they were once among the UFC's busiest fighters, regularly racking up three to four fights per year. Now, though? Cerrone hasn't fought since May 2021, and Lauzon has been out of the cage since late 2019.

Still, despite all of the unknowns, this co-headliner presents a pair of interesting betting angles (more on those below).

Tale of the Tape

Record36-16 (2 NC)28-16
Avg. Fight Time9:447:53
Weight (pounds)155 lbs.155 lbs.
Reach (inches)73"71"
Date of birth3/29/835/22/84
Sig Strikes Per Min4.432.84
SS Accuracy46%39%
SS Absorbed Per Min4.495.39
SS Defense53%54%
Take Down Avg.1.182.39
TD Acc33%45%
TD Def74%54%
Submission Avg1.22.0

The best days of these longtime fan favorites are behind them. However, MMA fans are an awfully nostalgic bunch and often have a soft spot for the old guys. So, despite the fighters' recent struggles, expect a lively crowd when Cerrone and Lauzon take the Moody Center cage.

As for what those fans will see, Saturday's co-main event could ultimately be a tale of two halves of a fight:

  • Can Lauzon capitalize early on Cerrone, a notoriously slow starter with a porous defense who's been knocked out in four of his past five fights?
  • Or, can Cerrone survive and take over as notoriously slow finisher Lauzon possibly fades down the stretch?

My bets for this fight ultimately hinge on that rather simplistic look at a fight that could play out a variety of ways.

Ultimately, though, I'm just not sold on Cerrone showing up at 100%. This fight with Lauzon is actually a rebooking. Cerrone, who's spent his career bouncing between lightweight and welterweight, planned to make the drop from 170 pounds to 155 to fight Lauzon in April.

Then the bout was moved to May. Then, despite Cerrone making weight, the bout was canceled on fight day after Cerrone's team said he was suffering from "food poisoning."

However, it's hard not to think that the illness was exasperated by or maybe actually the result of a rough weight cut. And yet, on Friday morning, Cerrone weighed in for UFC Austin and looked just as drained and weak. In fact, he looked a bit ghostly, if we're being honest. That doesn't bode well for the hope we'd see a reinvigorated and rejuvenated Cowboy this weekend.

Lauzon, who appeared to have a bit more pep in his step at weigh-ins, obviously has some red flags of his own in this fight. However, I ultimately think "J-Lau" is the right side.

Cerrone has looked far, far too hittable in his recent matchups. Additionally, we know Lauzon has finishing ability after tallying 26 stoppages (nine knockouts and 17 submissions) in 28 career wins. He's not the flashiest or most active striker, but against the 2022 version of Cerrone, that might not matter all that much.

As a result, I see two ways to bet that this fight won't go the full three rounds.

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Cerrone vs. Lauzon Pick

In a fight that feels like a virtual pick'em due to the variety of knowns and unknowns, my money's on the underdog Lauzon.

I think Lauzon capitalizes on a typically slow start by a depleted Cerrone and tries to end this fight early.

"J-Lau" has already expressed his frustration over the duo's previously canceled bouts. He went through a fight camp, traveled and made weight, yet he went home without a paycheck because the bout never actually took place.

Perhaps that's just the little extra bit of motivation that "J-Lau" needs to strike – and to strike early – in this fight.

On Friday, Lauzon could be had at +145 (at Caesars), and I'd feel comfortable taking him all the way down to +110. But because I'm banking on Lauzon getting the finish, I much prefer the prop bet of Lauzon winning inside the distance. That one pays nearly 3-1 (+290) at DraftKings.

Yet, even if Lauzon taps the reserves too early in the bout, I don't expect the fight to hit the scorecards. If he survives the initial onslaught and Lauzon tires himself out, the ever-gritty Cerrone could take over in the second half of the bout and snatch a sloppy KO or submission of his own.

Whether it's Lauzon winning early or Cerrone hanging on to get a late finish, I don't think the judges will play a factor in this one. As a result, I'm also betting that this fight doesn't go the distance.

Although I snatched a solid -182 line early in the week, the current -200 line on Friday was still more than adequate, and even -230 to -240 would be playable.

The Picks: Fight doesn't go to decision (-200 at DraftKings) | Lauzon by KO/TKO or submission (+290 at FanDuel)

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