The UFC has found their replacement for Diego Sanchez. Carlos Contreras Legaspi was the first to report this evening that the promotion has finalized Alex Morono (18-7) as the replacement. Morono will step in to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 2 NC) this weekend at UFC Vegas 26.
The matchup comes together after a bizarre set of events that took place over the last week. Last week, we found out that the UFC had pulled Diego Sanchez from this weekend’s card. With limited details, the assumption was that Sanchez was injured and had to pull out of the fight.
However, we have since learned that there was a lot of issues between Sanchez and the UFC. After Sanchez demanded a release, the promotion let go of one of the original Ultimate Fighter winners. After the UFC removed Sanchez from the card, the promotion looked at several replacements.
There were multiple volunteers, but Alex Morono ends up getting the nod. Morono last fought in December when he fought Anthony Pettis. That night, Morono dropped a decision to Pettis. Prior to that loss, Morono had gone 4-1 since November of 2018 in the UFC.
Must win UFC matchup for Cowboy
Things have changed quite a bit over the last couple of years when it comes to Donald Cerrone. When the calendar turned over to 2019, Cowboy moved back to the UFC’s lightweight division. After the birth of his son, Cerrone was more motivated than ever to capture a UFC title.
Cowboy rattled off two sensational wins in a row that set him up for a title eliminator with Tony Ferguson. After a somewhat competitive first round, Ferguson completely took over and battered Cowboy. Cerrone blew his nose after breaking it in between rounds and the fight was called due to Cerrone’s eye swelling shut.
After that loss, Cerrone lost to Justin Gaethje and then Conor McGregor by first round knockouts. At UFC 249, Cowboy took on Anthony Pettis. While I thought he won, the judges gave the fight to Pettis which was Cerrone’s fourth straight loss.
In September, Cerrone returned to welterweight where he fought to a draw against Niko Price. However, had Price not been deducted a point, it would’ve been Cerrone’s fifth straight loss. Cerrone seems extremely motivated for UFC Vegas 26 and he needs to be. If he loses, it might be it for Donald Cerrone.