Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 80, we are going to see a banger in the welterweight division. Tough veteran Alex Morono (23-8) is going to be taking on Joaquin Buckley (16-6) who will be making his second appearance in the welterweight division.
Because of the flash behind his name, most fans would jump to the conclusion that Joaquin Buckley should be a big favorite tomorrow. However, Alex Morono is as tough as they come with a very solid history at 170. Starting in 2021, Morono is 5-1 in his last six fights. The lone loss was a last minute fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio where he was stopped in the third round.
Granted, he was winning that fight and Ponzinibbio needed a finish to get it done. Had Morono made it to the final bell, he would be 6-0 in his last six. This is no picnic for Buckley. In his last fight back in May, Morono submitted Tim Means in the second round.
Joaquin Buckley lost his UFC debut to Kevin Holland, but after that fight, he went 5-1 at middleweight including a few finishes. Then, he took on some of the better guys at 185 like Chris Curtis and Nassourdine Imavov and fell short. He opted to move to the UFC’s welterweight division. He made his debut back in May against Andre Fialho and won by second round knockout.
UFC Vegas 80
When you look at these two, one fighter is explosive and looks that part. That fighter being Joaquin Buckley. The other is unassuming but very dangerous in his own way. I feel like Alex Morono is a guy who is constantly overlooked because he doesn’t seem that intimidating and there’s nothing incredibly flashy about his game.
However, he’s going to bring very solid striking and very solid grappling into the cage at UFC Vegas 80. Buckley is going to have the power and explosiveness advantage. He should invest in body shots which he’s known for and he shouldn’t do too much head hunting or he could run into a straight counter.
I do think Buckley should get the win tomorrow, but if he rushes in and he’s not careful, I see a world where Morono drops him and submits him. However, I think Buckley plays it a little safer and lands the bigger shots throughout three rounds on his way to winning an entertaining decision.
Prediction: Joaquin Buckley by Decision