After big win at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Alex Morono?

At UFC Vegas 26, Alex Morono (19-7, 1 NC) had a golden opportunity presented to him. Diego Sanchez was supposed to fight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) on the main card of the event.

However, after some issues outside of the octagon, the UFC pulled Sanchez from the card and released him. Cerrone wanted his next fight to be at lightweight, but he agreed to fight Sanchez at 170 pounds.

With Cowboy agreeing to stay on the card, the UFC started looking for welterweights. Alex Morono hadn’t fought since December when he lost a decision to former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

When the UFC called and asked Morono to take the fight, he didn’t hesitate accepting. The promotion went back to Cowboy with Morono as an opponent and of course, Cowboy didn’t say no.

With that, UFC Vegas 26 had a new co-main event. With nothing to lose, Alex Morono was looking to make a splash on Saturday night and that is what he did. Late in the first round, he hurt the UFC legend with a huge right hand.

Cerrone backed up to the fence and tried to recover, but Morono wouldn’t let him. Morono kept pouring on the shots and eventually the referee stepped in and Morono picked up the massive TKO win.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

This is a very interesting win for Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 26. On one hand, it’s a big win in terms of name recognition and visibility. However, it doesn’t really move the needle in terms of his place at welterweight.

With that in mind, what should the UFC do with Morono next? Well, I think the best thing would be to find a welterweight in a very similar position. Personally, I love the idea of Morono fighting Randy Brown (13-4) next.

Randy Brown is coming off of a win against a Cowboy himself. Brown defeated “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira at UFC 261 which was a nice bounce back win after his knockout loss to Vicente Luque.

Morono and Brown are in two very similar positions. Both are coming off okay wins and both need another win to get them closer to the top fifteen. Fighting each other would show the UFC who is ready for that next step.

After another loss at UFC Vegas 26, Donald Cerrone to get one more chance

Donald Cerrone

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 26, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) took on Alex Morono (19-7, 1 NC). Morono stepped up as a short-notice replacement for Diego Sanchez who was released by the UFC before the fight.

This was a very dangerous fight for Cowboy to take. Heading into UFC Vegas 26, Cerrone had lost essentially five fights in a row. His last fight against Niko Price was a No Contest, but if a point wouldn’t have been taken away from Price, Cerrone would’ve lost.

Prior to the NC, he was defeated four straight times including getting finished three times in the first round. Cerrone needed a win in the worst way at UFC Vegas 26, but Alex Morono wasn’t going to be an easy fight.

Morono is a hungry welterweight who wanted to take advantage of the moment and that’s what he did. With about a minute left in the opening round, Morono cracked Cerrone with huge right hand that wobbled him.

Cowboy backed to the fence and tried to fend him off, but there was nothing he could do. Morono continued to pour on the shots until the referee stopped in and it was another first round loss for Cerrone. His fourth first round loss in his last six UFC appearances.

One more chance in the UFC

If you ask Dana White who his favorite fighters have been to deal with in the UFC, Donald Cerrone is likely near the top of the list. For years, Cowboy has been the one guy who was always willing to step in and fight anyone at anytime.

However, at 38 years old, Cowboy is starting to show the signs of all those fights. In 2019, Cerrone looked like he was closing in on a UFC title shot. Having won three fights in a row at 155, the promotion gave him Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson dominated the fight and after that Cerrone fought Justin Gaethje. Gaethje knocked him out in the first round and then Cerrone suffered the same fate at UFC 246 when he fought Conor McGregor.

Dana White said the UFC would give Cerrone one more chance, but it’s a must-win. With that, who should he fight? Well, I’m thinking someone along the lines of Bobby Green (27-11-1) or Clay Guida (36-20).

Both of those guys have been around for a long time and have recognizable names. Also, both of those are winnable fights for Cowboy. Someone cut of that cloth should be next and win or lose, Cowboy should strongly consider hanging it up afterwards.

UFC Vegas 26 Preview: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – Alex Morono

Donald Cerrone

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 26, we will see Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (36-15, 2 NC) return to action. He will be fighting at 170 pounds as he takes on Alex Morono (18-7) on short notice.

Originally, Cerrone was supposed to fight Diego Sanchez tomorrow night in the co-main event of the evening. However, that whole thing fell apart to the point where Sanchez was pulled from the fight and then ultimately released by the UFC. 

After that mess, Cerrone still wanted to fight tomorrow night. The UFC went through several opponents but ultimately landed on Alex Morono. Cowboy is always down to fight and he accepted the fight against the young welterweight.

Cerrone wanted to move back to lightweight after his last fight, but the UFC asked him to fight Diego Sanchez at 170. Always the company man, Cerrone accepted the fight. Cowboy walks into UFC Vegas 26 essentially on a five-fight losing streak.

His last fight with Niko Price was a draw then later turned to a No Contest. However, Cowboy looks at that fight as a loss. He’s looking at the longest losing streak of his career and a very hungry welterweight standing in front of him.

The last time we saw Morono was in December against Anthony Pettis. Pettis got the decision nod over Morono. Entering UFC Vegas 26, Morono is 4-2 in his last six overall, but he’s just 1-2 in his last three trips to the octagon.

UFC Vegas 26 Prediction

In all transparency and nothing against Alex Morono, I hope that we see a Cowboy win at UFC Vegas 26. I try to objective as possible, but how can you not root for or love Donald Cerrone.

That said, tomorrow night is going to be tough. Cowboy is known for being a very slow starter and I expect Morono to push the pace early. Morono has crisp boxing and he also has some decent wrestling.

Cerrone said this week that he’s fallen back in love with Jiu Jitsu and he’s more than willing to go the ground. Cowboy is incredibly slick off of his back which we haven’t seen a ton of in the UFC.

If I’m being honest, the smart money would probably be on Morono tomorrow. I love Cowboy, but he’s getting up there in age and just hasn’t looked the same since his fight with Tony Ferguson in 2019.

However, I’m going to go with my heart on this one. I have a sneaky suspicion that this fight hits the ground. When it does, I think we are going to see a vintage Cowboy submission finish in this one. Could be wrong, but I’m going with Cerrone at UFC Vegas 26.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone by Submission (Armbar) – Round 2

UFC: Alex Morono steps in to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

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.

After a disappointing return at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Santiago Ponzinibbio?

One of the fighters that I was the most excited about seeing at UFC Fight Island 7 was Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-4). Ponzinibbio had been out since November of 2018 with injuries, but he looked like a destroyer before those injuries.

He had won seven straight fights inside the octagon and looked like a guy who could become UFC welterweight champion. The promotion decided to give him Li Jingliang (18-6) in his return fight.

There are some fighters who can come back from long layoffs and not skip a beat. Then there are fighters who return to the UFC with serious ring rust. I was very curious to see where Ponzinibbio would fall on that scale.

One thing I knew is that he was facing an opponent who wasn’t going to let him get comfortable. Li is constantly throwing and constantly pushing forward which would throw Ponzinibbio right back into the fire after a couple of years off.

I figured Ponzinibbio would be able to land a big counter and win by knockout. Well, the exact opposite happened at UFC Fight Island 7. Ponzinibbio was extremely gun shy and he overextended on a right hand and got caught with a flush left hook that put him out.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

It is extremely clear that Ponzinibbio was just not comfortable in his UFC return. He didn’t look confident and he looked extremely hesitant. He looked like a fighter who had been off for a couple of years.

To beat a guy like Li, he needed to be on his game and sharp. He wasn’t and he was knocked out as a result. So what does the UFC do with Ponzinibbio after this loss? Well, in reality they need to get him back in there as soon as possible.

Normally fighters want to take some time off after a knockout loss, but Ponzinibbio has been off enough. The best thing for him is to try and get right back in there so he can get going again. The guy has so much ability and talent to just waste on the sidelines.

The UFC could go a couple of different ways with Ponzinibbio. On one hand, they could give him someone like Robbie Lawler (28-15, 1 NC). Sure, Lawler isn’t the same guy he used to be. However, he’s still got a big name with the fans.

If you want to reestablish Ponzinibbio, give him someone like Lawler who he can beat and restore his name. Or, they could give him someone like Alex Morono (18-7, 1 NC) who just lost to Anthony Pettis.

Sure, it’s not the sexiest fight in the world. However, it’s a fight that Ponzinibbio should be able to win. The UFC has options, but they need to give him a favorable matchup in his next fight.

Anthony Pettis gets a win on the final fight of his current deal at UFC Vegas 17

In the featured prelim at UFC Vegas 17, former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (24-10), took on Alex Morono (18-7, 1 NC). Pettis was entering the fight on the final fight of his current contract with the UFC.

Showtime entered the fight just 1-2 in his last three fights. There was a lot of pressure on the former champion and Alex Morono was looking to be the spoiler. When the fight got underway, it looked like Morono would do just that.

In the opening seconds at UFC Vegas 17, Pettis fell down while throwing a kick. Morono was able to pounce and get on top of Pettis. For the entire first round, Morono was able to control Pettis.

In the second round, Pettis started to open up with his striking. The former UFC champion looked really comfortable on the feet and he outstruck Morono to secure the second round.

In the third round, Pettis was again getting the better of the standup. In the final seconds of the third round, Pettis almost secured a showtime finish when he rocked Morono with a spinning back kick.

Last UFC fight?

All three judges scored the fight for Pettis 29-28. It was a massive win for Pettis and a great way for him to close out his current UFC deal. At this moment, it appears that Pettis will be testing the free agent market.

I don’t think the UFC is going to be the most aggressive in the pursuit due to the announcement of upcoming cuts. If I had to pick a favorite, I think Bellator is the clubhouse favorite to land Anthony Pettis.

Pettis’ younger brother Sergio already fights for Bellator. Sergio Pettis fought in the UFC prior to making the jump over to Bellator. I think that Anthony might just do the exact same thing.

Time will tell, but there’s a very real chance that we’ve seen Pettis for the final time inside the octagon. He can hold his head high knowing he’s had plenty of showtime moments including capturing the lightweight title.

UFC Vegas 17 Preview: Anthony Pettis – Alex Morono

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 17 there’s a solid welterweight contest featuring a former champion. Former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (23-10), is back in action at welterweight taking on Alex Morono (18-6, 1 NC).

For Morono he’s going to be attempting to pickup his second UFC win in the last two months. Back at UFC Vegas 14, Morono took on Rhys McKee. Morono was able to get the unanimous decision victory that night.

Since November of 2018, Morono has gone 4-1 inside the octagon. This is the biggest fight of his career in terms of name recognition. If he can get a win tomorrow night over a former UFC champion, it would be big for him.

“Showtime” will be looking to pickup his second straight win tomorrow night as well. We last saw the former UFC lightweight champion at UFC 249 when he took on Donald Cerrone.

That night, Pettis was able to squeak out a decision victory. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Pettis. Pettis’ career has been up and down over the past few years, but he’s only lost to top competition inside the UFC.

UFC Vegas 17 Prediction

This matchup is an interesting one on paper when you look at the credentials of both fighters. Both of these fighters are blackbelts in taekwondo. Both of these men are also really slick on the ground.

That makes for a very compelling matchup at UFC Vegas 17. However, there is one thing about Morono that really concerns me and that is his striking defense. We’ve seen in his past couple of fights that it hasn’t been great.

Khaos Williams was able to knock him out in 27 seconds and Rhys McKee was able to land 50% of his strikes in their fight. McKee through over 200 strikes so that tells you that Morono was hit a lot.

I think Pettis is going to be able to take advantage of that at UFC Vegas 17. Morono’s chance at winning comes down to wrestling Pettis. However, I just don’t know if his wrestling will outweigh the shots he’s going to take from the former champion.

Prediction: Anthony Pettis by Unanimous Decision

UFC Books Anthony Pettis – Alex Morono

Today, the UFC got some tough news regarding their December 19th card. The main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards was called off due to Edwards testing positive for COVID-19. 

As a result, the UFC promoted Stephen Thompson – Geoff Neal to the main event of UFC Vegas 17. However, the loss of the main event also left one slot open on the stacked Fight Night card.

That’s when former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (23-10), decided to step in and ask for a fight. The promotion worked on it this afternoon and they have found Pettis an opponent at welterweight per ESPN. 

Pettis will be taking on Alex Morono (18-6, 1 NC) at UFC Vegas 17. There is no word yet on if this fight will take place on the main card or the prelims. Normally, this would be a sure main card fight on a fight night card, but this card is incredibly stacked.

UFC Vegas 17’s New Fight

Pettis had been training and he’s been itching to get back into the UFC‘s octagon. Pettis last fought back in May when he defeated Donald Cerrone by decision. The fight was razor close, but Pettis was able to snap his two-fight losing streak.

The former lightweight champion has struggled to find his groove over the last few years. Late in the summer, Pettis seemed interested in fighting Anderson Silva, but that fight never materialized. Now, Pettis will get his next UFC opportunity against a hungry contender.

Alex Morono returned a few weeks ago to fight Rhys McKee. It was Morono’s first fight since he was knocked out by Khaos Williams. Morono was able to dominate the fight and win a unanimous decision.

He is now 4-1 in his last five fights in the UFC. He’ll be taking on a ranked contender and a former champion in Anthony Pettis. This is the biggest fight of Morono’s career and a golden opportunity for progression. Should be a great matchup on December 19th.