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.

BREAKING: Diego Sanchez out of UFC Vegas 26 matchup against Donald Cerrone

The highly anticipated UFC welterweight showdown between Diego Sanchez (30-13) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) is off. First reported by Carlos Contreras Legaspi, Sanchez has had to pull out of the fight.

At this time, it is not known why Sanchez is having to pull out of the UFC Vegas 26 matchup. This was supposed to be Diego Sanchez’s retirement fight, but it looks like Sanchez’s career will extend a little due to this turn of events.

As of now, the promotion is fully planning on keeping Donald Cerrone on the card. The UFC is actively searching for a replacement opponent to fight Cerrone at 170 pounds. There is no word on if there is any traction at this time.

This was going to be a big fight for both men. Diego Sanchez has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, but he was looking to go out with a signature win. A win over Cowboy Cerrone would have just been that.

On the flip side, Cowboy Cerrone is looking to turn his UFC career around. Cerrone found himself in a title eliminator at 155 pounds against Tony Ferguson in 2019. Cowboy was on a mission to capture the lightweight title and after the birth of his son, he looked better than ever.

However, Cerrone ran into a buzzsaw in Tony Ferguson. After the Ferguson loss, Cerrone suffered back-to-back first round knockout losses at the hands of Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor.

Now, in 2021, Cerrone is just 0-4-1 in his last five UFC fights. Donald Cerrone needs a win in the worst way and Diego Sanchez looked like a winnable fight. We will have to follow along to see who the promotion gets for Cowboy’s replacement.

Another hit for UFC Vegas 26

This is the second big hit to UFC Vegas 26 in as many days. Last night we learned that the main event between TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen was off. A cut to Dillashaw in training is forcing the bantamweight headliner to be postponed.

As of now, it appears that Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez will headline. However, that has not officially been announced by the UFC. Now this matchup between two legends is off. I’m sure the promotion will find a quality replacement, but this is disappointing for fight fans.

BREAKING: UFC booking Donald Cerrone – Diego Sanchez

Donald Cerrone

Some breaking news has come in this evening. MMA Fighting was first to report that the UFC is in the process of finalizing a lightweight matchup between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 2 NC) and Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez (30-13).

The fight will take place at a UFC Fight Night on May 8th. Recently, Diego Sanchez said that he just had one more nightmare to give and announced that he would be retiring after his next fight inside the octagon. 

Sanchez has been with the UFC since 2005 and he won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. The Nightmare has had such an incredible career and he’s fought across three different weight classes during his run with the UFC.

Sanchez will make the walk on May 8th for the final time with a 3-2 record in his last five fights. Granted, one of those wins was a DQ win against Michel Pereira in a fight he was getting dominated. If he had lost that fight, he would have lost three straight entering this final fight.

The UFC has been kicking the tires on potential opponents for Sanchez’s last fight. They found the perfect opponent in Cowboy Cerrone. Both legends are fan favorites and there is a little bit of history between the two men.

A little UFC bad blood?

A couple of years ago, Cowboy Cerrone left Jackson-Wink which had been his gym for years. He made this move prior to the Mike Perry fight. Diego Sanchez has been at Jackson-Wink for his entire career and wasn’t fond of the way Cerrone handled the situation.

Sanchez had called for a fight with Cerrone and now he gets his chance. Cowboy Cerrone has fallen on hard times over the last year and a half. When 2019 started, Cerrone moved back to the UFC’s lightweight division for a run at the title.

He started out strong knocking out Alexander Hernandez and defeating Al Iaquinta. However, that’s when he ran into Tony Ferguson at UFC 238. In a title eliminator matchup, Ferguson dominated Cowboy.

Cowboy was then stopped by Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor in back-to-back fights in the first round. In May, he lost a decision to Anthony Pettis, but the fight was razor close. We last saw Cowboy in September when he fought to a draw with Niko Price.

Granted, had Price not lost a point, he would have won the fight. In the eyes of the public, Cerrone has gone from a UFC title contender to losing five straight fights. Cowboy seems motivated right now and has documented that on his YouTube page.

However, a loss on May 8th might mean that both Cowboy and Sanchez will walk away after the fight for good. Regardless of their age and records, this is going to be an incredibly fun fight that fans should be excited for.

Diego Sanchez ready for the final stretch of UFC career

It’s been quite the ride for UFC veteran Diego Sanchez (30-12). A career that has seen him win the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, and a career that has seen him spend 15 years in the octagon. Sanchez is heading towards the final few fights of his career.

Sanchez started his MMA record at 17-0. Primed for stardom, Sanchez ran into a speed bump back at UFC 69 where he lost to Josh Koscheck. Since then, it’s been a career of highs and lows for the nightmare. The high point came in 2009.

After competing in the UFC at middleweight and welterweight, Sanchez moved down to lightweight. After winning four straight contests, he got his lone UFC title shot against B.J. Penn back at UFC 107. Sanchez was overwhelmed by Penn and lost by a doctor’s stoppage.

Since that defeat, Sanchez has gone 9-9 over the last 11 years inside the UFC. Last year, he signed a four fight deal which would be the final new contract he would ever receive. Sanchez is ready to ride off into the sunset once the contract is up

A UFC Legend

“I’ve let all those dreams of trying to become a UFC champion go. I’m just trying to enjoy the experience and finish out these last four fights on legendary status,” Sanchez told the media today. It’s been quite the career for Sanchez.

Sanchez already has a spot in the UFC‘s Hall of Fame for his legendary fight with Clay Guida. The two men had an absolute war and the fight was inducted into the Fight Wing of the UFC‘s Hall of Fame last year.

Sanchez has always been entertaining and a bit of an odd duck. However, he’s been loved by fans for a very long time, and it will be a sad day to see him go. Earlier this week, I thought of a very good fight for Sanchez regardless of the outcome this weekend.

I think that the promotion should really look to book fun fights as Sanchez finishes out his UFC career. Who wouldn’t want to see a fight with Cowboy Cerrone? Sanchez will compete this weekend against Jake Mathews.

A realistic matchup for Donald Cerrone after UFC Vegas 11

Donald Cerrone

Saturday night at UFC Vegas 11, Donald Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) fought to the first draw of his career against Niko Price (14-4-1, 1 NC). However, Cowboy was looking at it as the fifth straight loss for him inside the octagon.

If it had not been for a point deduction in the first round, Cerrone would have lost a split decision. The fight was close, but it should have been a fifth straight UFC loss for Donald Cerrone. Many thought it was do or die for Cowboy leading up to UFC Vegas 11.

Cowboy, who is notorious for staring slow, almost appeared to be out before the fight even started. Price blitzed him to start and nearly got a finish, but Cerrone hung in there. He battled back and even won the third round on all scorecards.

Cerrone was clearly dejected after the fight was over. Dana White suggested that the UFC needed to have a talk with Cerrone which could signal the end. However, Cerrone isn’t ready to give up. He’s looking for one more chance to prove himself.

Intriguing matchup for the UFC to consider

I kept trying to wrap my brain around who I would pair Cerrone with in his next fight. Who could the UFC give him that would make for a compelling fight, but it would be a winnable fight for Cerrone?

It’s crazy to think, but we are just a little over a year removed from Cerrone being a win away from a UFC title shot. Cerrone’s fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 238 was considered a title eliminator. If Cerrone had won that night, he would have fought for the title.

Instead, that night started this steep downhill tumble for Cowboy. I think I’ve come up with the perfect opponent for Cowboy and it’s an opponent who’s going to be fighting this weekend at UFC 253. That opponent is Diego Sanchez (30-12).

Sanchez will be taking on Jake Mathews this weekend, but regardless of the result, a fight with Cowboy makes sense. Both guys are obviously past their primes, and there’s a little history there. Sanchez really wanted to fight Cowboy back in 2018.

The options for the UFC and Cerrone are relatively limited. I don’t think the promotion should book him with a top contender or an up and comer. Give him someone with a name, but someone that he can fight competitively with. The original ultimate fighter makes a lot of sense to me.

 

UFC Vegas 11 Recap: Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

UFC, Colby Covington

Tonight, the UFC hosted their final fight night in the US before they head over to Fight Island for the next five weeks. This was arguably the most anticipated ESPN card of the summer with such a heated main event.

In the main event of the evening, welterweight rivals Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finally fought. UFC Vegas 11 delivered an incredible night of fights so let’s dive into the recap of the main card.

Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

The main event of the evening featured arguably the biggest grudge match of the year. Former champions, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley stepped into the octagon to finally fight. The two top UFC welterweights have been begging for this fight for years.

As the UFC Vegas 11 main event got underway, Woodley immediately pushed forward. Covington seemed really patient to get things going. Both men exchanged leg kicks in the opening minute. Woodley went for a big right, and Covington immediately took Woodley down.

Covington started going to work with the ground and pound. Woodley worked his way back to the fence and used it to get back to his feet. Woodley was able to separate with three minutes left in the round. Covington continued to press forward pressuring Woodley.

Woodley landed a really good right body shot, but Covington countered with a big body kick. Covington landed a big right hand that he used to get back to a clinch. He did a really good job of landing good elbows in the clinch. Very good first round for Covington.

As the second round started, the former UFC interim champion started the pressure again. Woodley tried to throw some big shots, but nothing major came close early. Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence with shots, and immediately started to work from the clinch.

The two men separated, but Covington immediately pushed forward. Covington landed another body kick, but Woodley timed a good takedown. Woodley threatened with a guillotine as Covington defended, but it wouldn’t stick. Covington worked his way back to his feet.

Covington again looked to press Woodley back against the fence. The two men clinched again, and Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence. After they separated, Covington pushed forward with more pressure. Woodley was more active in round two, but it’s still a round for Covington.

The third round got underway with more Covington pressure. Woodley did seem pretty fresh, but an eye poke immediately paused the action. After the action resumed Woodley looked to press forward with big shots. Nothing hit the target and Covington countered with kicks.

Covington did a good job of keeping his hands up. Woodley pushed forward with big shots again, but Covington clinched him and pushed him against the fence. Covington did a really good job of landing some elbows in the clinch.

Woodley could not get off the fence as Covington’s pressure was very heavy. He tried to explode a few times, but Covington just pushed him back. Much less action in the third round, but its’ still a round that should be scored for Colby Covington.

As we entered the main event rounds, Covington continued to push forward with pressure. Covington landed a big headkick as he pushed Woodley back. Woodley landed a few really nice body kicks before Covington shot in and pushed him back against the fence.

Covington finally got the takedown and pushed Woodley to the ground. Woodley started looking a little fatigued from his back. Covington began to work the ground and pound with punches and elbows.

A big elbow bloodied the eye of Tyron Woodley. Covington was really coming on strong with the ground and pound in the fourth round. Covington’s pressure and shots were very heavy in the fourth round. Dominant fourth round for the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

As the final round got underway, Woodley was bouncing on his feet, but Covington backed him right up to the fence. Covington shot in and got another takedown. As Covington started working his top control something happened to Woodley. He winced in pain from his ribs and called for the fight to stop.

An odd finish, but nevertheless, a dominant win for Colby Covington. Covington called out the UFC welterweight champion and UFC’s BMF after the fight was over. A devastating loss for Tyron Woodley who has been dominated in three straight fights.

Eye Pokes lead to a draw in the Co-Main

The co-main event of the evening featured the UFC‘s record holder in virtually every category. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) was looking to get back on track after four straight losses. Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) was the man standing in his way of snapping that skid.

As the fight got underway, Price immediately pushed forward with big shots. Cerrone was getting caught early and often. Price was stunning Cerrone with virtually everything he was throwing. Somehow, Cowboy stayed on his feet through the onslaught.

Cowboy landed a couple of big knees which slowed down Price. The two men engaged in a clinch as the pace slowed significantly. Cerrone looked to be regaining his composure while Price was trying to catch his breath. Cowboy landed a few additional big knees in the clinch.

Cowboy landed a big headkick as the two men broke. Cerrone looked to be more confident until an eye poke slowed his pace. After the fight resumed, Price landed a couple of additional big shots. However, Price caught Cerrone with another eye poke. This one loses him a point. The round should be a 9-9.

As the second round got underway, Price continued to push forward. The two men seemed a little more tactical to start the second round. Price landed a big body shot that backed Cerrone told the fence. Cerrone was looking to work the leg kicks as Price worked the jab.

Cowboy landed a big combination that seemed to get Price’s attention. Cerrone really started to find a rhythm with jab in the second. Price seemed more content to counter strike while Cerrone was throwing more combinations.

Halfway through the round, Price started picking up the pace again. Cowboy found himself against the fence and Price really started to throw some serious heat. Price started to pull away with the striking numbers late in the second round. Very close second round that I slightly lean towards Price.

The final round got underway with both men embracing. Price got the action started with some heavy leg kicks. Again, Price was pushing Cerrone back to the fence. Cerrone timed a nice takedown and briefly had Price’s back, but Price got right back to his feet.

The two men then started striking from distance. Cowboy was doing a really decent job of finishing combinations with kicks, but Price kept pushing the pace. Halfway through the round, Cowboy timed another really good takedown and got to Price’s back.

However, this time, Cerrone was able to hold onto the back for about 30 seconds. No damage, but significant control time. Both men then resumed the striking contest. These two were just trading, and both were landing good shots.

With one minute left, Cerrone really started to land the better shots. However, Price kept pushing forward. Cerrone was landing cleaner shots with 30 seconds left. Both men exchanged massive combinations near the end. I gave the final round to Cerrone which makes the fight a draw. The judges agreed scoring the fight a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC hype train continues

The biggest prospect in the UFC took center stage tonight. Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) was looking to continue to ride the incredible momentum that he gained over the summer. Veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) was looking to derail the hype train.

As the fight got underway, Chimaev could not stop smiling at Meerschaert. Chimaev pushed forward with kicks and pressure. Meerschaert was pressed back to the fence and Chimaev lands one massive right that puts Meerschaert out cold. The Chimaev UFC hype train just went to the next level.

Johnny Walker finishes Ryan Spann in the first

The third fight on the UFC Vegas 11 main card featured a light heavyweight contest between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Ryan Spann (18-6). Spann was looking to remain unbeaten in the UFC while Walker was looking to get back to his old form after two straight losses.

As the first round started, Johnny Walker immediately landed a massive leg kick and followed it with a shot that wobbled Spann. After seeming rocked for a second, Spann shot in and landed a takedown. Walker worked his way back up to his feet, but Spann pressed him against the fence.

Walker was able to break the clinch, but Spann dropped Walker with a massive shot. Spann followed up with some big shots, but Walker regained his composure. Spann dropped him again briefly, but then shot in for a takedown.

In close quarters, Walker started landing massive shots to the side of Spann’s head. Spann seemed rock from the shots, but kept trying for a takedown. Walker landed a massive elbow that crumbled Spann. The ref called a stop to the action, and Walker got back in the UFC win column with a TKO.

Dern’s Jiu Jitsu too much for Randa Markos

The second fight that was live on the UFC Vegas 11 main card was a strawweight contest between jiu jitsu world champion, Mackenzie Dern (9-1), and veteran, Randa Markos (10-9-1). Dern was looking to make it two in a row on her climb in the strawweight division.

As the first round started, both ladies immediately had a big exchange. Dern slipped trying to throw a head kick and landed on her back. Shockingly, Markos followed her to the ground and almost found herself in a triangle.

Dern was really showing off her elite grappling skills. She was able to transition her triangle attempt into having top control. After landing some solid elbows, Dern moved to attacking an armbar. She was able to lock it in, and Markos was forced to tap. Another impressive display and UFC win for Mackenzie Dern.

UFC Vegas 11 final takeaways

UFC Vegas 11 delivered with some excellent fights. Of course one of the big stories of the evening has to be Khamzat Chimaev who decimated Gerald Meerschaert in the first round. Of course the main event was a one sided beating from Colby Covington.

Now, the UFC makes their way to Fight Island for an insane five weeks of fights. It’s going to be fun, and fans should be excited.

UFC Vegas 11 Preview: Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley finally meet

UFC, Colby Covington

Tomorrow night, the UFC will host their final event in the US before packing up and leaving for for Fight Island for the next five weeks. In the main event, we have a fight that has been years in the making and it has a ton of heat.

Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1), and former interim champion, Colby Covington (15-2), will finally meet. The entire card is fantastic so let’s dive into the main card for previews and predictions.

Former UFC Champions Finally Fight

Tomorrow night is a big night in the UFC‘s welterweight division. The main event of the evening pairs two former champions and two top five contenders against each other. There’s not one fighter who has more on the line than Tyron Woodley.

Yes, nobody can take away what Woodley has done, but if he loses convincingly for a third time in a row, it might be time to hang it up. When the calendar turned to 2019 last year, many wondered who could beat Tyron Woodley.

The champion was dominant. He had brutal power in his hands, and fantastic wrestling. He used those tools to get to the top. However, his last two fights have seen a tentative Woodley who was outworked and outclassed by Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman.

Standing across from Woodley will be Colby Covington. One of the more polarizing figures in the sport, but also one of the best fighters in the world. Covington rose to the top of the welterweight division with his world class talent, and effective use of the microphone.

Starting in 2016, Covington went on a seven fight winning streak where he was not only undefeated but nobody really challenged him. Covington puts on a pace that many fighters just can’t keep up with. Last December at UFC 245, Covington took on Kamaru Usman.

The fight was razor close. I had the fight 2-2 going into the fifth round, but one judge had Covington up 3-1. He went on to lose by TKO, but he showed great striking and very solid overall skills in that contest. A rematch between those two could very much be in the cards.

As for this fight, Covington poses massive problems for Woodley. Woodley has really struggled with guys who push the pace and come at him heavy. Well, Covington is going to do the exact same thing. Covington is going to push forward with good striking and a pace that’ll be tough to keep up with.

The only path to victory that I see for Woodley in this fight is first round KO/TKO. If this fight gets into the second or third rounds, I think you’ll see Covington really start to cruise. I just don’t see Woodley getting the better of Covington in this one.

Prediction: Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision

Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price

The co-main event of the evening features a fantastic matchup in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) takes on Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) in a fight that promises to deliver. Many are saying this could be fight of the night.

Over the past two years, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen in a Niko Price fight. He’s either going to knock you out or he’s going to get knocked out trying. He’s 3-3 in his last six with all fights getting stopped by TKO or KO.

Price has been in the UFC for a while and put together a pretty nice resume. He holds wins over Alan Jouban, Randy Brown, Tim Means, and James VIck. The one knock on Price over the last couple of years has been his inconsistency as he tries to climb the ranks.

What is there to be said that hasn’t been said about Donald Cerrone. Cowboy holds virtually every record there is to hold in the UFC and he’s making the walk again. This time he’s trying to snap a four fight losing streak inside the octagon.

Now, those four fights have all come against former champions. Prior to the losing streak, many thought Cerrone was going to get another crack at the title. Cowboy has great skills on the feet and on the ground which is why he holds the finishes record.

I think that we are going to see a fight that primarily stays on the feet. While Price has looked really good on his feet over his last few fights, I think Cowboy has a little more technical skill to get it done. I’m expecting a war, and in the end, I’m taking Cowboy.

Prediction: Cowboy Cerrone by Unanimous Decision

Khamzat Chimaev vs Gerald Meerschaert

The third fight on the main card features the UFC‘s new budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (8-0). Chimeav came out of no where over the summer, but with two dominant victories on Fight Island in just 10 days, the MMA world fell in love with him.

Taking on Chimaev is going to be veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13). One has to wonder just how much the disrespect is getting to Meerschaert. The UFC has already booked Chimaev to fight on Fight Island, and the fight with Meerschaert hasn’t even taken place.

Meerschaert is fantastic on the ground holding 23 professional wins by submission. He is by no means a cupcake opponent for anyone. While he hasn’t defeated any top guys, his losses have come against guys like Thiago Santos, Ian Heinisch, and Jack Hermansson.

Chimaev would remind you of a bigger version of Khabib Nurmagomedov. All he wants to do is slam his opponent to the ground and smash their face in. However, I think we might see a little different strategy at first with Chimaev.

I’ve seen a lot of footage of Chimaev’s striking, and it’s actually very good. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Chimaev look to strike a bit. However, eventually he’s going to want to take this down. While Meerschaert is really good on the ground, I think the storm of top pressure and shots are going to be too much.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev by TKO – Round 2

Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann

In the second fight on the main card, we have a matchup in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division between Johnny Walker (17-5) and Ryan Spann (18-5). Walker is another case of how quickly the tide can change in a UFC career.

At this point a year ago, Walker was one of the top prospects in the division. His flashy style combined with his power and size made him look like a future champion. However, Corey Anderson put a halt to that at UFC 244.

Walker was finished in the first round. Then in his return fight, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov back in March. In both of those fights, Walker just didn’t look like the same guy. He’s going to look to get back to his powerful finishing style against Spann.

Spann will enter the octagon on Saturday night riding an eight fight winning streak. He made an appearance on the Contender Series back in 2018. and since making his debut, he’s 4-0 inside the UFC. Spann has looked fantastic minus his last outing.

In his last fight, he had a close decision win against Sam Alvey. However, before that he had finishes over Devin Clark and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Spann is a jack of all trades that will throw finishing strikes and submissions at you.

This fight is very close on paper. I can see both guys winning this fight, and a lot is going to come down to which Johnny Walker we see. If we see the Johnny Walker with swagger, I think he takes it. If not, I think Spann has multiple paths to victory. I’m going on a limb with Walker on this one.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by TKO – Round 1

Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos

Kicking off the main card is a good matchup in the UFC‘s strawweight division as Mackenzie Dern (8-1) takes on Randa Markos (10-8-1). Markos is a very seasoned vet who has been in there with some of the best that the division has to offer.

In her tenure, Markos has wins over the likes of Angela Hill and Carla Esparza. Her last three losses have only come against top competition like Amanda Ribas, Claudia Gadelha, and Nina Ansaroff. Markos is a tough out in this division.

She has really good skills on the ground, and she’s got a pressuring striking style that can give Dern problems. A key for this fight is going to be for Markos to keep it standing and strike from distance. That is her path to victory.

There might not be a better grappler in women’s MMA than Mackenzie Dern. She is an absolute wizard on the ground, and she operates like quick sand. Once the fight touches the mat, it’s just inevitable that she’s going to get the win.

Dern is still relatively green in her overall MMA game, but she’s improving with every outing. However, there’s no secret as to what her strategy is on Saturday night. She’s going to look for the takedown and submission to end the fight.

Randa Markos is so tough, but can she keep Mackenzie Dern off of her. That is going to be the question in this one, and I’m just not sure she can. If this fight gets in close quarters, I’m not sure it’s going to last very long despite Markos’ decent grappling skills.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 11 Outlook

This fight card is absolutely fantastic from top to bottom. The UFC is really putting their best foot forward on their final show before the promotion packs their bags for Fight Island. So many storylines and fun fights will fill up the screen on Saturday night.