UFC 2022 Prospect Preview: Paddy Pimblett

Paddy Pimblett

One of the prospects that we focused on in our 2022 UFC prospect watch was Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (17-3). The former two-vision Cage Warriors champion made his debut with the UFC in 2021.

Pimblett took on Luigi Vendramini in September. It wasn’t a flawless performance from Paddy The Baddy who was hit clean a few times. However, he maintained his composure and then showed off why he’s special.

Pimblett was able to hurt Vendramini bad and went after the finish like a dog on a bone. He went on to score the knockout. His post-fight interview was entertaining and it was so easy to see why so many are high on Paddy The Baddy.

Right now, the UFC is currently working on Pimblett’s next fight. At the moment, there appears to be a lot of momentum regarding him fighting in March when the UFC returns to his homeland of England.

Pimblett’s UFC 2022 Preview

The UFC is currently working on booking Pimblett against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC). The proposed matchup would take place in early March. Now, on paper, Cerrone doesn’t look like the best name for Pimblett to face.

Cowboy is currently riding a five-fight losing streak. That streak stretches six fights that included a No Contest. However, that No Contest was initially a draw in a fight that Cowboy was going to lose had Nike Price not been deducted a point.

These two fighters are heading in vastly different directions. One is at the very end of his UFC career when the other has barely started. That said, Cerrone still has a big name and would be a nice win for Pimblett to pick up.

If he goes out there and starches Cowboy, he needs to target guys near the back end of the UFC’s top fifteen. Some names to watch would be guys like Brad Riddell or Diego Ferreira. However, I wouldn’t rule out the UFC giving Pimblett one more tune-up before ranked opponents.

If I was managing Pimblett, I would try to keep him active this year. In my opinion, he should try to get at least three wins this year. If he can pick three wins this year, he would ride a ton of momentum into 2023.

Let’s be clear, Paddy The Baddy is one of the best prospects in the UFC. He’s also the kind of guy who can become a big star for the promotion. He will definitely be someone to pay attention to in 2022.

UFC Match Maker: Donald Cerrone – Jim Miller 2

Donald Cerrone

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 40, Jim Miller (33-16, 1 NC) made the walk that he’s made many times before. Miller walked to the octagon for the 38th time in his career with the promotion and he was looking to snap a two-fight losing streak.

Standing across from Miller was Erick Gonzalez (14-6). Just seconds into the second round, Miller completely flattened Gonzalez with a massive left hand. Miller got the knockout victory which was his first KO/TKO victory since 2016.

It’s been an incredible career for Miller in the UFC. The 38 year old has been in there with some of the best that the sport has to offer and he’s remained competitive even this late in his career.

Given the career that he’s had, many start to wonder what’s next. His win at UFC Vegas 40 showed that he’s still got plenty left in the tank, but it’s hard to match make fighters like Jim Miller. That is unless there’s a fighter that just lines up perfectly given the circumstances.

Will the UFC run back Cowboy and Miller?

When thinking about the next fight for Jim Miller, there was one fight that immediately jumped out at me. That is a rematch with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC). Like Miller, Cerrone is one of the most tenured fighters in the UFC.

The two men first fought way back in 2014 with Cerrone scoring a big time finish. That win was one of eight straight for Cerrone which led to his first shot at UFC gold. Cowboy, like Miller, has had a long and historic career.

That said, things haven’t been smooth for Cowboy. After making another run at a title shot, Cowboy hit a brick wall once he reached the top of the lightweight division. Cerrone finds himself on a 0-5, 1 NC streak in his last six fights.

He’s asked the UFC for one more fight at lightweight and the promotion is willing to do it. However, they haven’t been able to match him up. Well, I think Miller just became the perfect candidate and he told Ariel Helwani yesterday that he would be down.

I think we are going to see this fight get booked for early in 2022. These two legends should battle again and it will be a fun one for fight fans.

Sound Off: Do you want to see the rematch between Cowboy and Jim Miller?

Will Nick Diaz fight again after UFC 266?

This past Saturday at UFC 266, we saw the return of Nick Diaz (26-10, 2 NC). Diaz hadn’t competed in almost seven years but finally returned to the octagon after years away to take on Robbie Lawler (29-15, 1 NC).

This fight was a rematch that was seventeen years in the making. When they first fought, Lawler was a massive favorite, but Diaz shocked everyone when he knocked him out. Originally, despite the lengthy layoff, Diaz was the favorite leading up to UFC 266.

However, the betting lines started to change the week of the fight. Diaz requested that the fight change from 170 to 185 pounds. When he appeared at fight week, he didn’t appear to be in the kind of shape we were accustomed to seeing Diaz in.

He looked very soft and just didn’t look right. The fight at UFC 266 didn’t start out well for him as Lawler poured it on immediately. However, Diaz held his own and even found his own groove where he was landing a lot of shots on Lawler.

You could tell that the boxing technique was still there. However, the cardio was not and the speed was not. He just didn’t look like a guy who was fully prepared and he got stopped in the third round.

What’s next after UFC 266?

Diaz and his camp have alluded to a number of issues leading up to the fight. He parted ways with folks in his membership team and hinted that he was essentially forced into this fight with Lawler.

Teammate and close friend Jake Shields said that Diaz only had six weeks to prepare. When you’ve been off for more than six years, six weeks is not enough time and it showed at UFC 266. Diaz even said in the post-fight interview that he knew he had a loss coming.

So the question becomes, will we see Nick Diaz in the UFC again? Well, that remains to be seen. On one hand, he said that he was happy to be back, but on the other hand, he just didn’t look the same.

If he does decide to fight, I think he needs to wait a bit and really make that he has a full three-month camp to prepare. If the UFC gives him another fight, I could see someone like Donald Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) being a good candidate.

Cerrone has history with Nick’s younger brother Nate and he’s also in a very similar career position. If you want a little more high profile, perhaps a Jorge Masvidal (35-15) fight could come to fruition depending on the result of Masvidal’s next fight.

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.

The UFC has terminated the contract of Diego Sanchez

The last remaining fighter from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter is no longer with the UFC. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that the promotion has officially terminated the contract of Diego Sanchez (30-13).

Sanchez was set to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) next weekend at UFC Vegas 26. However, we learned earlier this week that Sanchez was out of the fight, but we were not given a clear reason as to why.

After that announcement, a string of odd events occurred. Sanchez took to his Instagram to show his fighter meeting with the UFC commentary and production team from UFC 253.

The Nightmare’s controversial coach Joshua Fabia is seen in the video criticizing the commentary for being disrespectful. There was some back and forth before the video ended.

After that post, Sanchez posted a number of stories including stating that he was forced out of next weekend’s fight by the UFC. Last night, he posted another story with the caption of ‘Free at last’ while tagging other MMA promotions.

What happened with the UFC?

Per Okamoto’s story this morning, it all started out when Fabia requested all of Sanchez’s medical records that the UFC had spanning over the last fifteen years. Seeing how out of character this is, the UFC started their own investigation.

They went to Sanchez’s team and asked about the current state of Sanchez’s health. The UFC pressed on if there are any pressing medical issues regarding his health whether they be short-term or long-term.

Sanchez’s team came back to the UFC and said they couldn’t confirm that and he hasn’t gone through any kind of neurological evaluations recently. When receiving that information, the promotion decided to cancel next weekend’s fight and release Sanchez from his contract.

The release ends and incredible run for Diego Sanchez in the UFC. He won the first season of TUF and had been under the promotion for the last sixteen years. This fight next weekend was set to be his final show, but it looks like he will close his career elsewhere.

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.