DONALD CERRONE VS. AL IAQUINTA HEADLINES UFC OTTAWA
The UFC’s most recent trip to The Great White North finally has its own primary event. UFC Fight Night 150 takes place Saturday, May 4 in Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and my initial reactions to the headliner are below.
Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta, UFC Fight Night 150
Lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta will fulfill in the five-round Major event of UFC Fight Night 150, according to a report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The UFC hasn’t made this struggle official yet, but Helwani reports that verbal agreements are in place the contracts are only waiting to be signed.
We’ve been waiting for a few months now to find out exactly what the main event of UFC Ottawa would be. At first, it had been rumored to be a middleweight bout between Elias Theodorou and Derek Brunson that was widely panned by both fans and media as a mediocre principal event. Instead, it appears that bout will be the co-main event, for this fan-friendly struggle between Cerrone and Iaquinta headlining instead.
Both Cerrone and Iaquinta had been calling for a superfight against Conor McGregor, but together with McGregor lately running into some legal troubles and not prepared to go back to the Octagon, the UFC chose to proceed and book Cerrone and Iaquinta against one another rather than It’s a great battle on newspaper between two of the top lightweights in the world, and the fans in Ottawa need to be quite happy at this time about this being the main event of their Fight Night card.
Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC) is 22-8 complete in the UFC with expertise combating both lightweight and welterweight. He’s currently riding a two-fight win series which includes back-to-back finishes over Mike Perry in 170lbs and Alexander Hernandez in 155lbs in his past two outings. After going to a three-fight losing skid in 2017, Cerrone has rebounded strong in 2018 and 2019 with a 3-1 record since then. He’s among the most complete fighters in the UFC lightweight division and despite being 35-years-old seems like he’s possibly the best version of himself he has ever been.
Iaquinta (14-4-1) is 9-3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a huge upset choice win over Kevin Lee in his final fight. He has actually won six of the last seven fights overall with his lone loss during that stretch coming to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That win streak also includes a decision win over Jorge Masvidal which appears even better now that Masvidal only knocked out Darren Till at UFC London. At age 31, Iaquinta is in the prime of his career right now.
It will be interesting to see exactly what the opening line is to get this bout, however when I had to guess I would say Iaquinta would be marginally favored. Cerrone, despite having an wonderful album inside the UFC, was the underdog against Perry and Hernandez and generally does not get as much respect because he deserves. Iaquinta was the puppy against Lee as well, but generally is your favorite in his struggles. So I’d guess it will be a close opening line using a little lean to the younger Iaquinta. Either way, this will be a tremendous bout and kudos to the UFC for getting it booked.
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