DieHardMMA Previews: UFC Vegas 26: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Morono

by Pub Sports Radio

DieHardMMA Previews: UFC Vegas 26: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Morono

By: Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

Donald Cerrone was slated to face former teammate Diego Sanchez in a retirement fight filled with bad intentions. Diego Sanchez was removed from the fight, and Alex Morono has stepped up in a very dangerous position where he is coming in on short notice against a highly motivated legend. This fight should be an absolute banger for as long as it lasts where the stakes are high for both men. Cerrone is facing a 5 fight losing streak, and Morono is a younger fighter who is coming off a loss and needs to make a statement to establish himself as a legitimate contender at 170. 

The Fighters:

Donald Cerrone (-190)

  • 38 years old

  • 36 – 15

  • 75% finish rate

  • 17 Wins by Submission

  • Height: 6’1

  • Reach: 73’

Donald Cerrone is an absolute legend. In the last 3 years, Donald has taken over the UFC, and fans have fallen in love with him because of his anybody, anywhere, anytime attitude. Unfortunately, Donald Cerrone is a fighter whose prime has passed and finds himself on the outside looking in when it comes to the title picture, and it’s not getting any better. Donald is a strong wrestler with an extremely underrated submission game, and when he finds that flow state, Donald can kickbox with the best of them.

 

Alex Morono (+165)

  • 30 years old

  • 18 – 7

  • 51% finish rate

  • 6 Wins by Submission

  • Height: 5’11

  • Reach: 72’

The Great White Morono is a fighter who has been rather hot and cold in the UFC. Morono is an aggressive striker who rushes in with blitz attacks and has accurate hands. Even though Morono CAN wrestle, he doesn’t generally choose to, which is a shame because he is a solid BJJ black belt when he operates from top position. Morono is a fighter who is underrated, in my opinion, but part of why he has had a lack of success is his in-fight IQ. Some of the decisions Morono makes in the effort to create an exciting fight or get a finish which leaves him on the bad end of reversals and transitions. If and when Morono puts it all together, he could be something, but will he turn that corner is the big question.

 

The Matchup:

Donald Cerrone has been doing A LOT of grappling lately. In fact, Cerrone is coming off of a submission win over Raphael dos Anjos at Submission Underground, where he actually finished the former champion twice. We all think of Donald Cerrone as this incredible striker who is always hunting the head kick, but he actually has more wins by submission than he does by knockout, and he has been really sharpening his grappling tools lately.

Alex Morono is jumping at this short notice opportunity to get the name of a legend on his resume and bounce back from his loss to Anthony Pettis. Morono is going to bring the heat on Saturday and look to put Cowboy away early, and honestly, a 38-year-old COwboy is a man who I can see being finished by a well-timed bomb. The only issue for me is what happens when and if Morono cannot get the finish. If Morono slows down even a bit, he will end up on his back. Morono actually doesn’t have great takedown defense, to begin with, but when he is tired, it is even less so.

Donald Cerrone hits his takedowns with a 33% accuracy and picks his spots carefully. With his recent focus on his grappling, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see him wrestle with Morono, and a short notice Morono on the mat underneath the legend Cerrone could be very much in trouble. I can see both fighters winning by knockout; I can see both fighters winning by submission. I think the best way to look at this co-main event is to just bet on violence.

The Pick: Under 2.5 Rounds +165

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