The UFC’s most recent excursion to The Great White North finally has its primary event. UFC Fight Night 150 takes place Saturday, May 4 at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and my first 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 set up the contracts are just waiting to be signed.
We have been waiting for a couple months now to see exactly what the main event of UFC Ottawa is. In the beginning, it was rumored to be a middleweight bout between Elias Theodorou and Derek Brunson which was widely panned by both fans and press as a mediocre main event. Instead, it seems that bout will be the co-main event, for this fan-friendly struggle between Cerrone and Iaquinta headlining instead.
The two Cerrone and Iaquinta had been calling for a superfight against Conor McGregor, but together with McGregor lately running into some legal issues and still not prepared to return to the Octagon, the UFC chose to proceed and book Cerrone and Iaquinta against one another instead. It’s a great battle on paper involving two of the very best lightweights in the world, and the lovers in Ottawa have to be quite happy right now about this being the principal event of their Fight Night card.
Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC) is 22-8 overall from the UFC with experience combating both lightweight and welterweight. He’s now riding a two-fight win streak which includes back-to-back endings over Mike Perry in 170lbs and Alexander Hernandez at 155lbs in his past two outings. After going on a three-fight losing skid in 2017, Cerrone has rebounded strong in 2018 and 2019 with a 3-1 record ever since that time. He is one of the most complete fighters in the UFC lightweight branch and despite being 35-years-old seems like he is possibly the best model of himself he has ever been.
Iaquinta (14-4-1) is 9-3-1 in the UFC and is coming from a massive upset decision win over Kevin Lee in his final struggle. He has really won six of his last seven fights overall with his lone loss during that stretch coming into UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That win series also contains a choice 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’ll be interesting to see what the opening line is to get this bout, but if I had to guess I’d say Iaquinta would be slightly favored. Cerrone, despite having an amazing record 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 too, but usually is your favorite in his struggles. So I would guess it’s going to be a close opening line with a slight lean to the younger Iaquinta. In any event, this is going to be a tremendous bout and kudos to the UFC for getting it reserved.
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