Dateline Vegas, we’re back to the UFC apex for another thrilling fight night before we head to Houston for UFC 262 next week. This card is being overlooked because of having some late replacement fights headline, but these fights are cracking regardless. Let’s dive right in!
Donald Cerrone Vs Alex Morono
In the co-main event of the evening, we’ve got a clash between the veteran in the game and a tough rising contender in the Welterweight division. We have the tough vet in Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone taking on the tough Texan Alex “The Great White” Morono.
Donald Cerrone has been collecting records just like his famous cowboy hats. Cowboy holds the prestigious record for the most wins in the UFC Octagon, big names like Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Benson Henderson combine for his 23 wins.
Cowboy has been the real fighter in this game and has been in the Octagon with all of the best in this business. Cowboy also holds the record for the most finishes and most knockdowns in the UFC, these stats speak highly of his overall fighting acumen and his finishing ability.
Cerrone has had a string of recent losses but only to the elitist of this game in Conor Mcgregor, Justin Gaethje, and Anthony Pettis. A step down in competition this week could help Cerrone get back to the win column.
Alex Morono, the great white is a tough contender in the already stacked UFC Welterweight division. Morono got recognition after he got to share the Octagon with Anthony Pettis after winning 4 out of his 5 bouts. Morono gave the former champion a tough match but came up short on the judge’s scorecard.
Primarily a striker, Morono is a black belt in taekwondo and looks to improve his ground game at the back of his first black belt in BJJ. Morono has the potential to rise and beat the best in the business and a win over Cowboy makes a good case for the young man.
This match could be looked as a striker vs grappler affair, but Cowboy does strike with his opponents for the majority of his fights. Morono looking to improve his grappling, this could be a fun well-rounded mixed martial arts fight to watch. Both of them are tough and this could hit the judge’s scorecards, but who gets their hands raised? Let’s find out this weekend.
We think Morono will have a striking advantage and with every fight starting on the feet, he will look to keep his distance and damage Cowboy from the outside. Whereas, Cowboy will look to clinch, use his beautiful high kicks, and wrestle Morono. This will be an exciting fight; fans have been doubting Cerrone because of his recent losses but they have only been to the best in the business.
Whereas Morono has not beaten a big name yet, we do think this provides a great opportunity for both these fighters. This could be a close fight, but ultimately, we think Morono is a good play here and we are going with the young underdog here to get the job done.
Prediction – Alex Morono by Decision. Stake Odds – 3.95 (Odds are subject to change)
Marina Rodriguez Vs Michelle Waterson
We’ve got a great late replacement main event on our hands; this could be a consequential fight to determine the next top contender in the Women’s Strawweight division. In the main event, we’ve got a strong challenger in rank 6 Marina Rodriguez taking on the karate expert rank 9 Michelle Waterson.
Marina Rodriguez was one of the most vicious female prospects in the UFC, she entered the Octagon with a 10-0 record knocking out her opponent at Dana White’s Contender Series. Impressing the fight fans with her power and well-rounded game, Marina went on a 4-fight unbeaten run against tough veterans until she crossed paths with the first UFC Strawweight champion Carla Esparza. Marina took her first career loss via a split decision in a super close fight against the ex-champion.
Marina is not one to back down, she had a comeback in 2021 and knocked out a fellow rising star in Amanda Ribas. Rodriguez has shown that she is durable, strong, and can be a real problem for this division.
Michelle Waterson has been in the UFC since 2015 and has faced the best Strawweight talent on the UFC roster. Waterson has never backed down from a tough fight, she has always shown up on fight night and has proven her ability at the back of a 67%-win finish rate.
Primarily a striker with a black belt in Karate and bragging a strong ground game with 9 career submissions to back it up. Waterson is an unorthodox and tough fighter; her skills combine for a tough matchup for anyone on the UFC roster. Riding strong after her main event 5 round split decision win over Angela Hill last year, Waterson showed that she is no stranger to going 5 hard rounds.
This is a classic fan-favorite striker vs striker matchup, and it is going to be a great battle between strikers from different foundations. Marina being a hard-hitting Muay Thai striker and Waterson the volume-heavy karate fighter.
Marina is the harder hitter between the two and will look to put heat into her punches and hurt Waterson early. Angela Hill managed to damage Waterson early in their 5 round-encounter, but Waterson showed her toughness and took it to deep waters and got her hand raised via split decision.
Marina showed poor takedown defence against Esparza, but she proved us wrong by knocking out one of the top grapplers in the division in Ribas. We are leaning towards the favorite in Marina in this main event, she looks like the superior fighter. Marina could take this fight to deep waters or even possibly get a finish here, it is tricky to pick the method here but ultimately looking at the odds we see value in a finish here.
Prediction- Marina Rodriguez by Knockout. Stake Odds- 5.20 (Odds are Subject to Change).
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