Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Alex Morono face off in the co-main event of the UFC on ESPN 24. The two guys weren’t even supposed to meet here, but after all the cancellations accepted the bout on short notice and became arguably the biggest names on the card, with all due respect to all other participants. Cowboy is washed up, according to various experts, but this is the perfect opportunity for him to shut down all the critics. Morono, on the other hand, is, per the same analysts, a mediocre fighter whose ceiling is to become a gatekeeper. Again, this is his chance to terminate those voices as well.
Donald Cerrone (-125) is one of the most known MMA characters in the history of this sport. He holds numerous records, one of them being the guy with the most wins in the UFC with 21 and the most finish wins with 15. Now, regardless of the fact that he never won a title in the most prominent MMA organization, his achievements are impressive.
Yet, with 38 years of age, the Cowboy is slowly riding towards retirement. His recent performances haven’t been that impressive, posting four defeats and one no-call in the previous five bouts. Cerrone’s negative streak started against Tony Ferguson in June 2018, extended against Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, and Anthony Pettis. The most recent bout against Niko Price ended with a majority draw but was later overturned due to Price’s positive marijuana tests.
A Muay Thai and kickboxing specialist, Cerrone is a dominant striker, but he often submitted his opponents. In 53 matches, he had 36 wins, 17 of them via submission, 10 by a KO, and nine after decisions.
Alex Morono (+105) is at a crossroad right now. He knows that the upcoming bout might define his future in the UFC. A win is an absolute must; otherwise, we just might see the Houston native released already this year. On the other side, if he wins. The organization might give him another chance to rise through the ranks.
The Great White had two losses over the past three fights, one against Khaos Williams and the other vs Anthony Pettis. In between, Morono was better than Rhys Mckee, a fighter who isn’t that known in the MMA world. Against Williams, Morono was demolished. His resistance in the ring lasted for just 27 seconds, with Khaos knocking out the rival with ferocious punches. Against Pettis, he managed to stay on his feet throughout all three rounds but was routinely beaten in the end.
Morono is a grappler whose standup skills are pretty much mediocre. In 26 matches, he would post 18 wins and seven losses with one no-contest (also against Price). Five wins were via KO, six via decision, and the same number via submission.
This is one of those fights in which you don’t know which fighter is in worse shape. Plus, they both stepped in on short notice, not having enough time to prepare a proper game plan. But that is what makes it even more interesting. Our opinion is that Cowboy would probably win, solely because he has more experience than Morono. Even though his physical condition is in free fall, he should outsmart Morono.
Pick: Cerrone -125
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.