UFC on ESPN 24: Cerrone vs Morono - Breakdown and Prediction
Donald Cerrone vs Alex Morono
In the co main slot we have another fight that came together under super short notice. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will fight for the 37th time in the UFC, once again tying Jim Miller for the record. He was originally going to take on Diego Sanchez but the UFC decided to put some distance between themselves and Sanchez’s insane manager. Stepping up to fill in is Alex “The Great White” Morono.
Cerrone (36-15-0 with 2 NC) doesn’t need any sort of big introduction. He’s been fighting forever and has made a career off of the “anyone, anywhere” mentality better than anyone else. He has 10 KO/TKO victories, 17 wins by submission, and 9 wins by decision. He’s hit a rough patch of late, going winless in his last 5 and many are calling for the legend to hang em up. His most recent fight saw the fighter from the BMF Ranch battle Niko Price to a draw (later turned to a no contest).
Alex Morono (18-7-0) fought 3 times in 2020 - a unanimous decision win over Rhys McKee is sandwiched between losses to Khaos Williams and Anthony Pettis. The former was a brutal 27 second knockout. In the Pettis fight, Morono did have a great deal of success early but ultimately ran out of gas and Pettis took over.
How They Match Up
Morono is a notorious fast starter, pouring it on heavily in the first few minutes. That’s not to say he doesn’t win decisions (his wins are split pretty evenly along all 3 avenues), but the early going is where he really tries to take over and impose his will. Cerrone is sort of the opposite, starting very slow before getting going. That seems like a recipe for disaster for Cerrone but Cowboy is as tough as they come (he showcased this durability again in his last fight against Price). He’s only been finished by really high end fighters and I don’t think Morono fits that bill. Not to mention that after that early storm from “The Great White”, The Texan slows down considerably. If Cerrone weathers that storm (which I think he will), then he should be able to out strike Morono on route to a wide decision.
Both guys are BJJ black belts so the whole thing probably plays out on the feet. Normally, I really don’t like when Cowboy fights at 170 but he’s going to have an athletic edge here since Morono is not a terribly big welterweight.
It was also good to hear Cerrone address the obvious danger of his slow start vs Morono’s fast start in an interview recently. I’m expecting him to come out ready and show the world he’s not done yet.