A number of key welterweight bouts have been announced as of late, and yet another great fight at 170lbs is on the way. That, plus the release of a popular UFC fighter, in today’s MMA Odds and Ends.
Leon Edwards vs. Donald Cerrone, UFC Fight Night 132
A five-round welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Donald Cerrone is being targeted as the main event of UFC Fight Night 132, which takes place Saturday, June 23 at an unannounced venue in Kallang, Singapore. The news is via Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. Edwards (15-3) is 7-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a historical TKO win over Peter Sobotta at UFC London, where he finished him with one second left in the fight. Edwards has won five-staight fights and is looking like an elite welterweight these days. He calle out Darren Till, but Till was paired with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson instead, leaving Edwards with the need for an opponent. Cerrone (33-10, 1 NC) is 20-7 overall in the UFC. After suffering the first three-fight losing streak of his career, Cerrone turned things around in his last outing with a huge knockout victory over Yancy Medeiros. Though Cerrone is on the downside of his career, he’s still a very dangerous fighter and can’t be taken lightly. This should be a great fight and on paper it looks to be very competitive as both guys are top-15 welterweights. I would expect odds close to a Pick ’em, with perhaps a slight lean to Edwards due to his winning streak. It should be a great fight.
UFC Cuts Godofredo Pepey
The UFC has released Brazilian standout Godofredo Pepey, according to a report by Guilherme Cruz from MMAFighting.com. Pepey (13-6) lost a decision in the final of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 1, and went on to have an up-and-down overall career in the UFC as he ends his tenure with a 5-6 record. He will most fondly be remembered for a three-fight stretch where he won “Performance of the Night” in each fight for his highlight-reel finishes of Andre Fili, Dashon Johnson and Noad Lahat. However he has fallen on hard times as of late, having lost three of his last four fights including a knockout loss to Donald Cerrone in his last fight. It will be interesting to see if Pepey decides to sign with a regional promotion in Brazil, try his hand overseas with a promotion like ACB, or possibly even retire at age 30.
Brock Lesnar to Return To UFC This Year
UFC president Dana White announced on UFC Tonight that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will be returning to the Octagon. Lesnar still has to serve a USADA suspension due to the fallout of a positive drug test after fighting Mark Hunt back at UFC 200. But when he is eligible to return — likely in six months — he’ll no doubt be headlining a massive blockbuster pay-per-view card. The UFC is desperate for stars right now, so this is promising news for the promotion, but he still has to serve his suspension so there’s no point of even thinking about possible opponents just yet.