The UFC’s latest trip to The Great White North finally has its main event. UFC Fight Night 150 takes place Saturday, May 4 at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and my initial reactions to the headliner are below.
Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta, UFC Fight Night 150
Lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta will meet in the five-round main event of UFC Fight Night 150, according to a report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The UFC has not made this fight official yet, but Helwani reports that verbal agreements are in place an the contracts are just waiting to be signed.
We have been waiting for a few months now to see what the main event of UFC Ottawa would be. At first, it was rumored to be a middleweight bout between Elias Theodorou and Derek Brunson which was widely panned by both fans and media as a mediocre main event. Instead, it appears that bout will be the co-main event, with this fan-friendly fight between Cerrone and Iaquinta headlining instead.
Both Cerrone and Iaquinta had been calling for a superfight against Conor McGregor, but with McGregor recently running into some legal troubles and still not ready to return to the Octagon, the UFC decided to move on and book Cerrone and Iaquinta against one another instead. It’s a great fight on paper between two of the top lightweights in the world, and the fans in Ottawa have to be very happy right now about this being the main event of their Fight Night card.
Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC) is 22-8 overall in the UFC with experience fighting at both lightweight and welterweight. He’s currently riding a two-fight win streak that includes back-to-back finishes over Mike Perry at 170lbs and Alexander Hernandez at 155lbs in his last 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 since then. He’s one of the most complete fighters in the UFC lightweight division and despite being 35-years-old looks like he’s maybe the best version of himself he’s ever been.
Iaquinta (14-4-1) is 9-3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a huge upset decision win over Kevin Lee in his last fight. He’s actually won six of his last seven fights overall with his lone loss during that stretch coming to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That win streak also includes a decision win over Jorge Masvidal which looks even better now that Masvidal just knocked out Darren Till at UFC London. At age 31, Iaquinta is in the prime of his career right now.
It will be interesting to see what the opening line is for this bout, but if I had to guess I would say Iaquinta would be slightly favored. Cerrone, despite having an amazing record inside the UFC, was the underdog against Perry and Hernandez and typically doesn’t get as much respect as he deserves. Iaquinta was the dog against Lee as well, but usually is the favorite in his fights. So I’d guess it will be a close opening line with a slight lean to the younger Iaquinta. Either way, this is going to be a tremendous bout and kudos to the UFC for getting it booked.