UFC news, rumors: Iaquinta vs. Cerrone to headline Ottawa card; Rockhold set for light heavyweight debut

A lightweight showdown between Al Iaquinta and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will headline the UFC Fight Night event in Ottawa, Canada, the promotion announced on Wednesday. The Fight Night card in Canada’s capital city is set to take place on May 4 inside the the Canadian Tire Centre. 

Iaquinta is coming into this 155-pound main event bout riding a bit a wave of success as of late, having been victorious in six of his last seven fights, with his most recent victory coming over Kevin Lee via unanimous decision in their rematch in December 2018. His lone loss during this span came when he stepped in on short notice to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 223 in April 2018, which isn’t a defeat to be ashamed of by any means. As a matter of fact, many praised the performance of Iaquinta as he lasted all five rounds with the reigning lightweight champion in the interim title bout. 

The veteran Cerrone is returning to the lightweight division, but he’s making quite the impression recently. After defeating Mike Perry via first-round submission at the UFC’s 25th anniversary show in November at welterweight, Cerrone made his return to lightweight in Brooklyn this past January and defeated Alexander Hernandez via second-round TKO, earning both Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night honors. 

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Following the victory over Hernandez, Cerrone began planting the seeds for a showdown with Conor McGregor in his next bout, a fight that the former lightweight champion was on board with. Unfortunately, talks to pit the two trash-talkers against one another sooner rather than later hit a proverbial brick wall when it was reported that UFC president Dana White wished to slot the matchup into a co-main event on a future card, a proposal that many agreed makes little sense. 

More UFC news, rumors

  • Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is set to make his light heavyweight debut, and he’ll be doing so on one of the biggest stages of the year during International Fight Week. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Rockhold will move up to 205 pounds to take on Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas. Rockhold’s last fight came in February 2018, a third-round KO loss to Yoel Romero. He was scheduled to compete in at least one more middleweight showdown against rival Chris Weidman at UFC 230 in New York last November but was forced to withdraw due to injury. 
  • TJ Dillashaw relinquished the UFC bantamweight championship on Wednesday amid the announcement that there was an adverse finding in his drug test taken prior to his first-round TKO loss to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in January. He was also retroactively suspended for one year by the New York State Athletic Commission and fined $10,000. So naturally, blood rival and former Team Alpha Male teammate Cody Garbrandt weighed in with the simple tweet you can view below. It’s notable that back in 2017 prior to their UFC 217 title fight, Garbrandt accused Dillashaw of performance-enhancing drug usage. 
Categories: National Sports

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