We can’t always get the good things in life. After initially announcing Donald Cerrone would be fighting ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler in the promotion’s debut event at Madison Square Garden, New York City, the UFC yesterday announced that ‘Cowboy’ would instead be fighting Kelvin Gastelum.
While that will no doubt prove to be a very competitive fight, there might need to be some contingency plans for Cerrone should anything else unexpected happen between now and November 12th – whether it’s injuries, weight-cut issues or something out of the blue. Here are three more welterweight opponents that would be the perfect foil for the UFC’s most active fighter.
Who better to have replaced fan favorite Robbie Lawler than someone who has one of the most passionate and hardcore followings in the sport? With Diaz free and clear to resume his fighting career off the back of an 18-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, what the Stockton, California raised fighter needs is a high-profile, winnable fight. He hasn’t won a fight since a decision victory over BJ Penn at UFC 137, which took place almost five years ago. Plus, his younger brother already holds a win over Cerrone, so there would already be a built-in backstory for this potential barnburner.
How good has Larkin looked at welterweight lately? With back-to-back wins over Jorge Masvidal and Neil Magny bringing him to the end of his UFC contract, he decided to test the free-agency market. Maybe he hasn’t felt the love by the organization over the last few years, but perhaps an offer to fight Cerrone at MSG would be just what the doctor ordered to keep hold of one of the most talented and explosive 170lb fighters in the world today.
Sure they’re teammates at the Jackson-Wink camp, but business is business. With Condit falling to Demian Maia via rear naked choke and not suffering any damage in the fight, a high-profile action match with Cerrone wouldn’t be impossible. The only other thing stopping this could be Condit’s frame of mind and whether he wants to continue fighting after he teased retirement after his last two fights.