When UFC president Dana White finally broke the seal on UFC 205’s line-up that’s destined for Madison Square Garden on November 12th the MMA stratosphere rightfully lost control. What better way to tease the Octagon’s first trip to the Big Apple than with a non-title fight for the fans contest than Cowboy Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler.
Speaking to local radio in Cleveland yesterday, ahead of this weekend’s UFC 203 card in the city, White finally lifted the lid slightly on one of the most eagerly awaited events in the companies two-decade history.
Ever since the NYC event was confirmed every fighter on the roster has been pitching for a place on the card, but at least we now have a mouth-watering main card fight to get excited about when two of the biggest fan favorites in the game collide.
Following his 155lb title defeat to Rafael dos Anjos last December, Cerrone turned his career around again by stringing together three wins on the trot already in 2016. Somewhat reborn as a welterweight, he now finds himself potential one win away from a title shot at 170lb, should he manage to get past Lawler.
Meanwhile, the comer champion, who lost his UFC title belt to teammate Tyron Woodley in July, had been pushing for a swift return to the cage ever since he pick himself up off the canvas at UFC 201. And there was never any chance he was going to turn down a high noon shootout with Cowboy in the Big Apple.
Another former champion, Chris Weidman, has also been strongly linked with a fight on the UFC 205 main card. The Long Island native has been a shoe-in for the event from the get-go, and after a hastily deleted tweet from Yoel Romero appeared on the ‘Soldier of God’s Instagram account yesterday it appears he now has an opponent too.
And the UFC looks to be sticking to the Made in New York them elsewhere on the card with Rashad Evans and Al Iaquinta both strongly linked with UFC 205, the former in his first fight down at middleweight, and the latter likely welcoming former welterweight contender Thiago Alves to the lightweight class.
Already, UFC 205 is shaping up to be the ultimate end to 2016 – all it needs now is a title fight main event and the PPV dollars will be rolling in.