UFC Vegas 26 was originally scheduled to be headlined by Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw, but the fight was scrapped because Dillashaw suffered a brutal cut to his eye. The card will now be headlined by a short-notice flyweight bout between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.
In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone takes on Alex Morono, who’s stepping in on less than a week’s notice to replace Diego Sanchez. The card also features an intriguing welterweight fight between Neil Magny and Geoff Neal, a heavyweight banger between Marcos Rogério de Lima and Maurice Greene, and a highly-anticipated lightweight fight between Carlos Diego Ferreira and Gregor Gillespie.
Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson
Make no mistake about it, Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson might be a short notice fight, but it guarantees to deliver. Both fighters are very well-rounded and have possible routes to victory.
Rodriguez is the more aggressive striker, who lands more significant strikes per minute, and has more power in her hands. She will have a greater edge in power because the two will be fighting at flyweight, instead of strawweight, so there won’t be a tough weight cut to hinder the Brazilian’s performance.
Waterson is the more technical of the two fighters and often relies on point fighting to churn out decision victories. A five-round fight works to her advantage too, because she has great stamina, and has headlined UFC events before. In grappling, the two are well-matched, but Waterson has the edge as far as the submission offense is concerned.
Rest assured, this fight is going to be an exciting one.
Donald Cerrone vs Alex Morono
Donald Cerrone has lost four out of his last five fights. However, we can give him the benefit of the doubt as he has lost to some of the very best in the business, like Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, and Conor McGregor. Morono is certainly a step down in competition in comparison, with all due respect, but he’s still someone who might give ‘Cowboy’ a run for his money.
Cerrone is the more technical striker and is very fluid on the feet when he gets going. Morono is also a great standup fighter, but he’s usually predictable with his combinations. Morono also doesn’t have the same amount of power as Gaethje or McGregor, but that doesn’t mean he should be underestimated. It all depends on how he shows up on fight night with only a few days to prepare.
Both fighters are BJJ black belts, but Cerrone is the more experienced and crafty fighter on the ground and should have the edge in grappling.
Neil Magny vs Geoff Neal
Both Neil Magny and Geoff Neal are coming off losses, against Michael Chiesa and Stephen Thompson respectively. The UFC matchmakers have done a great job with this one because it’s the perfect stylistic matchup for both the strikes.
Magny is a very efficient striker. He’s not as powerful as Neal, who has vicious knockout power in his hands, but the Haitian is very smart on the feet. But he has had his problems against aggressive strikers, like Neal, who pressure their opponents and look for knockouts.
It’s going to be a great standup fight, with little or no grappling action. The longer the fight goes, the better it will be for Magny, but surviving the early onslaught against Neal will be his biggest challenge.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Maurice Greene
Heavyweight fights are unpredictable, simply because one clean strike is all it takes. This fight wouldn’t be any different because both Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Maurice Greene have the power to shut each other’s lights out. Green has the size advantage, however, because he’s a natural heavyweight, while de Lima fights at light heavyweight too.
Green has a height and reach advantage over his opponent, which he should capitalize on well. De Lima does have experience on his side, as he has more fights and wins compared to his opponent. The fight could go either way really.
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Gregor Gillespie
Gregor Gillespie was scheduled to fight Brad Riddell at UFC Vegas 22, but he had to pull out due to injury. He’ll now face a relatively tougher matchup in Carlos Diego Ferreira, who’s one of the finest grapplers in the lightweight division.
Gillespie is a wrestling-heavy fighter, with excellent ground and pound and submission skills, but Ferreira will be his toughest test to date. The fight should be a grappling battle, with Gillespie initiating the action, but he can’t afford to make mistakes against Ferreira, who has a solid submission game.
If you love a striking contest, this fight might not offer you much, but for those who love a good exhibition of grappling, this matchup has got them covered at UFC Vegas 26.
The Other Fights On The Card
- Amanda Ribas vs Angela Hill
- Ben Rothwell vs Philipe Lins
- Phil Hawes vs Kyle Daukaus
- Ľudovít Klein vs Michael Trizano
- Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev
- Jun Yong Park vs Tafon Nchukwi
- Christian Aguilera vs Carlston Harris
What are your predictions for UFC Vegas 26?
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