Donald Cerrone has a new opponent for UFC 187 after Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out due to an injury yesterday.
John Makdessi is the man who’ll now fight ‘Cowboy’, fresh off a first round TKO victory against Shane Campbell at UFC 186 last weekend in Montreal, Canada.
Opting for Makdessi is something of a surprise as Cerrone’s original match-up was set to establish a new title challenger at 155lbs, whereas Makdessi doesn’t even feature in the current lightweight rankings.
There were other options available, with current No.9 Josh Thomson and No.15 Jorge Masvidal both offering to take the fight on short notice with a little over three weeks until fight night in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, style wise it could be a fun match-up and it’s a big opportunity for ‘The Bull’ to produce an upset win and really put himself on the map. The 29 year-old has won three of his past four fights in the Octagon and holds an overall 6-3 record in the UFC to date.
As for Cerrone, he’s currently unbeaten in his last seven fights, taking out a succession of big names including former champion Ben Henderson last time out, to reach the No.3 spot in the division.
A fight with a dominant wrestler like Nurmagomedov could have proved to be a tough obstacle to overcome en-route to a title shot, so the switch to competing against a striker like Makdessi should work in Cerrone’s favor.
With Cerrone Vs Makdessi now on-board as the third fight on the bill at UFC 187 the pay-per-view event now proceeds with Anthony Johnson Vs Daniel Cormier headlining to crown a new light-heavyweight champion, while middleweight title holder Chris Weidman will take on Vitor Belfort in the co-main event.