Next month, Donald Cerrone will fight former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson at the United Centre in Chicago. Nine weeks later, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will duke it out with Nate Diaz at the Honda Centre in Anaheim. These are objectively fascinating stylistic match-ups, between exciting fighters, which demand our attention for wildly different reasons.
UFC 238’s Ferguson-Cerrone could just as well be for the interim-interim championship, with “El Cucuy” having won 11 in a row and briefly holding one version of the 155-pound title over 2017-2018 before having it hastily stripped in March for what we’ll call “political reasons.” His opponent, “Dad-Cerrone,” is in the midst of a remarkable resurgence, having recently reclaimed a top-5 ranking with a near flawless performance over former title challenger Al Iaquinta earlier this month in Ottawa. They are fighting to determine who might be next for the winner of September’s unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier; and more broadly, for an opportunity to etch their names into the history books as a UFC champion. It is the convergence of two epic odysseys, two of the sport’s most winningest and most resilient participants making a final break for the top of the mountain.
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