The promotion may have seen their plans to host UFC 249 on April 18th. shelved due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t halted hope to hold an event on May 9th.
A rematch between strikers has been verbally agreed for the event, as former lightweight championship challenger, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone expects to make his Octagon return – opposite one-time lightweight champion, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis. News of the welterweight pairing was initially reported by ESPN writer, Brett Okamoto.
WEC and UFC veteran, Cerrone, is expected to make his first Octagon appearance since his forty-second knockout defeat to former two-weight world champion, Conor McGregor in January. The 37-year-old will continue his excursion at 170-pounds, following three stoppage defeats consecutively.
The Denver Muay Thai practitioner made a return to lightweight with a high-kick knockout of Alexander Hernandez last January, before picking up a dominant unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta. Before his defeat to McGregor in the opening month of the year, Cerrone had dropped an opening-round defeat to Justin Gaethje, after a doctor’s stoppage loss against former interim champion, Tony Ferguson.
Former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, Pettis, has himself faltered in two of his most recent walks. After becoming the first to knock out Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in mixed-martial-arts, Pettis found himself on the wrong end of a decision loss to Nate Diaz – before a rear-naked choke defeat to talented grappler, Diego Ferreira.
Pettis and Cerrone both locked horns back in 2013, with Pettis securing an opening round finish via a stiff kick to the liver. The Milwaukee native would go on to challenge for the lightweight title afterwards, winning against Benson Henderson.
This re-run between ‘Cowboy’ and Pettis was originally planned to take place earlier this year before the aforementioned McGregor snapped his fifteen-month hiatus from the sport to face Cerrone.