Two mouth-watering fights headline UFC Fight Night: Denver tomorrow.
The main event features a personal favourite of ours in Yair Rodriguez. The Mexican’s fighting style is as effective as it is spectacular – with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar comprising his only UFC defeat to-date. Rodriguez steps up on late notice after Edgar himself was forced to pull out of this bout.
He’s been out of action since that May 2017 bout, but in Denver, Yair will face popular former 145lb. title challenger, Chan Sung Jung.
‘The Korean Zombie’ is a must-watch in his own right, arguably having the fight of 2012 against Dustin Poirier, which he won via a rare D’Arce choke. He has also faced a lengthy lay-off – a knee injury means that he fought just once since his 2013 defeat to then-champion Jose Aldo.
The co-main event also has serious potential.
Two firebrands in Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Mike Perry also clash on the card, in a bout that promises nothing but violence.
They’ve had their fair share of confrontations with much of the UFC roster over the years, but in squaring off against each other, the duo are surprisingly cordial, with ‘Platinum’s antics at today’s weigh-in drawing laughter from his foe.
This welterweight clash does have some interesting backstory however, with Cerrone seemingly falling out with his long-time camp, Team Jackson-Wink, who will be in the corner of Perry.
The dispute is detailed here, but suffice to say, Cerrone took issue with how both Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn prioritised him and turned the esteemed gym into a ‘puppy mill’.
Speaking before tomorrow’s fight, he had some more choice words for Winklejohn when asked if he wanted to avoid a fight with a Jackson-Wink backed Perry.
“This fight’s happening,” Cerrone said via MMA Fighting.
“You mean, in terms of where I could still be at the gym and where this never would have happened? … It happened, it didn’t, and Winkeljohn drew his line in the sand. And now I get to spit on him on the other side. It’s alright.”
“Fuck him. There’s your clickbait, motherfuckers. Fuck you, Winkeljohn.”
It's pretty clear that nothing has been resolved between @Cowboycerrone and coach Mike Winkeljohn heading into #UFCDenver. Watch the media day live stream here: https://t.co/3uyEBUqtic pic.twitter.com/hqYm0AxQJS
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 8, 2018
This makes the civility between the two fighters all the more remarkable, but don’t mistake that for a tentative bout in Denver.