Donald Cerrone, Diego Sanchez Agree to 170-Pound Meeting at May 8 UFC Event

By Jay Pettry Feb 5, 2021

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Two grizzled veterans and former training partners are going to dance in May.

Diego Sanchez (30-13) first posted the news of his upcoming match when calling out Conor McGregor on Twitter on Thursday, stating that his final MMA bout would likely come against Donald Cerrone (36-15-1, 2 NC). While Sanchez regretted that he would not face the Irishman, his claim was substantiated by an MMA Fighting report and confirmed by ESPN shortly thereafter. The two, who trained together in the past at Jackson-Wink MMA, will tangle at welterweight on a previously unannounced UFC event on May 8. That does not yet have a location nor a specification of whether it will be a Fight Night or pay-per-view card.

“[Conor McGregor] I know your last fight was not your best showing,” Sanchez wrote. “Stand tall you are a legend & will continue to have more legendary success! It looks to be Cowboy for my UFC finale. Sanchez versus McGregor will always be in the ether! [Hit me up] in the dm I might have a bone for you.”

Cerrone has not won in any of his last five bouts, with two knockout losses to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje that prompted a shift back to welterweight. “Cowboy” met McGregor at the beginning of 2020, losing by knockout in 40 seconds. He bounced back with a close decision loss in a rematch with Anthony Pettis a few months later. That September, the BMF Ranch founder clashed with Niko Price and fought to a draw that was later overturned to a no contest after Price failed a post-fight drug test. Although “Cowboy” is on an unsuccessful run as of late, he remains the promotion’s recordholder in a myriad of categories including the most fights, the most post-fight bonuses, and is tied for the most finishes with Charles Oliveira, among many other accolades.

The original winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” at middleweight, Sanchez has alternated wins and losses in his last four. In that span dating back to 2019, “The Nightmare” knocked out Mickey Gall and escaped with a disqualification win over Michel Pereira. Along the way, Sanchez dropped decisions to Michael Chiesa and Jake Matthews in one-sided affairs where he lost the third round by 10-8 scores on each. Through his hall-of-fame career – Sanchez was enshrined for his 2009 battle with Clay Guida in 2019 – the TUF winner has notched wins over the likes of Takanori Gomi, Kenny Florian, Jim Miller and numerous others.

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