It may not be a red panty night, but Donald Cerrone has got another big opportunity lined up.
Verbal agreements are in place between Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC) and Al Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for a fight at UFC on ESPN+ 8, according to people with knowledge of the booking who asked for anonymity because it had not been officially announced. ESPN.com first reported the pairing.
UFC on ESPN+ 8 takes place May 4 at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The event streams live on ESPN+.
Fresh off a successful return to the lightweight division, Cerrone was bookmarked for a fight against former two-division champ Conor McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) in April, but the bout didn’t come to fruition. Cerrone claimed the Irish star wanted a pay-per-view headliner, and McGregor recently stated he wanted a share of UFC revenues to take an offered co-headliner.
Cerrone was recently targeted for a fight against Nate Diaz, but the matchup fizzled before bout agreements could be signed on both sides.
Iaquinta recently was offered a fight against ex-interim champ Tony Ferguson, according to “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” But the promotion declined to book Ferguson based on his recent personal troubles and instead offered Cerrone.
Iaquinta’s most recent octagon appearance came this past December when he outpointed Kevin Lee for a second time. The win followed a gutsy decision loss to current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice at UFC 223.
Cerrone most recently faced off with prospect Alexander Hernandez at UFC on ESPN+ 1, competing for the first time at 155 pounds since 2015. He dominated the fight en route to a second-round TKO.
With the addition to the card, the UFC on ESPN+ 8 lineup includes:
Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta
Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
Walt Harris vs. Aleksei Oleinik
Juan Adams vs. Arjan Bhullar
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Brad Katona
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
Mitch Gagnon vs. Brian Kelleher
Vince Morales vs. Aiemann Zahabi
Leah Letson vs. Sarah Moras
Kyle Nelson vs. Matt Sayles
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Nordine Taleb
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta targeted for UFC on ESPN+ 8