(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live stats and full results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. The first UFC on ESPN+ 9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy bout from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 4, at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.)
The Ultimate Fighting Champion returns to Ottawa for only the second time in the promotion’s history for UFC on ESPN+ 9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy.
The headlining bout on the Ottawa fight card should have strong implications in the lightweight division. Al Iaquinta currently rests at No. 4 in the division, while Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone recently returned to lightweight following a three-year, 6-4 stint at welterweight. He is currently ranked No. 8 in the UFC 155-pound division.
Both men are looking to fight into UFC lightweight title contention. Cerrone has fought for the belt once before, while Iaquinta nearly did, but fell two-tenths of a pound short.
Iaquinta (14-4-1) road a five-fight winning streak into the UFC 223 headlining bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but only Nurmagomedov was eligible for the belt that had been stripped from Conor McGregor.
Nurmagomedov was originally supposed to fight Tony Ferguson for the belt, but Ferguson had to withdraw because of a freak knee injury. He was then lined up with featherweight champion Max Holloway, who was deemed medically unfit to fight on the day of the weigh-in.
Iaquinta had already weighed in at 155.2 pounds for his originally scheduled bout with Paul Felder. Since he had already rehydrated, he didn’t have an opportunity to make the championship cut-off of 155 pounds even. He fought Nurmagomedov and lost, but couldn’t have won the belt even if he had defeated the now-UFC lightweight champion.
Iaquinta wants that opportunity back, but this time for the belt. He knows that getting past Cerrone, who has a new focus on winning the championship, would be a gigantic step back into title contention.
Cerrone (35-11, 1NC) has gone after titles in the past, but never with the same intensity that he has shown since his son Dacson was born in 2018. After his son’s birth, Cerrone fought once more at welterweight, defeating Mike Perry, before dropping back down to the 155-pound division to chase either a fight with McGregor or a shot at the belt.
The fight with McGregor failed to materialize, so Cerrone moved on to Iaquinta, which could provide a quick road back into being a championship challenger.
The UFC Fight Night in Ottawa, Ontario, co-main event features Toronto’s Elias Theodorou trying to make a leap up the middleweight rankings, as he faces No. 8 ranked Derek Brunson.
Brunson has long been on the cusp of breaking into UFC middleweight title contention, but can’t slip up against Theodorou, who has the home crowd advantage, in their fight.
Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors page for more scheduled events and rumored fight cards.
UFC on ESPN+ 9 Full Live Results: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy from Ottawa
UFC on ESPN+ 9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy Line-up from Ottawa, Canda
Main Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
- Al Iaquinta vs. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone
- Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
- Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos
- Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Walt Harris vs. Serghei Spivak
- Marc-André Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
Prelims (5 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- Macy Chiasson vs. Sarah Moras
- Aiemann Zahabi vs. Vince Morales
- Nordine Taleb vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
- Kyle Nelson vs. Matt Sayles
- Arjan Bhullar vs. Juan Adams
- Mitch Gagnon vs. Cole Smith