There are always a ton of great, exciting matchups for both Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje, though you’d be hard-pressed to get one better than matching up two of the most glorious, action-first fighters any weight class has ever seen.
Fortunately, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has done just that for its upcoming ESPN+ 16 card in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
First reported by Kevin Iole, this is one of the dream matchups that fans have salivated for since Gaethje came over from World Series of Fighting (now Professional Fighter’s League) back in 2017. The announcement drops mere hours after Cerrone dangled that a fight was in the works with an “old buddy.”
While speculation ran rampant online, this particular matchup came mostly out of left field, and quickly tossed water on speculation of “Cowboy” fighting Diego Sanchez, Frankie Edgar, Mike Perry or even Max Holloway. Of note, this isn’t exactly a short-notice bout, given that we’ve got to wait until Sept. 14 for this to go down, which is probably a good thing, given the fractured orbital he suffered at the fists of Tony Ferguson.
Here are some fun stats regarding the two combatants:
While Cerrone holds the counting numbers — most knockdowns in UFC history (20); second most significant strikes in UFC history by an active fighter (1518, behind Holloway), Gaethje top the charts by a wide margin in the “Strikes Landed per Minute” category, an eye-popping 8.5, which is a full 20% higher than second-place Shane Burgos.
Expect more UFC Vancouver fight card announcements in the coming weeks.