In the game of standing toe-to-toe, Morono’s (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) power won out as he hurt and mauled “Cowboy” (36-16 MMA, 24-13 UFC) with strikes for a standing TKO at the 4:40 mark of Round 1.
Morono stepped into the fight as a replacement for Diego Sanchez on just six days’ notice, and he was thrilled to get the job done.
“I’ve got some mixed emotions right now and just happy to win for Texas and my team,” Morono said in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “My goal in this fight was to focus on my focus and not deviate.”
The welterweight bout was the UFC on ESPN 24 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN following prelims on ESPN+.
Morono came out the gate swinging a massive punch that missed and set up a clinch situation on the fence. They moved into open pace where they spent the majority to the round exchanging. Cerrone landed some nice kicks to the body and legs, while Morono answered with some stinging punches that had a lot behind them.
With time winding down, Morono landed a clean punch that rocked Cerrone and back him up. Cerrone survived the initial strike, but Morono smelt blood and swarmed for the finish. Cerrone was hurt bad while backed up against the fence, and Morono landed punches until referee Marc Goddard had seen enough and waved it off.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 24 results include:
Alex Morono def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:40
Neil Magny def. Geoff Neal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Maurice Greene via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Gregor Gillespie def. Diego Ferreira via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:51
Phil Hawes def. Kyle Daukaus via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
Mike Trizano def. Ludovit Klein via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jun Yong Park def. Tafon Nchukwi via majority decision (30-25, 29-26, 28-28)
Carlston Harris def. Christian Aguilera via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 2:52