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Report: Donald Cerrone returns to lightweight to meet Alexander Hernandez at UFC on ESPN+ 1

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Denver-Cerrone vs Perry Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC’s debut card on ESPN continues to grow, as former welterweight contender Donald Cerrone will move back down to lightweight to take on rising prospect Alexander Hernandez at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 19 from inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, per a recent report by MMAjunkie.

Looks like “Cowboy” won’t get his chance to fight Conor McGregor after all.

Cerrone, 35, just became the UFC’s all-time leader in wins and finishes when he submitted Mike Perry at UFC Denver last month. That victory helped push Cerrone’s UFC welterweight record to 6-4, which includes a disappointing three-fight losing streak to top contenders Robbie Lawler, Darren Till, and Jorge Masvidal. The fan favorite “Cowboy” will be making his return to 155 pounds for the first time since 2015 in which Cerrone lost to then champion Rafael dos Anjos via first-round TKO.

Hernandez, 26, has defeated lightweight staples Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Beneil Dariush since making his Octagon debut earlier this year. “The Great” is one of the most promising lightweight prospects to come along in the past couple of years and should be pushed to elevate his own game when he takes on Cerrone this January. A victory over “Cowboy” would immediately launch Hernandez into the top 10 and set him up for a huge 2019 campaign.

UFC on ESPN+ 1 will be headlined by a flyweight superfight pitting current champion Henry Cejudo against current UFC bantamweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw. The event will also include the awaited debut of former NFL star Greg Hardy.

For more UFC on ESPN+ 1 fight card news click here.