Alex Morono just chalked up the biggest win of his career with a first round technical knockout of Donald Cerrone at UFC Vegas 26 last night (Sat., May 8, 2021) in Las Vegas, Nevada. A victory like that must be pretty sweet, and even more so given the fact that Morono stepped in on under a week’s notice to take the fight. From licking his wounds from a decision loss against Anthony Pettis to getting a lot of hype for finishing “Cowboy” hard?
It’s hard to be upset about that.
But Morono was a bit upset, because he was actually excited to see Cerrone fight original opponent Diego Sanchez. And he’s bummed out about Sanchez getting cut by UFC due to what many consider sketchy behavior on the part of his coach and life guru, Joshua Fabia.
“I can speak pretty freely, yeah?” Morono asked when Sanchez came up during the post-fight press conference (watch it here). “So I’ve asked for the Diego fight for a while, but I’m not trying to fight these old vets. I just like that Diego runs to the front and throws down. I just thought that’d be cool.”
“Diego looked fine, he beat Mickey Gall and looked awesome. That would have been a great fight to go out on. He even fought that Michel Peirera, and that dude is an explosive beast and he did all right. Even Jake Matthews, a young hungry dude. Granted he lost the fight but he didn’t like get crushed ... I think Diego and Cerrone could have fought and had a safe, fun fight. And it would have been cool.
“I’ve built such a resume for myself as a martial artist for two reasons: one, for my own personal goal accomplishing reasons,” he continued. “And two: so my students know that their coach has gone through the fire. For as long as there’s been society, people have been fighting. Martial arts have been around forever. And so long as martial arts has been around, there have been these fake coaches. Just who, they believe their stuff is real, and I can’t believe how embedded this one is in Diego.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the video of [Diego] hanging upside down getting punched and kicked in the head. That is insane. It’s crazy to see. I’d really wanted to see Diego and [Donald] fight. If someone had given me the option of going back and time and force it so Diego and Cowboy fight, I’d say yes and not step in, knowing this outcome. That’s how much I think Cowboy has earned it. Diego too, talk about putting some groundwork in for the company.”
“I was a big Diego Sanchez fan for a while, when he fought Clay Guida I was a big fan. When he fought BJ Penn, that didn’t go so smooth for him. But it was cool to replace him, I was happy to get this fight, but it just sucks and it makes me just really feel for Diego. It really does in my heart.”
As a teacher at his own Gracie Barra gym in Texas, Morono takes the mantle of martial arts instructor very seriously.
“And if anything, parents or their kids, do some research on the coaches,” he said. “And if you don’t know, message me and I’ll do the research and let you know. It makes me so mad when creepy adults lead their students astray. I’ve seen some good coaching and I’ve seen some bad coaching in my career.”
“And that’s one thing, I’ll go into gyms in the area and ask about the coach, read the literature. And they see my ears and a lot of guys know I fight around town. And a lot of people don’t like that I do that, but you gotta keep the quality good and you can’t show - if some kid is getting bullied and they try to fight with it and get beat up. That’s just bad news all around. Legitimacy in coaching in martial arts is very attainable today. It’s important that people are finding the right coaches.”
For complete UFC Vegas 26: “Waterson vs. Rodriguez” results and play-by-play, click HERE.