When Donald Cerrone goes back down the 155-pound division, a fresh face will be waiting for him.
MMA Fighting confirmed with sources that “Cowboy” will fight 26-year-old Alexander Hernandez on the UFC’s upcoming ESPN+ debut show, which takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Jan. 19. The matchup was first reported by MMAjunkie.
This will be Cerrone’s first fight at lightweight since a failed bid to unseat then-champion Rafael dos Anjos back at UFC on FOX 17 in December 2015. Shortly after, the 35-year-old then moved up to welterweight, where he won his first four fights in the division all by knockout or submission. He’s 2-4 since, with losses to Darren Till, Robbie Lawler, and Jorge Masvidal.
In his most recent outing at UFC Denver in November, Cerrone defeated Mike Perry via first-round submission to improve his UFC record to 21-8.
Hernandez (10-1) made an instant impact inside the Octagon when he recorded a 42-second knockout of veteran Beneil Dariush in his short-notice debut at UFC 222 in March. Three months later, he followed that up with a unanimous decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC on FOX 30.
Francisco Trinaldo had previously been scheduled to fight Hernandez at UFC 233. It is unknown whether Trinaldo will remain on that card.