Las Vegas, NV — UFC welterweight Alex Morono had a hunch he might be fighting towards the end of the year, so he cleaned up his diet after Thanksgiving.
That turned out to be a fortuitous bit of foresight. With Robbie Lawler falling out of a fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio, the opportunity arose for Morono to step in. By Monday evening, less than a week out from UFC 282, the fight was a done deal.
“Next January marks seven years I’ve been in the UFC, which is awesome. And every year I’ve been signed, I’ve fought at least two times, no more than three times. And this was the only year I was only going to fight once, and I was pretty bummed I didn’t make it on a December card,” Morono (22-7, 1NC) told media outlets including Cageside Press on Wednesday. “But it all worked out, and I’ll be fighting on Saturday.”
Morono is uniquely suited to face Ponzinibbio, after helping Geoff Neal prepare for the Argentinian fighter. He likes the fight for more than just that inside track, however. “I get a striker who comes forward, on Pay-Per-View. Man, I can’t ask for a better fight.”
The 32-year old from Texas known as “The Great White” has infamously downplayed his chances of being a champion in the UFC. But of late, he’s put together a solid win streak, with four straight victories heading into Saturday.
A fifth against Ponzinibbio, and the fights will only get bigger from there.
“It was never a lack of confidence in my abilities, but I always set goals very relative to where I’m at,” Morono said of his past comments. And he clarified that, if things go his way down the line, he won’t be turning down any opportunities that lead to gold. “If my four or five fight win streak turns into an eight-fight win streak, and I’m top five, than by all means, I’ll take on whatever challenge presents itself. But I’m just really doing this for the fun fights.”
“I’m getting paid pretty well now, which is awesome. And yeah, just ready to have some fun and go fight.”
A fun fight is what he’s expecting this Saturday — and something of a stand-up battle. “I think we’re going to stand and box in the four ounce gloves,” Morono predicted. “I think it’d be weird if anything other than that happened. This is gonna be a cool one, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Alex Morono faces Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 282 this Saturday, December 10, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.