UFC Fight Night Spotlight: “Cowboy” Cerrone and the Impressive UFC Fight Night 89 Victory
Fox Sports 1 hosted UFC Fight Night 89: MacDonald vs Thompson last night at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Although top-ranked Rory MacDonald was facing impressive karate ace Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event, many would think that after the night ended, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone may have stolen the show with his exceptional fight clinic performance against long-time ranked welterweight competitor, Patrick “The Predator” Cote.
Spectators have predicted this fight to be a likely close match-up, when comparing the accurate and various kicking attacks that Cerrone indeed has in his arsenal, versus the durability and close range one-punch knockout power that Cote possess. This certainly was expected to be an exciting co-main event, with Cerrone settled as the slight favorite in this match-up. Many questioned if Cerrone would be able to hang in the 170 pound division against a very powerful and skilled veteran like Cote, but surely enough; Cerrone answered those questions in the most impressive performance of his MMA and UFC career.
In the 1st round, Cerrone already looked sharped and showed his dominance early by landing a perfectly timed take-down on the bigger power punching grappler, Cote. A submission attempt from Cote created a scramble which gave him the opportunity to get up, but is soon taken-down again a few seconds later, off a counter from Cote's combination.Cerrone was able to soon gain back mount and almost secured a rear naked choke 1:30 into the 1st round. Cote was able to escape the choke, but is trapped into a tight body triangle. Cote, now able to get loose, goes for a Kimura attempt; creating another scramble with Cerrone standing above Cote, who is on his back. Cerrone ends the round throwing a few leg kicks. Certainly an excellent 1st round won by “Cowboy.”
The 2nd round begins and both Cerrone and Cote meet in the middle of the octagon. Strong and heavy leg kicks are being perfectly timed by “Cowboy” as he is chopping away at the legs of his Canadian opponent. Cote was able to land a nice right-hand uppercut, but it completely un-fazed Cerrone. Cote stuffs a take-down attempt from “Cowboy” but is then soon hit with an amazingly timed combination that began with a nice left hook. Cote backs up towards the cage to collect himself as he looks a little rocked from Cerrone's combination. Cote circles towards the middle, but “Cowboy begins to back him up. An upward elbow attempt is missed by Cerrone but causes a minor clinch. Both fighters separate a little, within close boxing range, throwing hook shots. Cerrone's left hook connected perfectly on Cote's chin, sending the “The Predator” down to the canvas. Cerrone smells blood and tries to end the fight with some ground n' pound. Cote's famous durability and solid chin appeared to be holding up for now, as he was able to wrap his arms and legs around Cerrone in half guard. Cerrone allows Cote to get up after being in the Canadian's guard for just a quick second. Cote stands up and aggressively attempts an overhand punch on the American Cerrone, but missed. Both fighters break and it's apparent that “The Predator” is still effected from that earlier left hook combination put forth by “Cowboy,” as Cote is still a bit on wobbly legs. Cote attempts a single-leg take-down attempt but Cerrone was having none of that, being able to shake him off easily. Cerrone lands a late punching and kicking combination near the cage with a few seconds left on the clock. Cote breaks free looking to seem unfazed as the round ends.
The 3rd and final round is where Cerrone put his signature ending to this story, in what would be his best performance to date. Cerrone came out looking fresh and ready to put the Canadian Cote finally away. In between rounds the confidence that Cerrone had was surely evident early in the 3rd round; as “Cowboy” landed a perfect close-in range punching combination, cracking the chin of Cote and sending again back down to the canvas. Cerrone does not follow Cote to the ground, keeping himself standing above and throwing a few leg kicks before stepping back and having referee Yves Lavigne signal Cote to stand back up. Cote switches stances, feeling the effects of the barrage of leg kicks. Cote tries to put forth some aggressive offense, but Cerrone is able to sway out of the distance of the damage. Then within 2:32 of the 3rd and final round, Cerrone lands a perfectly timed leaping left hook that stuns Cote again and a couple of follow up right hooks in the clinch send “The Predator” crashing to the floor and this time, it looks like it's going to be the end. Cerrone pushes Cote's legs aside and gets immediate full-mount. A few follow up ground and pound punches, and Lavigne has seen enough. “Cowboy” defeats Cote 2:35 in the 3rd round.
Overall, a show stopping and impressive showcase put on by Cerrone; who is now 2-0 in the UFC welterweight division. “Cowboy” looks to be getting quite comfortable at 170lbs, which may get many to think if the top 5 ranked lightweight will stay at his new weight class, and climb the ranks to welterweight contention.