The second of a pair of highly anticipated rematches came to us in the form of a featured prelim on Saturday night. On any other night, one would call you crazy to dub a fight between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone anything other than a main or co-main event on any given night.
On a night like this however, we found ourselves in that exact scenario. A scenario that, given the five-pack of bouts slated for the evening’s main card, any given fan of sanctioned violence can appreciate.
Each man had their respective moments in the opening round. Cowboy notably scoring a takedown that landed him in side control momentarily. Of the two fighters, Pettis was the one most effective in the striking exchanges— scoring multiple right hands that landed cleanly on the perennial fan favorite Cerrone.
Cerrone was appearing to pick up the pace in round two, consistent with the common belief of his ‘slow starter’ moniker that has been bestowed upon him. Pettis remained right there in front of them though, mirroring kicks almost identically on the comeback almost every time Cowboy threw kicks of his own. Cowboy scored a takedown for the second time with just over a minute to go in round two, but much like the first it didn’t last on the mat for very long. Tit for tat, strike for strike, the separation between the perennial UFC fan favorites was incredibly thin through ten minutes. Round three surely, was to be the separator between these two.
The final round got off to a fast start, with Pettis the beneficiary of a close-range exchange by virtue of a nice left hook to the chin of Cowboy. Pettis threw a kick to the cowboy around two minutes into the round that was caught by Cerrone. The kick saw the clinch initiated and Cowboy landed a beautiful knee to the body on the break. Pettis stood strong and tall, leading one to think that it didn’t hurt even one bit. Hovering around two minutes remaining in the fight, Pettis landed a punch that seemingly left Cerrone protesting an errant eye poke— despite no stoppage of action being triggered by the referee.
Pettis’ chin again was on full display in the final round as well, with a clean high kick landing flush, that left him almost unbothered to the observant eye. Cerrone came on incredibly strong towards the latter moments of the fight, throwing a barrage of punches and kicks that left the judges with an incredibly close fight to score having it reached the 15 minute distance.
Official Result: def. Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone By Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28