Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal collided last night (Jan. 28, 2017) at UFC on FOX 23 inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Cerrone recent performances have been among the best of his entire career. However, Cerrone has historically struggled with more high-profile events, and the co-main of a FOX event in his home town could certainly qualify. Opposite Masvidal, Cerrone was looking to put that rumor — along with Masvidal — to bed. For Masvidal, this match was a bit more personal. Cerrone had already taken a couple of opponents from “Gamebred,” and the Florida-native did his best to instigate and get into Cerrone’s head prior to their match up.
The first round was pretty ridiculous. Cerrone looked to maintain his range with jabs and low kicks, while Masvidal advanced on his opponent with his own jab and right hand over the top.
Until the last 30 seconds, the exchanges were incredibly close. Cerrone did some good damage to his opponent’s legs and landed some counter punches, while Masvidal tagged Cerrone with combinations. However, in that last 30 seconds, Masvidal began to land more frequently, including a big body kick. Pursuing Cerrone, Masvidal slipped a jab and put Cerrone down hard with an overhand. Masvidal very nearly ended the fight, but the bell saved “Cowboy.”
Just not for long.
Masvidal continued pressuring his foe to begin the second round, and it was clear that Cerrone was not at his full abilities. Masvidal began to tee off, and his overhand dropped “Cowboy” once more, this time as a counter to Cerrone’s favorite left high kick. Cerrone, as usual, was game as hell and worked back to his feet, but he could do little but cover up under the onslaught.
Herb Dean ended the bout after a few seconds of Masvidal ripping to the body as his opponent covered up.
For years, Masvidal fans like me have been waiting for the day that “Gamebred” would up the aggression and batter people. He’s had the skill to win fights like this for a very long time, but Masvidal has always been content to coast and is comfortable winning on points.
In his last two bouts, that has not been the case. Masvidal has pressured his opponents with brilliant combinations of hard punches and kicks, and the results speak for themselves.
Welterweight has a new contender.
Masvidal was able to knock out Cerrone because he’s the sharper boxer, but he won this bout because he was able to dictate range. He had to eat some hard shots to do it, but Masvidal walked his man down while ready to slip punches and check kicks. Cerrone was more effective early, but Masvidal’s pressure allowed him to land the better shots once he actually found his range. Then, he never allowed Cerrone back into the bout. Following this win, Masvidal should be in the title mix. Ideally, a match up with Robbie Lawler — who recently left American Top Team, Masvidal’s home camp — could push either man closer to the title.
As for Cerrone, this is a massive setback. Masvidal has been a tough challenge for just about anyone for a long time, but most expected Cerrone to out-work him on the feet and wear him down with leg kicks. Instead, Cerrone’s habit of standing so tall was countered repeatedly. Masvidal’s counter right hand found its mark repeatedly, and “Cowboy” was not in position to absorb the strike. In all honesty, the bout should’ve been stopped at the end of the first.
At any rate, Cerrone needs to take a lot of time to recover, as he’s never been finished quite like this. Once he returns, Cerrone can focus on putting together wins and going on another streak.
Last night at UFC on FOX 23, Jorge Masvidal battered Donald Cerrone to a second round stoppage. Can Masvidal finally put it all together and capture a title?
For complete UFC on FOX 23: “Shevchenko vs. Pena” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania