...OH, ONE MORE THING - PLEASE BOOKMARK US & VISIT DAILY!
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Donald Cerrone was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the top tier lightweights in the UFC in 2011 before feeding into the trash talk of Nate Diaz and losing a decision at UFC 141. However, he appears to have learned from that poor showing, as he dominated Jeremy Stephens on Tuesday night at UFC on Fuel 3 to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Stephens has been a long time veteran of the UFC, this being his 14th bout inside the Octagon, but he was rendered essentially inept for 15 minutes against "The Cowboy."
Cerrone started with leg kicks early and often, and as the first round wore on, and his respect for Stephens' attack began to wane, Cerrone started clowning around in the cage. He danced, he threw vicious combinations when Stephens least expected it, and he battered Stephens' lead leg with more and more kicks.
This attack continued through to the final horn, with Cerrone barely suffering a scratch in the bout. It was perhaps the most one-sided striking performance of his career, and against a longtime UFC vet in Stephens it was one of his most impressive as well.
He's now won five fights in six UFC appearances, and will look to get back into the conversation of elite UFC lightweights sooner rather than later. Stephens dropped to an even 7-7 in the Octagon with the loss.
Penick's Analysis: Even though it was essentially 15 minutes of Cerrone toying with Stephens, that may have been the most impressive thing he's done. Making it look that easy against a talented veteran was fascinating to watch, and had that version of Cerrone showed up in Las Vegas in December, it would have been a much more difficult fight for Nate Diaz. With Anthony Pettis needing an opponent for September, Cerrone seems like a very suitable option after that performance.
DON'T GO YET... WE SUGGEST THESE MMATORCH ARTICLES, TOO!
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
Interested in joining MMATorch's writing team? Send idea for a theme to your column (for Specialist section) or area of interest (i.e. TV Reporter) along with a sample of writing to email@example.com.