Leon Edwards was in search of a big wn. Donald Cerrone was looking to win two fights in a row for the first time in two years. One of those had to give on Saturday night as the two fighters collided in the main event of UFC Singapore
Controlling The Fight
Edwards controlled the fight right from the opening horn. He stopped nearly all of the takedowns that Cowboy Cerrone attempted against him, countering his opponent with knees to the body, straight lefts and big elbows in the clinch. One of those elbows opened a cut on Cerrone’s right eye in round one. That was all the advantage Edwards needed.
The bloodied Cerrone got outstruck on his feet so he decided that he was going to take the fight to the ground where he felt he had his best chance of winning. But Edwards denied eight of Cowboy’s takedown attempts. Cerrone was able to finally land one in the championship rounds but Edwards returned to his feet before Cowboy could do damage.
On their feet, Edwards outstruck Cerrone 186-135 in total strikes and had a sizeable edge in significant strikes at 84-60. Both fighters finished with a flurry in the final ten seconds of the bout. When all was said and done, the judges scored it 48-47 across all scorecards in favor of Leon Edwards.
Plenty Of Fights Left
Despite the result, Cerrone said that he was happy with his performance.Cerrone also said that he still has plenty of fights left in him at the age of 35. He also said that he loved his job and that he isn’t going anywhere. According to Cerrone, he wants to win two more times this year, if possible.
Cerrone is known as one of the busiest fighters in UFC history. He fought four times every year from 2013 to 2016, earning a lightweight title shot along the way. He is tied with Georges St. Pierre and Michael Bisping for most wins in UFC history with 20. Cerrone admitted that he is in the latter stages of his career but insists that he isn’t done yet.
But while he may still have something left in that 35 year old gas tank, Donald Cerrone isn’t the same fighter who took one one contender after another at a torrid pace. He took only three fights last year and ended up with the first winless calendar year of his MMA career.
Nearly Called In Sick
Cerrone isn’t the kind of guy to give out excuses after a loss but after this particular defeat, he wasn’t shy in telling reporters that he almost pulled out from the UFC Singapore event hours before his bout because he was sick. He didn’t reveal his illness buy admitted that he was vomiting hours before the contest.
But being the company guy that he is known for, Cowboy said he was on the verge of telling UFC President Dana White that he couldn’t fight Edwards but deep inside, he recalls telling himself that ‘he isn’t that kind of guy’. So he fought on and ended up on the losing side of things at a time when he needed a victory to reassert himself as a contender.
Cerrone has been known as a fighter who loves to take fights on short notice and has saved several events in the past by agreeing to step in for an injured fighter. Who doesn’t remember his ‘I know a guy’ catchphrase? But it seems that time may have caught up with Cowboy just as it did with the greatest of any sport.
A New Role For Cowboy
The loss was Cowboy’s fourth in his last five bouts. He’s only won once since 2016. And while that may sound alarming, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this cowboy is going to ride into the sunset very soon. At least not yet.
But if you look at Cowboy Cerrone’s last three bouts, it’s all UFC Fight Night main events. And these were held at unlikely cities like Gdansk in Poland, Austin in Texas and now Kallang in Singapore out in the Far East. In the hierarchy of UFC events, Fight Nights are second class and we’re not saying that Cowboy Cerrone has become a second class fighter but he’s no longer booked in the big events. What he is now is that popular company guy whom the UFC depends upon to anchor these types of events.
That isn’t bad news at all. You’re a big named fighter who is expected to deliver a good show for the fans, win or lose. In losing to Edwards, Cerrone accomplished that. He hasn’t been winning in the last two years but that isn’t what is expected of him anymore. Donald Cerrone has become that kind of guy. It’s his new role in the UFC.
Time For Bigger Things
As for Leon Edwards, well things are about to get serious. The victory over Cowboy was his sixth in a row and now he’s added a big name to his resume. This was the signature win that Edwards was looking for and now that he has it, it’s obviously time for the bigger things in life.
Sure, welterweight is a crowded room filled with names looking for attention. But a win over Cowboy Cerrone is a win over Cowboy Cerrone. Like every winner, he deserved a call out and for his part, Edwards called out Jorge Masvidal to a homecoming bout in Birmingham, Alabama, saying he wants to keep on chipping away.
Entering Saturday night, Edwards was ranked 13th in the UFC welterweight division with Cerrone two spots higher at #1. Masvidal is currently at #9 following back to back losses to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia. It didn’t take long before Gamebred, who owns a TKO win over Cerrone, responded to Edwards’ challenge. So what about it, Dana White?
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