Round 1: Rio takes the center of the cage. Cruickshank lands an outside leg kick. Rio inches forward. It’s a slow start. The two former Ultimate Fighter housemates know each other well. Cruickshank lands a right hand. He delivers a front kick to the body followed by a combination. Cruickshank lands a hard outside leg kick. Rio answers with a leg kick of his own and then misses with a right hand. Cruickshank works to establish his jab. Rio moves forward. Cruickshank delivers a spinning back kick to the body that sends Rio moving back. Rio moves in with a right hand. Cruickshank circles away. Cruickshank lands a solid right hand. Cruickshank leaps in with a superman punch followed by a head kick that send Rio crashing to the canvas. Cruickshank moves in and works for a guillotine. He gives up on it and lands a right hand. Rio is still hurt. Rio fires back, but Cruickshank knocks him down with a right hand. The round ends. Rio was likely saved by the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Cruickshank.
Round 2: Cruickshank lands a kick to the body to start the second round. Rio moves in and changes levels trying to get the fight to the ground. Cruickshank defends the takedown attempt. Cruickshank switches stances. Cruickshank startign to open up with his kicks. He lands a right hand followed by a side kick to the body. Rio lands a counter left hand. Cruickshank continues to throw kicks. Cruickshank lands a combination that wobbles Rio. Cruickshank mixing it up well. Rio rushes in with a flurry. Cruickshank ducks under and takes him down. Rio isolates a leg. He applies a heel hook. Rio has the leg completely tied up. Cruickshank is in a bad position. Cruickshank steps over and gets out. Cruickshank stands. He lands a combination. Cruickshank delivers a wheel kick to the face. Rio eats. Cruickshank is all over him unloading shots. Rio finally falls to the ground. The referee steps in to stop it with just seconds left in the round.
The official time of the TKO was 4:56 of the second round.
“After the first exchange, I got his timing down. Once I got his timing, I was able to take him down. I thought my jiu jitsu would be better than his and I was able to take him down. Hopefully I get to fight in two or three months. I like to keep busy and hope to fight again soon.”
“I faced to great fighter and great friend as Daron Cruickshank. The plan was keep my hands up, but his striking overcame my defense. It was a great battle. I keep waiting for another chance to prove my style could make a difference in this weight division.”