Donald Cerrone followed up one of the busiest years ever in the UFC – he fought five times in 2011 – with a tactical domination of Jeremy Stephens at UFC on Fuel TV 3 in Fairfax, Va., on Tuesday night.
Both hard hitters, most expected a knockout finish at some point in the battle between Cerrone and Stephens, but, despite heavy leather flying from both men, it didn’t end as expected.
Cerrone, notoriously a slow-starter, didn’t exactly start slow, but he was methodical and calculated in his approach, not falling into the trap of standing at Stephens’ close-up power range. Instead, Cerrone kept his distance, constantly feinting and varying his striking style to keep Stephens confused.
While the bulk of his attack mixed an effective arsenal of punch and kick combinations that nearly took Stephens’ leg off by the end of the fight, Cerrone varied his attack so much throughout the fight, that there was no way for Stephens to anticipate what was coming his way, be it punches, kicks, knees, or what-have-you from every conceivable angle.
The only consistency in Cerrone’s attack was his consistently being inconsistent, and it worked masterfully throughout the fight, although Cerrone was unable to score the coveted finish.
Now having bounced back from his loss to Nate Diaz at the tail end of last year, Cerrone wants to get right back in the ring.
“I want to fight on that Denver card. That’s my hometown,” Cerrone stated, referring to UFC 150 on Aug. 11 at the Pepsi Center.
Looking no worse for the wear following the fight, and the UFC 150 fight card maintaining several open slots, he may just get his wish.