As everyone expected Donald Cerrone and Eddie Alvarez left it all in the cage in an entertaining UFC 178 co-main event scrap in which ‘Cowboy’ had to survive an aggressive start from the former Bellator champ before turning the screw in the later rounds with vicious leg kicks, knees and punches.
Alvarez with a body punch to start as Cerrone throws a kick. Cerrone with a leg kick. He throws up a knee too.
Alvarez with a hook that just misses and Cerrone counters. Alvarez with a punch. Body kick from Cerrone. Nice leg kick from Alvarez and Cerrone responds with one of his own.
Alvarez with body strikes and Cerrone with a knee. Leg kick for Cerrone. Alvarez in the clinch and he’s firing off big strikes here. Cerrone can’t break free and Alvarez is hammering him with punches here. Cerrone has an exceptional chin though and he eats them all before finally breaking free.
Alvarez with a takedown attempt and then back into the clinch again and lands a few big lefts and rights. Lesser men may have been sleeping by now, but Cerrone is still standing.
Cerrone with a kick to show he’s still in this. Alvarez goes into the clinch against the cage, but nothing happening this time and they break apart.
Cerrone with a nice punch in an exchange in close. Body kick from Cerrone, but is off-balance. Cerrone misses with a knee as blood trickles down his face.
Nice knee tap takedown for Cerrone, but Alvarez is immediately back up. Upper body kick for Cerrone and another one to end a hard-hitting first round.
Leg kick for Alvarez. He targets the body with a punch. Cerrone lands a leg kick. Hook glances Cerrone’s head. Cerrone with a good knee. A solid kick to the body from him too and one to the leg.
Cerrone steps into a big right body kick. He catches Alvarez with a knee to the body as he comes forward. Cerrone clinches up and lands a powerful knee to the body.
Two more good knees to the midsection from Cerrone which are paying dividends. Leg kicks now. A hard one lands and Alvarez is really feeling them now on his left leg. Another lands and his leg buckles a little. Alvarez realizes and steps up a notch, landing a punch too. Cerrone in and shunts to Alvarez’s back.
He doesn’t take him down and Alvarez breaks free. Alvarez continues to march forward and a head kick just wings past his opponent’s head.
Alvarez lands a few punches to show he’s still in this fight after fading a lot in this round. Alvarez rips a left and right to the body. He’s definitely still got fight left in him, but the momentum has shifted a lot this round.
Alvarez ducks in for a takedown straight away, but Cerrone stuffs it and lands a knee and a body kick as they separate.
He targets the lead leg with a kick. Big right hand from Alvarez lands hard. Cerrone tries to clinch up and gets back to throwing the knees.
Nice punch from Alvarez snaps Cerrone’s head back. Alvarez comes in for a takedown, but Cerrone sidesteps it. They exchange in close. Cerrone lands a kick.
Cerrone lands a punch and Alvarez might be hurt again. Cerrone being patient though. Alvarez wades forward with a few punches. He’s still dangerous.
Leg kick again from Cerrone that buckles his opponents leg. Cerrone with a head kick. He’s fighting with confidence as this round goes on and another leg kick slams home.
Alvarez is suffering here with all these kicks. Another blasts him and Alvarez visibily winces in pain. Cerrone sees it, as does everyone else, and so he rifles off a few more to the same spot. Alvarez barely standing as Cerrone fires off a few hard punches and a knee up the middle.
Another kick lands and it’s too much for Alvarez who buckles to the canvas.
He’s not quit though. Cerrone gets on top and starts landing some ground and pound. Perhaps he should be standing back up again, but he chooses to keep it on the mat and remains there landing punches until the final bell.
No doubt about the winner here. Alvarez had a strong first round, but Cerrone took over after that and earns the unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3).