Donald Cerrone showed his striking superiority tonight against Jeremy Stephens with a slick display of kickboxing at UFC On Fuel TV 3.
The opening round started at a fairly slow tempo with Cerrone happy to maintain his distance and work his way into the fight.
He was doing a nice job of stepping in with heavy leg kicks at times though, setting it up with shots to the head that were more for the purpose of distraction than with any real intention of landing.
For his part Stephens was swinging for the fences as he’s known to do, but he wasn’t able to land with anything meaningful due to the range Cerrone was engaging him from.
As the round progressed Cerrone became more confident and started to piece together combinations of punches and kicks more frequently. At one stage he mixed things up by going for a kick first and then landed three strikes to the head of stephens which left him with a cut below his left eye.
More leg kicks and even a flying knee brought to an end a good round for Cerrone.
Full of confidence, Cerrone continued to pile on the pressure in the second round, really putting together some very fluid combinations of punches in addition to those powerful leg kicks which were clearly starting to take their toll and Stephens was now fighting almost entirely on the defensive – very unlike him.
The fight continues in this manner until the final minute of the round when Cerrone suddenly opted to take Stephens down via a well excuted leg sweep.
It’s a nice change of pace from Cerrone, but he pays for it a little as Stephens lands a few elbows strikes to the top of his head from his back which open up a couple of cuts.
To add to Stephens woes he took an illegal kick to the family jewels in the early stages of the third round, but luckily he recovered after a short break.
Cerrone was still looking light on his feet at this stage in the fight and so was more than happy to continue his good work of the previous two rounds while receiving very little in return from an increasingly worn down Stephens who’s left eye was almost completely swollen shut by this stage and just seemed to just be counting down the minutes until the fight would come to a conclusion.
He had to endure some more straight punches down the pipe, solid kicks to his already battered lead leg and even a couple of hard kicks to his mid-section, but he did make it ’til the end in just about one piece.
A dominant performance from Cerrone though in the end and that was shown in the scorecards, with ‘Cowboy’ taking a clean-sweep (30-27 x3).