Donald Cerrone put together another dominant display in the welterweight division tonight at UFC 202, taking out Rick Story with a terrific combination of strikes mid-way through the second round.
Story ducks under punches from Story and then pushes him away. Story feeling out with left hands, but doesn’t connect.
Suddenly it’s Cerrone who surprises Story by moving in on a takedown attempt and lands it. Working from half guard he looks to control the position and potentially pass, but then decides to get to his feet.
However, Story is quickly up and pushes ‘Cowboy’ up against the cage. Nice leg sweep takedown from Story, but almost immediately Cerrone works for an omaplata and then changes to a triangle choke.
Story fights off the submission attempts though and secures top position. Cerrone rolls to his knees, turtled up with Story heavy on top.
Knee to the body from Story from this position. Cerrone up to all fours and then gets up and away from danger.
Back to striking range then and both lands kicks and Cerrone works a solid knee to the body. Front kick to the body from Cerrone>
Leg kick for Cowboy. One in return from Story. He attempts a high kick, but misses.
Cerrone misses with a front kick as Story presses forward, but then moves forward himself with a series of punches that connect as Story backs up.
Cerrone with another nice combination of punches as the round draws towards it’s conclusion.
Story misses with a two-piece combo. Cerrone upstairs with a kick that just misses. He stuffs a takedown attempt from Story.
Good knee from Cerrone as Story steps in. Cerrone just misses with a leaping hook. Body punch for Story. Cerrone steps in with a big leg kick and then two hard right hands.
Leg kick for Cerrone. Steps back and then springs forward with another kick. Story comes in and is greeted by that well timed knee to the body again.
Cerrone has really taken control of this fight and Story’s normal pressure game just isn’t happening.
Cowboy with a great body shot, then a hook and a head kick upstairs that also connects and hurts Story enough that he actually turns his back and staggers towards the cage.
Cerrone chases after him, landing a punch and then a knee to the head that drops Story to the mat, and moments later the referee steps in to end the fight and award Cowboy another hugely impressive win at welterweight.
The move to 170lbs really seems to have been a breathe of fresh air for Cerrone, and together with a notable improvement in his striking the signs are that he’s set to be a significant force in the weight class going forward.