Nate Diaz was extremely impressive this evening at UFC 141 as he comprehensively outboxed Donald Cerrone over three rounds to earn a well deserved unanimous decision victory.
Round one was huge for Diaz and disastrous for Cerrone.
Cerrone appeared to be struggling to get going and looked uncharacteristically sluggish while Diaz immediately settled into his groove and began to land almost at will with straight punches that repeatedly rocked Cerrone’s head back.
The only bright spot for Cerrone was a head kick that landed in the second half of the round, but Diaz simply walked through it and continued to lay down more punishment of his own, leaving Cerrone’s move bleeding by the end of the round.
Cerrone managed to work his way into the second round by resorting to utilizing regular kicks, managing to weep Diaz legs out from under him on numerous occasions. He also landed with another head kick which left Diaz on the floor for a moment, but when he popped back up to his feet he still looked fresh.
Despite Cerrone’s moments of success Diaz was still landing more regularly with his own punches and worked nicely to the body at times too.
Going into the final round Diaz definitely looked to be the fresher fighter and he continued with the strategy that had proved so successful so far.
Cerrone has a hell of a chin and that’s just as well as he was again tagged repeatedly in the five minutes that followed.
To be fair he had some moments of his own, again opting for leg sweeps which planted Diaz onto the mat, but they weren’t the same hurtful blows he was getting in return, though he did also land some hard knees and threatened with head kicks.
He just didn’t seem to be able to keep up with Diaz excellent work-rate though or match his tremendous accuracy and so it was no surprise when the judges awarded Diaz a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Diaz really seems to be coming in to his own after returning to the lightweight division following a spell at welterweight and has now put on two memorable performances against Takanori Gomi and Cerrone to put himself back into the title picture in the division.