ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Donald Cerrone was so good Wednesday that he won twice.
"Cowboy" crumbled Jim Miller with a front kick to the body in the second round, but referee Dan Miragliotta thought it was below the belt and allowed Miller to continue. Miller himself thought the fight was done. And it was soon after.
Minutes later, Cerrone landed a vicious head kick that put Miller to sleep, winning by knockout at 3:31 of the second round at UFC Fight Night here at Revel. "Cowboy" has now won four in a row. He’s not a guy who cares about climbing the lightweight ladder, but he’s put himself pretty close to earning a title shot.
Cerrone (24-6, 1 NC) finished all four of those victories and has now fought three times in 2014. He’s gunning for the UFC record of competing six times in a single year and says he wants to fight again as soon as possible.
Miller (24-5, 1 NC) likely won the first round, landing some good punches and a pair of takedowns. Cerrone is a typical slow starter. But the second round belonged to him from the very start and it really all started with a front kick to the body at the end of the first. That set up Cerrone hurting Miller again to the body in the second.
Cerrone, 31, came in ranked No. 6 among UFC lightweight contenders. On Monday at media day, he called out No. 4 Khabib Nurmagomedov and that fight might make a lot of sense next.
Miller, 30, was ranked No. 7 coming into this fight and had won three of four. Previously, Miller had only lost to former UFC lightweight champions or No. 1 contenders. He remains one of the very best at 155 and is always entertaining to watch.
Cerrone, though, might actually just be peaking now. His propensity to fight as often as possible might hurt him at times — one of his wins this year came against an unknown in Adriano Martins — but that’s his way. Cerrone hardly ever brings up title shots, only more and more fights. But he’s getting closer to earning a shot at the belt and Wednesday night might have put him just one win away.