Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone used a superior ground game early and a devastating striking attack late to overwhelm Myles Jury en route to a unanimous decision win in the UFC 182 co-main event on Saturday night.
Cerrone, who is often known as a notoriously slow starter, wasted no time working for an omo plata shoulder lock when Jury took the fight to the ground in the opening seconds. While he wasn’t able to put Jury away with the hold, Cerrone did manage to get a reversal where he quickly transitioned to take the former Ultimate Fighter competitor’s back.
Jury spent the rest of Round 1 locked up in a body triangle courtesy of Cerrone, who constantly fished for a rear naked choke. He nearly sunk in the choke toward the end of the round, but Jury showed good patience to work his way free.
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The second round slowed down with the fight taking place on the feet with Cerrone peppering Jury’s lead leg with kicks that created a foot-sized purple welt that just continued to grow with each passing minute.
Jury was tentative throughout the second and even going into the third when he finally pressed forward looking for a body lock takedown, which Cerrone defended well.
The intensity ratcheted up midway through the third round when Cerrone connected flush with a huge head kick, although Jury somehow ate the strike and survived. The crowd came alive as Cerrone started to stalk Jury across the Octagon looking for a way to put his opponent to sleep.
Jury kept grabbing onto limbs to stay out of harm’s way and eventually got reversed and tossed to the ground by Cerrone. With just 10 seconds to go and a look of fury in his eyes, Cerrone started loading up on kicks, just hammering away at Jury’s legs until the final horn sounded.
Cerrone went undefeated in 2014, going a perfect 4-0 and now he’s started out 2015 in the exact same way. With the lightweight title already wrapped up in a bout scheduled for March 14 in Dallas when Anthony Pettis faces Rafael dos Anjos, it would appear Cerrone will end up fighting again in a non-title match, but it’s hard to imagine him going more than one more win before earning a shot at the belt.