Donald Cerrone won his fourth straight. | Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC UFC /Zuffa/UFC/Getty
Donald Cerrone stopped Jim Miller in his tracks.
Cerrone felled Miller with a precise second-round head kick in the UFC Fight Night “Cerrone vs. Miller” headliner on Wednesday at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. The savage blow cut down Miller (24-5, 13-4 UFC) 3:31 into round two. He had never before been knocked out.
The “Cowboy” set up the finish by tirelessly working over Miller’s midsection. A front kick to the gut nearly sat down the New Jersey native early in the second round, though referee Dan Miragliotta, thinking it had landed low, paused the action and afforded Miller a brief respite. Upon the restart, Cerrone (24-6, 11-3 UFC) delivered another kick just above the belt that had his desperate counterpart backpedaling and holding his hands dangerously low. The Jackson-Wink MMA standout then targeted the head, a sickening thud of shin meeting skull marking the end of the line for Miller.
Barboza Body Kick Finishes Dunham
In the co-main event, former Ring of Combat champion Edson Barboza took care of Evan Dunham with a brutal first-round body kick and follow-up punches. Dunham (14-6, 7-6 UFC) met his end 3:06 into round one, as he was dealt a third consecutive defeat.
Barboza (14-2, 8-2 UFC) took his time and let his skills do the work, the 28-year-old muay Thai stylist utilizing his blend of speed and technique to lure in Dunham. Once in range, Barboza unleashed a grazing kick to the solar plexus that doubled over the Oregonian and left him unable to defend the subsequent attack.
Story Choke Submits Texeira
MMA Lab representative Rick Story submitted Leonardo Mafra Texeira with a second-round arm-triangle choke in a featured matchup at 170 pounds. A replacement for John Howard, Texeira (11-2, 0-2 UFC) conceded defeat 2:12 into round two, his five-fight winning streak snapped.
Story (17-8, 10-6 UFC) secured three first-round takedowns and grinded on the Brazilian with elbows and punches from top position. More of the same followed in round two. There, Story delivered another takedown and briefly achieved full mount before securing the choke, locking down his first submission in nearly five years.
Proctor Stops Salas in Second
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 graduate Joe Proctor dispatched Justin Salas with a sneaky counter left hook and follow-up punches in the second round of their lightweight showcase. Proctor (10-2, 3-1 UFC) finished it 3:27 into round two, winning for the sixth time in seven outings.
Salas (12-6, 3-3 UFC) enjoyed some success with overhand rights, one of which raised a grotesque swelling near his counterpart’s left ear. Proctor pressed on despite the alarming hematoma and clipped the Grudge Training Center representative with left hook on the chin.
Salas staggered but recovered, only to be met with another counter left that took out his legs. Proctor swarmed with unanswered punches and hammerfists, resulting in the stoppage.
Late Lineker Barrage Buries Ozkilic
Former Jungle Fighting Champion John Lineker won for the 18th time in his past 20 appearances, as he stopped Alptekin Ozkilic with third-round punches in a featured clash at 125 pounds. Ozkilic (9-3, 1-2 UFC) finally wilted 4:51 into round three, the accumulation of punishment proving too much for him to withstand.
Lineker (24-7, 5-2 UFC) confronted the Long Island, N.Y.-based Turk with relentless pressure and vicious power punching. Ozkilic countered well, especially in the early rounds, but his pace slowed as the Brazilian’s trademark body blows continued to find their mark. By round three, he had become little more than a sitting duck. Lineker teed off to the body and head, working over his counterpart with volume and intensity. In the closing seconds, “Hands of Stone” backed up a right hook to the ribcage with a pair of left hooks that leveled Ozkilic. Lineker pounced for the finish, forcing referee Keith Peterson to intervene.
Martins Hands White First Loss
Chute Boxe export Lucas Martins wiped out Alex White with a straight right hand and follow-up hammerfists in the third round of their featherweight showcase. A replacement for the injured Jim Alers, White (10-1, 1-1 UFC) met his end 2:08 into round three, as he tasted defeat for the first time in his professional career.
Martins (15-1, 3-1 UFC) -- who joined Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian and George Roop as the only fighters to post victories in three different weight classes in the UFC -- countered effectively throughout, particularly with his left hand. White shifted the momentum with a strong second round, taking advantage as the Brazlian’s pace slowed. All his good work was erased two minutes into round three. Martins clocked him with a right hand to the jaw, followed him to the canvas and polished off his third straight victory with a series of unanswered hammerfists.