Donald Cerrone’s day alone at the top of the mountain will have to wait.
In what would have been his record-setting 21st victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, “Cowboy” (33-11, 1 N/C) fell to Leon Edwards (16-3) by unanimous decision in the welterweight main event of UFC Fight Night 132.
All three judges saw the fight 48-47 for the 26 year-old Englishman. The story of the first two rounds was Edwards’ dominance. Not only did Edwards appear to be the larger, faster man but he seemed to have read the book on the older fighter. Edwards struck early, often and hard at Cerrone’s body, a weakness in previous fights, and he easily shrugged off the veteran’s surprise level changes, normally a reliable weapon. Worse, a small cut on Cerrone’s face in the first round soon became a large one, and both men spent most of the last four rounds covered in the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter’s blood. The third through fifth rounds saw Cerrone gaining momentum; he landed harder and more often, and finally succeeded in getting the larger man to the canvas, but ultimately he could not inflict enough damage or exert enough control to sway the judges.
The loss leaves Cerrone’s Octagon win total at 20, tying him with Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre for the most all-time. Edwards’ sixth straight UFC victory leaves him closer than ever to a welterweight title shot.
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OSP Takes Pedro’s Arm Home
In the co-main event, former light heavyweight title challenger Ovince St. Preux (23-11) turned away up-and-coming Tyson Pedro (7-2) in one of the wilder one-round fights of the year so far.
In just under three minutes, their fight featured a near-finish by Pedro, as the Australian buckled St. Preux’s legs with a straight right, and then pounced with a guillotine choke. “OSP” managed to regain his wits while fighting off the choke, though, and the two fighters entered an extended series of overhook and whizzer- driven scrambles, throwing each other all over the cage.
Eventually, St. Preux ended up on top near the fence, where he grabbed a kimura, pulled Pedro’s arm out into a straight armbar, and left the younger man no option but to tap at 2:54. The rousing finish gives the Knoxville, Tennessee, native his 11th win in 17 Octagon appearances and his fifth UFC submission. The 26 year-old Pedro falls to 3-2 in the UFC with this, his first loss via stoppage.
Eye Outpoints Rose Clark
In a flyweight feature bout, Jessica Eye (13-6, 1 N/C) continued her resurgence, as she defeated Jessica-Rose Clark (9-5, 1 N/C) via unanimous decision. “Evil” Eye got the better of the majority of the striking exchanges, and cemented the third round for herself with a takedown and lengthy stay atop “Jessy Jess” in which she dominated the Australian positionally and was seeking a submission up to the final horn.
The win puts two victories between Eye and the four-fight skid she endured from 2015-2016 and leaves her looking renewed at her new home at flyweight. Clark, meanwhile, sees her three-fight winning streak end.
Li Keeps Abe Honest with Low Kicks
In the main card opening bout, Jingliang Li (15-5) proved to be simply too much for Daichi Abe (6-2), pummeling him for 15 minutes of action conducted entirely on the feet and winning a unanimous decision.
Abe was game, throwing offense for the duration of the fight, but found himself frequently overwhelmed and reeling from the China Top Team export’s pressure, volume and power. “The Leech” subjected Abe to a constant barrage of leg kicks and had him visibly rocked on a half-dozen occasions. The win moves the 30 year-old Li to 7-3 in the UFC. Abe has now lost two straight after going 6-0 to start his professional career.
Yan's Explosive Debut Tops Prelims
Petr Yan’s highly anticipated UFC debut was a resounding success, as “No Mercy” (9-1) blew away Teruto Ishihara (10-6-2) with first-round strikes. The normally striking-oriented Ishihara surprised Yan by dropping levels for an effortless early takedown, but Yan escaped quickly. Once the two were back on their feet, the difference in speed and power became evident. With a minute and a half left in the round, Yan tagged Ishihara with a no-look spinning back elbow. As “Yashabo” stumbled across the cage, Yan pursued him and hit him with a short right hook that put him down for good. Referee Steve Perceval waved the fight off at 3:28 of Round 1. The loss puts Ishihara’s UFC future in doubt, as he is now 1-4 over his last five fights, with the lone win being over fellow bubble resident Rolando Dy.
Song Yadong (12-3) cemented his hot-prospect status with a brutal second-round knockout of Brazilian Felipe Arantes (18-10-1). The 20 year-old Yadong dominated the second round, including a ground sequence where he appeared close to securing an arm-triangle choke. “Sertanejo” escaped, however, and Yadong continued to punish him on the feet. Late in the round, Yadong broke a clinch against the fence with a massive level elbow that landed directly behind Arantes’ left ear. Arantes wilted, as Yadong followed up with several huge strikes on the ground. The stoppage came with a mere second left in the round. Yadong, who has been training at Team Alpha Male, has now won two straight in the UFC, five overall. “Sertanejo” has now lost three straight.
Shane Young (12-4) righted his ship with a bloody TKO finish of Rolando Dy (9-7) in their featherweight tilt. A fast-paced striking match began to swing more and more in the favor of “Sugar,” who crushed an already bloodied Dy with a standing elbow strike late in Round 2. Dy crumpled to the mat under the ensuing flurry of punches. The TKO came at 4:40. Young goes to 1-1 in the UFC, while Dy falls to 1-3 and likely walking papers.
Kenan Song (13-3) blasted Hector Aldana (4-1) in the second round of their welterweight bout, handing the Mexican his first professional loss in the process. A powerful right hand to the temple dropped “TUF Latin America 2” veteran Aldana, and Song gave him no chance to recover, peppering him with hammerfists. As Aldana did little more than cover up, referee Thomas Fan pulled Song off of his foe at 4:42 for the TKO victory. The Jackson-Wink MMA transplant moves to 3-0 since joining the UFC last November, with all three of those wins by knockout or TKO.
Jake Matthews (14-3) continued to show why he is one of the best young prospects in the UFC, as he put Shinsho Anzai (10-3) to sleep with a first-round rear-naked choke in their welterweight showdown. Matthews rocked the Japanese wrestler with a knee, followed him to the floor and locked up a body triangle. The final squeeze came soon thereafter, with blood flowing from Anzai’s face. Referee Leon Roberts realized Anzai was out and called the bout off at 2:44. The Celtic Kid’s current three fight winning streak brings the 23 year-old Australian to 7-3 overall with the UFC. Anzai falls to 2-2 in his Octagon tenure.
Xiaonan Yan (9-1) handled Viviane Pereira (13-2) in their strawweight prelim bout, winning by unanimous decision. Yan chewed up the Brazilian for most of the 15-minute fight with a relentless barrage of single strikes and one-two combinations, enabled by her superior reach and much sharper footwork. Pereira, who suffered a significant cut to the bridge of the nose in the second round, was reduced to chasing and lunging at the much taller sanda practitioner for long stretches. Yan runs her unbeaten streak to eight fights, the last two in the UFC. Pereira falls to 2-2 with the promotion.
Matt Schnell (11-4) handed Naoki Inoue (11-1) his first career loss in a tightly-contested flyweight scrap. Across three rounds primarily composed of tense kickboxing, both fighters landed numerous low kicks and stinging punch combinations. Schnell ended up taking a split decision by 29-28 (twice) and 28-29 scorecards. The win moves “Danger” to 2-2 in the UFC, while Inoue falls to 1-1.
Yuta Sasaki (21-5) notched yet another rear-naked choke submission -- his 11th -- at the expense of Jenel Lausa (7-5). The match was characterized by Sasaki’s relentless takedown game, with Lausa’s main success coming in some early second-round exchanges on the feet. Halfway through that round, though, Sasaki dragged his man to the mat once again, took the Filipino’s back and sunk the fight-ending choke. Sasaki evened his UFC slate at 4-4 and called out Sergio Pettis; Lausa moves to 1-2 with the promotion.
In the opener, Ji Yeon Kim (8-1-2) won her second consecutive UFC fight, beating Melinda Fabian (4-4-2) by split decision. In a bout contested entirely on the feet, the South Korean flyweight outboxed her opponent in the early going, leaving Fabian’s face severely swollen and reddened by the end of the second round. Kim moves to 2-1 in the UFC, while the Hungarian falls to 0-1-1.