Donald Cerrone was in vintage form against Evan Dunham at UFC 167. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Donald Cerrone made his pitch for another post-fight bonus.
“Cowboy” submitted Xtreme Couture’s Evan Dunham with a second-round triangle choke at UFC 167 “St. Pierre vs. Hendricks” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Dunham (14-5, 7-5 UFC) conceded defeat 3:49 into round two, as he was submitted for the first time in 19 professional appearances.
Cerrone (21-6, 8-3 UFC) set the table with his standup, as he tore into the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with knees throughout the first round. He put Dunham on rubbery legs with one of those knees and swarmed him with punches for the potential finish. The Oregonian survived to see round two. Once there, Cerrone switched gears with a takedown and caught the triangle during a subsequent scramble, moving to a mounted position for the tapout.
“When I got my triangle,” Cerrone said, “I knew it was over.”
Leites Wins Fifth Straight
Nova Uniao’s Thales Leites extended his winning streak to five fights with a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 finalist Ed Herman in an undercard duel at 185 pounds. Leites (22-4, 7-3 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27s across the board.
Much of the middleweight matchup was contested in the clinch and on the ground, and Leites was the superior fighter in both areas. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt controlled Herman (21-10, 7-7 UFC) with a heavy top game, short circuiting the American with transitions, guard passes and ground-and-pound. Herman clipped Leites with a close-quarters uppercut and staggered him with a left hook in the third round, only to find himself back on the bottom moments later. Leites put the exclamation point on his victory in the closing seconds, moving to full mount before the horn sounded.
Story Overwhelms Overmatched Ebersole
Brave Legion’s Rick Story fired on all cylinders, as he cruised to a one-sided unanimous decision against Brian Ebersole in an undercard tilt at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Story (16-7, 9-5 UFC), who bounced back from a disappointing decision loss to Mike Pyle in May.
Ebersole (50-16-1, 4-2 UFC) offered little in terms of meaningful resistance. Story ripped into him with power punches to the head and body, mixing in the occasional takedown when the opportunity presented itself. As the fight deepened, leg kicks became more and more of a factor. Story had the Thailand-based American in visible distress in the third round with repeated thudding blows to his thigh.
Jackson’s Perez Downs Figueroa
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts standout Erik Perez utilized a series of takedowns, aggressive topside grappling and some exquisite multi-punch combinations in earning a unanimous verdict over Edwin Figueroa in a preliminary bantamweight encounter. Perez (14-5, 4-1 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27 marks, as he picked up his ninth win in 10 outings.
Outside of a few stout right hands, Figueroa (9-4, 2-4 UFC) never fully established himself in the match. Perez kept the Texan off-balance with his variety, mixing takedowns with strikes in an efficient all-around effort. “El Goyito” floored Figueroa in the second round, following a left hook to the body with a right to the head. He then put the finishing touches on the victory in the third, where he struck for two more takedowns, passed the Figueroa guard into side control and neutralized him with ground-and-pound.
Surging High Outduels Lapsley
Takedowns, stifling top control and an active submission game carried American Top Team’s Jason High to a unanimous decision against former King of the Cage champion Anthony Lapsley in an undercard clash at 170 pounds. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for High (18-4, 2-2 UFC), who has won nine times in his last 10 outings.
“The Kansas City Bandit” was at his best in the first round, where he grounded Lapsley (22-6, 0-1 UFC) repeatedly, transitioned between back mount and full mount and threatened him with the first of many attempted guillotine chokes. Lapsley turned the tide briefly in round two, as he scrambled into top position and gave the 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix finalist a taste of his own medicine.
However, High struck for another takedown inside the first 30 seconds of the third round, passed to side control and cemented his latest victory.
Undefeated Pettis Outpoints Campuzano
Roufusport prospect Sergio Pettis made a successful promotional debut, as he captured a unanimous decision from Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Will Campuzano in an undercard battle at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for the unbeaten Pettis (10-0, 1-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Campuzano (13-5, 0-3 UFC) -- who replaced the injured Vaughan Lee on short notice -- relied heavily on takedowns, scoring with them in the first and third rounds. However, they were not enough to counteract the dynamic offensive attack from Pettis. “The Phenom” wrecked Campuzano’s lead leg with low kicks, threatened him with a modified guillotine choke in round two and cracked the 27-year-old Texan with punching combinations and well-placed knees.
The defeat halted Campuzano’s five-fight winning streak.
Villante Counter Dispatches Donovan
Former Ring of Combat champion Gian Villante put away Cody Donovan with a counter right hook and follow-up standing-to-ground punches in the second round of their light heavyweight scrap. A fill-in for Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Robert Drysdale, Villante (11-4, 1-1 UFC) finished it 1:22 into round two.
Donovan (8-4, 1-2 UFC) was in charge at the start, as he clipped the Strikeforce veteran with a first-round head kick and peppered him with jabs and right crosses. Villante answered in the second, where he countered another head kick with a thudding right hook that sent Donovan to the mat. A series of unanswered punches fell next, resulting in the stoppage.