The most highly anticipated match-up on the UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier" fight card going down in Virginia tonight (Tues., May 15, 2012) featured lightweights Donald Cerrone and Jeremy Stephens meeting in the center of the cage for 155-pound supremacy.
It was your classic match-up. Striker vs. striker, brawler vs. brawler, these two will probably kill each other so let's book them and have fun watching it type contest.
It didn't exactly live up to its billing, as the two spent 15 minutes standing and trading to a mostly listless crowd. It also didn't help that Cerrone was clearly the superior fighter, both striking and grappling, though there wasn't much of the latter.
In fact, "Cowboy" was in control enough to taunt and toy with his opponent. At the conclusion of the three-round contest, the Greg Jackson product had coasted to a unanimous decision victory by scores of 30-27 across the board.
Stephens was out throwing bombs early while Cerrone was icing his legs with kicks. They weren't getting sucked into a stand-n-bang type of throwdown, though, as both men remained patient and avoided exchanging extensively inside.
Cerrone got more aggressive to finish the frame but this wasn't the knock down, drag 'em out slugfest UFC matchmakers were surely expecting.
Not yet at least.
"Cowboy" kept the pressure going in the opening minutes of round two, showing a complete lack of respect for Stephens' power. He did well to avoid the big punches and landed plenty of his own strikes while almost teasing and toying with him.
Not only did Cerrone get the better of Stephens standing, he even mixed in a late takedown. Heading into the final frame, Stephens looked to need a finish if he wanted to win.
The third round opened with a nut shot from Cerrone, which Stephens was able to recover from after a few minutes on the mat grimacing. The remainder of the round was a replay of the first two. Cerrone effectively used his reach advantage to and kicking game to keep Stephens at bay on his way to a decision victory.
How long until his name comes up in title talks?
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com has LIVE ongoing coverage of the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main card, as well as complete results from the undercard, right here.