Two friends and former teammates stepped into the Octagon last night (August 11, 2012) in the co-main event of UFC 150 as Donald Cerrone took on Melvin Guillard in a hotly contested lightweight match-up.
Everyone was counting Guillard out of the fight after he missed weight the day before, coming in 1.5 pounds heavy at 157.5 and forfeiting 20 percent of his fight purse.
But "The Young Assassin" almost made everyone eat crow after planting Cerrone on his keister with a beautiful left hook just 10 seconds into the fight.
Unfortunately for Guillard, he couldn't put "Cowboy" away and Cerrone eventually turned the tide with one of the year's most brutal finishes, which won him "Knockout of the Night" and won both men "Fight of the Night" in just 76 seconds.
It was that good.
So how did Cerrone recover from the brink to finish his opponent less than a minute later? And what happens next for both men?
Follow me after the jump for our Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard UFC 150 post-fight review and analysis.
Cerrone came out of the gate brimming with confidence and it almost cost him. He threw a huge left hook which left him wide open and Guillard capitalized, blasting him with a left hook right on the kisser which sent him crashing to the canvas.
To his credit, "Cowboy" scrambled to his feet and avoided the monster knee that flew in from Guillard, but he wasn't out of trouble just yet. Guillard attacked with a big flurry of strikes, putting Cerrone in the clinch and nailing him with a solid knee to the body that folded the Greg Jackson-trained fighter in half.
Cerrone was in survival mode, just trying to weather the storm and play defense for the next 20 seconds as Guillard tried to hurt him with huge elbows in the clinch. For some reason, though, Guillard backed off and reset with him.
From the looks of it, Guillard was trying to land another big power shot from the center of the cage, but he missed on two huge hooks, one left and one right and this opened the door for "Cowboy" to finally get back in the fight.
And boy did he.
Cerrone threw a beautiful head kick from close range which Guillard tried to duck under, but instead it clipped him with the shin to the top of his head. Guillard was rocked badly and Cerrone charged forward with a monster lunging straight right that put the Imperial Athletics fighter down for the count.
Cerrone was even starting to work for a rear naked choke before the referee pulled him off.
For Melvin Guillard, he actually performed pretty well. Everyone was counting him out heading into this fight and he nearly pulled off a huge upset. That left hook counter was a thing of beauty, but his follow-up attacks were sloppy. He didn't capitalize on the big knee to the body that scored and he backed off despite Cerrone still being in big trouble. Once he backed off, all his momentum was gone and he turned into a head hunter. It was the counter that nearly won it for him, not sloppy haymakers that weren't going to land on someone with Cerrone's experience.
For Donald Cerrone, he definitely came out way overconfident, but he remained poised under pressure. He was in serious trouble but he didn't wilt and when he finally did recover, he exploded with a fantastic display of violence. That head kick and straight right were a sight to behold. It was very impressive to see him recover so quickly and go right back on the offense. That's a sign of an experienced striker. I can't wait to see him again.
It's all but assured that Cerrone is going to face Anthony Pettis next. That's a fight with a ton of potential for excitement and I'm hoping it's given a lot of exposure, like the next UFC on Fox event.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you surprised that Guillard nearly knocked Cerrone's block off early? What impressed you most about Cerrone, his recovery or the vicious knockout?