Cerrone had been wanting this fight for a long time now, calling "Showtime" out for months and challenging the Duke Roufus-trained fighter's manliness multiple times before the bout finally came to fruition.
He won't be doing that anymore after last night.
The tone for this fight was set in the opening seconds as Pettis connected with a very solid right hand on Cerrone's chin. He didn't let up, either, scoring with a left hook and a right hand during a heated exchange inside the pocket.
"Cowboy" got his licks in, landing a good knee to the body when Pettis got cute attempting a capoeira cartwheel kick which grazed him.
After switching stances, Pettis connected with a pair of heavy kicks to the body to back off Cerrone and commentator Joe Rogan announced that he felt "Showtime" had hurt him with the blow. A knee to the body from Pettis followed by a ridiculous jumping knee to the chin off the fence only made things worse.
Again Pettis went to the body, this time with a straight left hand and a heavy kick straight to the liver folded Cerrone in half, sending him to the ground completely unable to fight back as the ref stepped in and put a stop to it, handing Pettis his win and well-deserved his title shot.
For Donald Cerrone, he made a lot of the same mistakes he made in the fight against Nate Diaz. His head movement was non-existent and he wasn't properly defending himself. When it appeared pretty obvious he was getting outstruck, he didn't try to adjust by either clinching or taking the fight to the ground. It was just a case of a fighter being outclassed and not finding a way to make up for it in time. When he ate the first good kick to the body, he was in big trouble and props to Pettis for keying on the liver until he went down.
For Anthony Pettis, this was perhaps the best he's looked in his entire career. He blasted Cerrone with his right hand during every striking exchange and didn't hardly get touched. He started mixing up his attack within the first minute, throwing body kicks, capoeira kicks and even threw a ridiculous off-the-cage knee to the chin. When he hurt Cerrone with the initial body kick, he stayed on him, attacking with body punches, more kicks and then the picture perfect liver kick to end all liver kicks that sent him down for the count.
Next up for Pettis is going to be the winner of Ben Henderson vs Gilbert Melendez. Either fight would sell, but I'm pretty sure everyone wants to see that epic Pettis vs Henderson rematch we've been clamoring for ever since the WEC disbanded at the end of 2010.