Donald Cerrone's road back to contention in the lightweight division went through Rafael dos Anjos tonight (Wed., Aug. 28, 2013) in the co-main event of the UFC Fight Night 27: "Condit vs.Kampmann 2" event in Indianapolis, Indiana. Divisional relevance is important, sure, but this was also earmarked as the early "Fight of the Night" contender.
But did it deliver?
Dos Anjos, facing very little expectation, came out and blew the doors off the Octagon, landing hard punches that had "Cowboy" staggered back, forced to respect his power. Not to be outdone, Cerrone threw submissions from his back, nearly successfully completing one before battling to get to the end of the first round.
The second saw the Brazilian continue his onslaught, as Cerrone looked downright sluggish. That big shot he took in the first may have done more damage than he attempted to let on.
The second stanza closed out just like the first, with dos Anjos on top and working from there and Cerrone defending with whatever offense he could muster from the undesirable position.
Perhaps finally fully recovering from that huge punch from the first round, Cerrone got super aggressive in the third, pushing forward and firing from all angles. His leg kicks were tripping dos Anjos up, his overhand punches were cutting dos Anjos up, and his relentless walking forward was frustrating the Brazilian.
Unfortunately for the "Cowboy" it was too little too late.
The judges awarded dos Anjos the victory on scores of 29-28 across the board.
For complete UFC Fight Night 27 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.