The co-main event of tonight's (Sat., Sept. 27, 2014) UFC 178: "Johnson vs. Cariaso" pay-per-view (PPV) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured Eddie Alvarez finally making his way to the Octagon for a hugely important lightweight showdown against Donald Cerrone.
Could the former Bellator champ prove his mettle in the world's largest fight promotion?
If surviving to the end of the fight but losing by decision is "proving his mettle", then yeah, he proved it.
The final score from the judges: 29-28 across the board, all for Cerrone.
The two were exchanging punches and kicks early, with "Cowboy" looking for hard knees inside, when Cerrone initiated a clinch. Alvarez took advantage by coming over the top with hard left and right hands that were landing clean to the temple. He must have thrown 15, landing quite a few but never scoring a knockdown.
Cerrone looked hurt but that didn't stop him from working his game once they reset.
Into the second round, Alvarez was eating more and more knees while also taking leg kicks that were chopping him down. After the scary start to the bout, Cerrone recovered quite nicely to reestablish himself.
Alvarez came back with a big right hand to kick off the third, but Cerrone recovered nicely and went back to his game. Those knees up the middle were doing damage and he was accentuating that offense with high kicks and punches. Eddie was fading more and more as the fight wore on.
Eventually, "Cowboy" scored a knockdown and came down on top to continue his dominance.
He coasted from there.
And another one.
For complete UFC 178 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.