clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night 59 results: Donald Cerrone takes unanimous decision over Ben Henderson

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Donald Cerrone was out to prove that he was a different fighter under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner than he was with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), where he dropped two bouts to Ben Henderson years ago.

He succeeded, but it wasn't easy ... at all.

Cerrone and Henderson were forced into a trilogy match at UFC Fight Night 59 tonight (Sun., Jan. 18, 2015) when Eddie Alvarez had to withdraw with an injury, putting "Cowboy" in a position to return to action after going three rounds with Myles Jury at UFC 182 two weeks ago.

It might not have been the best idea, but in the end it worked out, as "Cowboy" came away with a razor-thin unanimous decision over the decision master.

Cerrone came out like he normally does, pumped up and looking to get into a fist fight. He landed a few nice shots early, forcing Henderson to circle away and look for an opening of his own. Henderson landed a looping right that backed up "Cowboy," bust just for a few seconds.

Henderson looked like he wanted to attempt a takedown midway through the match, but was rebuffed with a short Cerrone strike. The action slowed a bit as 90 seconds remained, with Henderson landing side-knee kicks and Cerrone firing back with intermittent shots. It was a close round, both were busy, but neither shined significantly brighter than the other.

As the second stanza started, Henderson came out pumping side/push kicks to Cerrone's legs. Cerrone shot in for a takedown and Henderson met his face with a knee, which seemed to wake him up as he fired off a barrage of blows. None of them, however, did damage.

Henderson continued to work the kicks to the legs, seemingly angering Cerrone, who exploded with his best combination of the fight. With 1.5 minutes remaining, Cerrone scored a takedown, but let up the former champion when he couldn't get the proper position. Henderson landed a sweet flying knee near the end of the round, but Cerrone punished him with a high kick right in the face.

It was anyone's fight to start the third, and it was evident with both fighters coming out pumped up and aggressive. While Henderson throws jabs to the thighs, Cerrone was looking for the finish. Henderson, though, landed his best shot of the fight, a head kick that appeared to daze Cerrone.

Henderson went for another one moments later and Cerrone used it to score a quick takedown. Cerrone tried to punish him on the way up, but Henderson appeared to escape unscathed. Another flying knee from Henderson has Cerrone looking for a late takedown, but he backed up.

The pair traded big kicks at the end and Cerrone caught him with a left, and the match went to the judges scorecards, who awarded Cerrone with a unanimous decision win. One that might be considered controversial, but then again, his gameplan might have worked against him in their eyes.

For complete UFC Fight Night 59 results, including play-by-play updates, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania