Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweights Donald Cerrone and Patrick Cote threw down last night (June 18, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 89 inside TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada.
Though he made a successful debut at Welterweight, Cerrone’s immediate future in the division was uncertain. "Cowboy" looked to find out for himself last night if competing at 170 lbs. was an option, as this was a significant step up in competition.
Since dropping down to Welterweight, Cote has experienced a career renaissance. With his only loss in the division coming to the night’s headliner "Wonderboy," Cote had an opportunity to claim a spot in the rankings last night.
Cerrone opened up the bout with a nice reactive takedown, but he wasn’t able to do much before Cote scrambled back up to his feet after about a minute. After the two traded some kicks on the feet, Cerrone caught his opponent rushing with a takedown once again.
This time around, Cerrone advanced into the half guard and took the back when Cote tried to stand up. Locking in the body triangle, Cerrone attacked with the rear naked choke and nearly slipped it under the chin early on.
Cote survived, but he certainly lost the round.
Cerrone was very active with his kicks to start the second round. He immediately began chopping his opponent’s legs down, and "Cowboy" also did an excellent job of countering his opponent’s reaching punches with kicks to the body.
Before long, the low kicks were taking their effect, as Cote was moving rather gingerly. Just as "The Predator" began to find his range with some punches, Cerrone’s quicker hands dropped the Canadian hard. Cerrone wasn’t able to finish, but he did continue to pick him apart for the rest of the round.
It was an incredibly strong round for the American.
Continuing his excellent showing, Cerrone dropped his opponent almost immediately with another strong left hook. He allowed Cote to return to his feet and went back to beating up his legs, body, and chin.
Then, he ended the bout.
Cerrone once again stunned his opponent with a left hook before dropping his opponent for the third time with a right hand. This time, Cote wasn’t getting back up, as Cerrone pushed past his legs, stepped into mount, and forced the finish.
This was perhaps the best performance of Cerrone’s career. Against a very dangerous opponent and legitimate Welterweight, Cerrone absolutely dominated. He even avoided his notorious early slow start, winning just about every second of each round.
While Cerrone’s kicking looked great as ever — and his kick counters were gorgeous — it was his boxing that impressed. Cerrone has always been able to punch reasonably hard, but his hooks have never been particularly fast or crisp.
That changed last night, and the results were spectacular.
Following this win, it’s time to give Cerrone a ranked opponent at Welterweight. He should now be considered a serious contender, so a match up against someone like Rick Story would make sense.
On the other hand, this was the absolute worst-case scenario for Cote. He never found any advantage in this fight, as he was out-wrestled, nearly submitted, knocked out by punches, and will probably have trouble walking today.
That’s a rough day at the office.
In Cote’s defense, things really went wrong for him, and he still tried to hang tough. Against an opponent known for starting slow, Cote tried to do the smart thing and force exchanges. Instead, he was put on his back and nearly finished.
Similarly, Cote expected to have the boxing advantage. However, his opponent came in looking sharper than ever, and Cote found that out the hard way.
Last night, Donald Cerrone battered Patrick Cote en route to a third round knockout victory. How high can Cerrone climb in the Welterweight division?
For complete UFC Fight Night 89 "MacDonald vs Thompson" results and play-by-play, click HERE!