Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Nov. 10, 2018) with UFC Fight Night 139, which went down inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
In the main event of the evening, Yair Rodriguez and Chan Sung Jung put on a show for the ages before “Pantera” pulled off one of the great knockouts in mixed martial arts (MMA) history by sleeping “Korean Zombie” with an upward elbow with one second remaining in the fight (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Donald Cerrone proved he still has plenty left in the tank, getting one over on his old camp by submitting Mike Perry with an armbar (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Yair Rodriguez
This one is a no-brainer, as Rodriguez capped off his “Fight of the Night” against “Korean Zombie” by unleashing a highlight-reel knockout with only one second left in the fight. I mean it was a thing of beauty.
Had it gone to the judges, Yair would have lost the fight on the cards, as he was down despite a competitive fight. To make his spectacular win better, he did it in his first fight after his brief spat with the promotion, on the company’s 25th anniversary show and collected a cool extra $100,000 in post-fight bonuses. It can’t get better than that. Unfortunately, “Pantera” seemed a bit banged up and may have suffered a foot injury after the 25-minute brawl, so he could be on the bench for a bit to recuperate. After that war, some time off wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Runner Up: Donald Cerrone
Going into his fight against Mike Perry, “Cowboy” had a lot of motivation to get the win. First off, he was fighting on his turf, in front of his family and friends. But his biggest motivation was having his son front row, as he explained no one was going to take food out of his mouth. Plus, there was also the spat with his former, long-time camp at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, who was cornering “Platinum.” So it’s safe to say Cerrone wasn’t lacking motivation, and losing simply wasn’t an option. After sinking in a fight-ending armbar, “Cowboy” was able to celebrate with his family inside the cage. And showing his class, he kept it classy, as he didn’t cause any raucous or throw the win in his old camp’s face. On top of that, Donald broke the record for most wins inside the Octagon (21) and most finishes (15) and won yet another $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. It truly was special night for Cerrone.
Biggest Loser: Mike Perry
Unfortunately, someone has to take this spot and this time around it goes to Perry. Despite making his transition to the highly-regarded Jackson-Wink MMA camp, “Platinum” wasn’t able to collect back-to-back wins. Indeed, Perry couldn’t manage to create much offense against Cerrone other than a takedown, which “Cowboy” quickly reversed.
Cerrone was simply too experienced for “Platinum,” who has now last three of his last four outings, with his lone win being a split-decision victory against Lightweight standout Paul Felder, who took the fight on short notice at UFC 226. Where he goes from here is unclear, but Perry will have his work cut out for him if he wants to get back into the win column because the 170-pound division is as tough and stacked as ever. He has the motivation to do it, now it’s all about putting all the pieces together to find a winning groove.
For complete UFC Denver results and coverage click here.