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UFC Fight Night 132 results from last night: Donald Cerrone vs Leon Edwards fight recap

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight kickboxers Donald Cerrone and Leon Edwards clashed last night (June 23, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 132 from inside Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.

Is “Cowboy” still a Welterweight contender in 2018? That was the main question ahead of last night’s showdown, as Cerrone’s mix of a disastrous 2017 and recent victory left him in uncertain territory. Against a game young contender, Cerrone looked to show his time was far from over.

Alternatively, this was Edwards big opportunity to prove himself one of the best Welterweights in the world. Consistent development and success earned him this opportunity, but “Cowboy” was a very different fighter from any in Edwards’ past.

Edwards clearly studied the anti-Cerrone game plan, advancing with pressure, feints, and an early left kick to the mid-section. Cerrone responded with punches in bursts, and Edwards quickly diverted from standard non-Cerrone strategy by dropping into a double and trying to ground the veteran.

It didn’t result in a takedown, but Edwards cut his foe with an elbow on the break nevertheless. The fight moved to the clinch once more when Cerrone attempted a reactive shot, but again Edwards landed the better strikes. Back in the center of the Octagon, Edwards simply picked his foe apart for the rest of the round. Switching stances, landing kicks to all targets, and doing damage, Edwards thoroughly won the round.

Cerrone is known for getting better as the fight wears on, but he desperately needed to get started.

The left kick continued to plague “Cowboy” into the second round, and Edwards scored a nice series of elbows when Cerrone tried to push forward. On the bright side, Cerrone did score with a few nice kicks to the legs and body, but his success was mostly limited to one strike at a time.

A Cerrone takedown attempt along the fence ultimately led to another brutal elbow from Edwards, and Cerrone bled wildly. While Cerrone found a bit more success with his punches as the round wore on, his larger problem was that Edwards was fighting — and winning — at his own comfortable pace.

No matter what Cerrone did, Edwards stayed in his rhythm of delivering left kicks, counter elbows, and the occasional cross.

Cerrone had taken a beating in the opening ten minutes, but credit to “Cowboy,” he was undeterred. He pressured Edwards hard to open the third, at first eating counters, but then found some of his best success with a couple flurries. He also mixed in the uppercut a bit more, which landed well. Oddly, Cerrone seemed really intent on level changing into shots that landed him in the clinch, a position where Edwards repeatedly scored the harder shots.

Round three was positive progress, but Cerrone was not winning yet.

“Rocky” was sharp to start the championship rounds, landing a ton of left kicks. He repeatedly jammed Cerrone up, preventing the American’s offense with good feints and the trusty left hand counter. “Cowboy” drove into the clinch repeatedly with seemingly little purpose, only briefly — very briefly — gaining top position when Edwards over-extended on a trip attempt. The activity dropped quite a bit in the fourth, as Cerrone could not get his offense going and Edwards was happy to coast.

Cerrone almost certainly needed a stoppage in the final five minutes to win.

True to his style, Cerrone stalked, threw body shots, and kicked at the leg. Edwards evaded a lot of his offense by circling away, often content to trade kicks from the outside and avoid exchanges. With just about 90 seconds remaining, “Cowboy” secured his first real takedown of the fight from the double underhook position. For a second, it seemed like Cerrone might gain the mount, but Edwards shut that down and stood up rather quickly.

Back on his feet, Edwards coasted to the bell and decision victory.

It may not have been the most thrilling fight, but this was an interesting result. Edwards attempted to pressure early, but it honestly didn’t take long for the Englishman to hang back at range and strike like usual. For perhaps the first time in his career, Cerrone was largely given a range kickboxing match — but lost. Other men have out-struck Cerrone, it’s true, but almost unanimously they have done so by walking the kickboxer down.

That’s a feather in Edwards cap.

The down side of Edwards’ performance was obviously the coasting. It’s understandable to be wary of exhausting the tank against an opponent like Cerrone, but that doesn’t make it fun to watch. The last couple rounds were tedious at times, and that hurts Edwards’ momentum.

In Cerrone’s case, he definitely showed he can still take a shot, as Edwards cracked him with left hands, elbows, and some high kicks that were directly from Cerrone’s usual playbook. He’s looked a little shaky lately, so a 25 minute fight with a nasty striker like Edwards should give Cerrone some confidence.

At the same time, Cerrone is no longer the offensive dynamo he once was. Outside of some tricky high kicking and nice body punches, Cerrone was just never able to get anything going. He looked a bit flustered and slow to react, which is very likely a sign of wear catching up to the 35 year old.

The veteran is not cooked just yet, but he’s no longer a contender either.

Last night, Leon Edwards scored the biggest victory of his career. Who should he face next?

For complete UFC Fight Night 132 “Cerrone Vs. Edwards” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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