The bad blood leading up to the bout between Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone almost guaranteed a slugfest once the cage door closed. The bout lived up to the hype, but it was Nate Diaz that did most of the slugging, as he punished Cerrone with pinpoint accurate combinations over three rounds of action en route to a dominating unanimous decision victory.
Instead of touching gloves to start, Cerrone flashed his middle finger at Diaz, then proceeded to close the distance aggressively once the bout started. Diaz obliged, clinching and getting a brief takedown. Cerrone popped up to his feet, but immediately started taking damage as Diaz landed his crisp jab and combinations that continuously found their target. Diaz kept up the pressure, launching an offensive attack on the body of Cerrone in between multiple punch combinations to the face. Cerrone fought back, trying to establish his kicks, but a relentless Diaz ran away with the first round in dominating fashion.
Cerrone went to his leg kicks early in the second frame, sweeping Diaz off of his feet on multiple occasions, but “Cowboy” had no answer for the boxing of Diaz. Cerrone showed visible damage from taking too many flush punches as the round progressed, as Diaz continued to throw a barrage of straight punches down the middle that kept him ahead on the scorecards going into the last round.
The final stanza proved to be much like the previous rounds. Cerrone landed his kicks, and even got off some good punches, but his attack was mostly one-and-done compared to the five and six punch combos of Diaz. It was clear that a stoppage would be the only way for Cerrone to win, but it wasn’t in the cards, as Diaz continued to apply pressure until the bell sounded on a dominating performance.
When the scores came in, it was all Diaz 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
The win moves Nate Diaz to 15-7 overall (10-5 UFC), and extends his lightweight winning streak to two.