With a fantastic undercard showing, the UFC Fight Night 45 main card is now underway. With Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller at the head of the card, featherweights Lucas Martins and Alex White looked to get the action going. The undefeated White looked a little tame against the Chute Box prospect Martins in round one, and was handily outstruck and hurt at times.
The pace slowed for ‘Mineiro’ a little in round two, but he still kept White on the back foot the whole time. White was able to land a nifty spinning back fist that had Martins troubled, and likely stole the second round. ‘The Spartan’ was busted up heading in to round three, but looked to be clawing back in this fight. Then BOOM! A big right hand rocks White and he is out on his feet, a few ground shots finish it off. Great win for Martins.
Flyweights John Liniker and Alpetkin Ozkilic were up next, and they put in one heel of a performance. In short, this bout was a back-and-forth slugfest that was hard to score. Liniker’s brutal boxing to the body and uppercuts to the head was just too much for Ozkilic in round three, as Liniker scored a gritty TKO win.
Lightweights Justin Salas and Joe Proctor threw down next, and Proctor showed some great heart to bounce back in the second round and score the evening’s sixth knockout. Leanardo Mafra and Rick Story transpired at 170 pounds, and this was all about the size and strength of ‘The Horror’. Story dominated the 165-pound Mafra from the go, smothering with his ground game and landing hard shots.
It was as good as done at the end of round one, but Story finished it for good in round two with an arm-triangle choke. Brazilian knockout specialist Edson Brarboza went up against highly touted Evan Dunham next, for the co-main of the evening. As expected, Barboza was way too much for Dunham, as he landed a brutal liver kick, scoring yet another knockout on this awesome card.
Main event time, and Donald Cerrone squares off against Jim Miller. The opening stanza was a tense but active affair, as Miller tried to land hard shots to the head, and ‘Cowboy’ found a home for the knee to the body. Cerrone looked sharper and had Miller backed up a few times. 10-9 Cerrone
An alleged groin shot turned out to actually be a body shot, and really should have been the end of the fight as the ref stepped in. Some confusion as Dan Mirgliotta lets the scrap go on. Cerrone is just lighting Miller up to the body with kicks. Dominant round for ‘Cowboy’ as he rocks Miller to the body, now a high kick and Miller is swinging for the home run. What a great fight! OH MY GOD! Cerrone goes high with the head kick, and Miller is out on his feet.
The controversy matters not, as Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone makes a statement for the title shot with a second round head kick knockout win. Best card of the year?
Donald Cerrone def. Jim Miller by KO head kick
Edson Barboza def. Evan Dunham by TKO (liver kick and punches) round one
Rick Story def. Leanardo Mafra by submission (arm-triangle choke) round two
Joe Proctor def. Justin Salas by TKO round three
John Liniker def. Alpetkin Ozkilic by TKO (punches) round three
Lucas Martins def. Alex White by KO (punch) round three
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