Al Iaquinta faced Donald Cerrone tonight in the main event of UFC Ottawa. The anticipated match-up did not disappoint.
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Iaquinta (14-4-1) has just one defeat since September of 2014, his short-notice championship fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. Should he win, the No. 4 ranked Iaquinta has a legit claim to the next title shot.
As for Cerrone (35-11). The 36-year-old “Cowboy” has never looked better. He has won two straight and three of his last four. A win over Iaquinta could lasso a title shot for Cerrone.
They touch gloves. Iaquinta comes out with a sidekick. He throws a leg kick and goes to the body. Cerrone answers with a leg kick of his own. Iaquinta wings a right hand that misses. Cerrone buries a body kick. He shoves Iaquinta away. Both men having a hard time finding their range early on. Cerrone faints a knee straight down the middle. Iaquinta clips Cerrone with a right hand. Cerrone throws a head kick up as Iaquinta throws a right hand. Less than a minute to go. Cerrone plots forward and lands a kick but Iaquinta eats it and works for a takedown. The horn sounds.
Cerrone lands a leg kick. Iaquinta answers. Iaquinta moves in and lands a one-two. Cerrone goes low and hurts Iaquinta with a leg kick. He drives another kick home. Iaquinta lands a heavy right hand, then a kick. Cerrone pops a jab, Iaquinta with another leg kick. He faints to draw a reaction from Cerrone. Less than two minutes to go. Cerrone drives forward with a one-two. Iaquinta eats a hard thigh kick. The New Yorker doubles up on his jab. He wings a left to the body that misses. He clips Cerrone with a right that wobbles him. The round comes to an end.
Iaquinta goes right back to the legs of Cerrone with a kick. Cerrone just misses a head kick. He pumps his jab in the face of Iaquinta. Both men throw leg kicks at the same time. Iaquinta with a fast one-two down the middle. Cerrone answers with a leg kick, then a straight left. Cerrone lands a hard body kick, then goes to back to the legs of Iaquinta. Cerrone throws a front kick out there that just misses. Cerrone lands a left hand. Iaquinta lands a right. A head kick by Cerrone finds its mark. Nice one-two landed by Iaquinta. Cerrone goes high with a kick again. A straight left drops Iaquinta. Cerrone opens up with ground and pound but the horn sounds and saves Iaquinta.
Cerrone straight away to the leg kick. Iaquinta eats a front kick. He drops. Cerrone is all over him. He takes his back. Iaquinta defends and gets to his feet. Unreal. Cerrone lands a left hand. Cowboy pumps the jab in the face of Iaquinta. Cerrone with a switch kick to Iaquinta’s head. Iaquinta lands a left hook, then another. Cerrone throws the front kick again. He sneaks an uppercut in behind it. He lands a right, then a left on Iaquinta. The men trade body blows. Cerrone buries a hard leg kick. Cerrone moves forward with a brilliant combo of punches. The round ends with Iaquinta’s face a bloody mess.
The fighters touch gloves. Iaquinta moves forward and doubles up his jab. Cerrone lands a leg kick, then another. Iaquinta loops an overhand right hand that misses. Cerrone lands a stiff jab then a leg kick that nearly takes his off his feet. Cerrone walks Iaquinta down and throws a head kick. Iaquinta lands a looping right. Cerrone lands a front kick, Iaquinta counters with a right hook. Cerrone lands a body kick. Iaquinta lands a nice jab. 90 seconds left in the fight. Iaquinta faints a takedown, Cerrone pushes him off and lands a leg kick. Both men open up as the final second’s tick away. Great fight.
Donald Cerrone defeats Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-46)