WEC lightweight fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone evened it to 1-1 with rival Jamie Varner tonight, defeating Varner via unanimous decision over three rounds of fighting. The fight was a close one but the story was basically the same from bell to bell: Cerrone seemed to be more eager to engage and landed the cleaner and more effective strikes.
Upon the first bell the two fighters moved quickly to the middle of the cage and started trading leather. Cerrone rocked Varner right away and Varner fired back with a strong takedown when “Cowboy” lunged in with a flying knee to try to seal the deal. Cerrone sent Varner’s mouthpiece sailing across the cage and barely let up assault for Herb Dean to get it back to his opponent. They ended the first frame the same way they started, doing their best to knock each other senseless. The second frame was more of the same, with both fighters having their moments but with Cerrone holding a clear edge in striking and successful takedown attempts. A bloodied Varner touched gloves with Cerrone to start the third round and after he landed a couple of solid right hands the momentum swung back in Cerrone’s favor. “Cowboy” landed another solid takedown off of effective striking and chopped Varner up with short elbows from the guard. The round ended with Cerrone taking it to Varner and with Varner doing his best to respond.
Cerrone took home the unanimous decision victory and bounced back from an April title-fight loss to champ Benson Henderson. Despite a minor post-fight altercation involving a few half-hearted shoves, Cerrone managed to keep things civil and offered Varner the opportunity for a rubber match. “Cowboy” improves his overall record to 12-3 and his WEC record to 5-3.