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UFC 131: Donald Cerrone Vs. Vagner Rocha

The following is from our live coverage of UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin. To access our full coverage, click here.

Herb Dean will ref the opening fight of the pay-per-view broadcast.

Round 1: Cerrone lands first with a nice leg kick. He goes inside with another, but lands low and the action is briefly halted. Cerrone lands a nice knee as Rocha moves in. Another beautiful leg kick lands for Cerrone before Rocha takes him down. Cerrone looks for the omoplata and eats a couple of hammerfists before getting to his feet. Rocha moves in for the takedown against the fence again. Rocha fighting hard for the takedown, but Cerrone shucks him off. “Cowboy” goes back to work with the leg kicks. Cerrone is battering Rocha’s legs, mixing punches in as well. Rocha tries for and fails on another takedown attempt. Cerrone catches a kick by Rocha and dumps onto the mat, welcoming him back to the feet. Cerrone is eating away at Rocha’s base with leg kicks. scores the round 10-9 for Cerrone

Round 2: They touch gloves to start out the second and Cerrone goes right back to work with the leg kicks. Rocha is beginning to show visible signs of injury to his leg. Rocha is doing his best to attack, but Cerrone is making him pay every time he rushes in with kicks. Rocha briefly gets Cerrone down, but “Cowboy” keeps to his feet. Rocha presses him into the fence. Cerrone expertly avoids the takedown attempt and they reset at the center. Cerrone turns Rocha around with a leg kick. Rocha lands a nice right hand. Cerrone with a hard inside leg kick on the return. Cerrone catches a leg kick and lands a right hand. Rocha tries for the takedown again and Cerrone easily avoids. Cerrone knocks Rocha to the mat as he goes in for the takedown/to pull guard. They get back to their feet, Rocha very slowly, his legs battered. Cerrone lands a front kick that pushes Rocha back. Rocha is wilting under Cerrone’s assault to the legs. Rocha tries to bait Cerrone to the mat, but “Cowboy” wags his finger and tells him to stand back up. Cerrone avoids the takedown again and it’s clear that Cerrone is on his way to a victory here. scores the round 10-9 for Cerrone

Round 3: They touch gloves for the third and final round. Cerrone lands a hard front kick. Rocha lunging to land a punch, but Cerrone sees it from a mile away. Cerrone is outclassing Rocha completely and may take some criticism if he doesn’t put Rocha away. He sprawls and easily avoids another takedown. Rocha misses a spinning back kick. Cerrone avoids another takedown and beckons Rocha back to his feet. Cerrone catches a flying knee attempt and kicks Rocha to the mat. Rocha’s leg is failing him under Cerrone’s assault, he switches his stance. Cerrone avoids the takedown again easily, kicks his leg while he’s on the mat and walks away. He avoids another dive by Rocha. The crowd boos an uncharacteristically conservative performance by Cerrone. Cerrone lands with a few punches that back Rocha up. Another leg kick. Cerrone grabs the clinch and lands a knee followed by a right hand. He knocks Rocha down and tells him to get back up, but the bell rings before he can put him away. scores the round 10-8 for Cerrone

“Cowboy” throws up his hands and mouths, “I’m sorry” to the camera.

Donald Cerrone defeated Vagner Rocha via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Cerrone admits that he’s frustrated for holding back and not fighting the way he wanted to fight. He says that he fought to not lose rather than fighting to win, admitting that he was wary of Rocha’s ground game.