After his first seven professional fights it would have been acceptable to give Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (29-7-1NC) the nickname “The Triangle King”. Five of his first seven victories came via the triangle-choke submission, but before Sunday night he’d only used it twice since 2007. Well it was definitely worth the wait.
Cerrone met fellow “Cowboy”, Alex Oliveira (14-3-1-1NC) in the main event of UFC Fight 83 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was Cerrone’s welterweight debut while the bout marked a return to the weight class for Oliveira after dropping to lightweight for his last appearance.
Although Cerrone is often known as a slow starter it was expected that when the two met in the octagon there would be fireworks. They certainly didn’t disappoint and wasted no time getting down to business.
After a brief exchange in the Thai clinch, that saw both men land some knees, Donald shot for a takedown. His wrestling has always been underrated and he was able to get Oliveira to the mat without much trouble. Cerrone established top control and was very methodical in his approach. Once he found the opening he made a beautiful transition into mount then almost immediately he locked in the triangle choke. Oliveira quickly tapped and before three minutes had gone by in the first round the fight was over.
It was a spectacular welterweight debut for “Cowboy” Cerrone and it also earned him a performance of the night bonus. Now it will be interesting to see where Cerrone goes from here. It’s conceivable that he could bounce between both the lightweight and welterweight divisions, as he’s always been known as a guy who’s willing to fight anytime, anywhere and against anyone. Donald made that very clear in his post-fight interview when he said “If anyone at 170lbs wants to get hurt, I know a guy”. The victory was also the perfect rebound for Cerrone after a failed attempt to capture the UFC lightweight title last December against current champ Rafael dos Anjos.
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Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer