Donald Cerrone (left) dominated Vagner Rocha at UFC 131. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Cerrone worked Rocha's lead leg over and over and stuffed takedown after takedown en route to victory.
Cerrone came out intending to to chop down Rocha's legs. That worked for about a minute before Rocha caught one and took him down. Rocha landed a few shots before Cerrone got back to his feet. Cerrone slowed down the kicks a bit but still went to them. As the round progressed, Cerrone started throwing the kicks with bad intentions. Rocha's best offense came from wild shots as he rushed in. First round was all Cerrone.
Rocha came out guns blazing in the second round, rocking Cerrone's head back with a few shots. Rocha finally got ahold of Cerrone's legs but after tipped over briefly, Cerrone got up and fought Rocha off. A Rocha takedown attempt failed so miserably he tried to pull guard and ate a shot coming in for it. Cerrone immediately got up. In between defending takedown attempts, Cerrone is lighting Rocha's legs up with kicks.
The third round was more of the same. Rocha would have his takedown attempts stuffed by a mile and Cerrone would kick him in the leg. A huge leg kick a little more than halfway through the round made Rocha visibly limp and switch his stance. Cerrone would take over in the stand up in the final minute, earning a dominant win.
The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Cerrone, who originally was supposed to face Mac Danzig, moves his record to 15-3 (one no contest). He made his UFC debut in February, besting Paul Kelly by submission. He went 7-2 (one no contest) in the WEC, with those two losses coming in lightweight title fights.
Rocha (6-2) was a veteran of both Bellator and Strikeforce before this, his UFC debut.