In the opening main card bout at UFC 160, Donald Cerrone (20-5, 1 NC, 7-2 UFC) used some solid striking and timely takedowns to defeat K.J. Noons (11-6, 0-1 UFC) in their lightweight fight. Noons came out looking to kick, which surprised more than a few. Cerrone quickly adjusted though, mixing in kicks and knees with a stout right that caught Noons a few times. Noons was cut early over the eye, then suffered a bad cut on his face that left him a bloody mess by the second round.
Noons was finding some success with his striking in the second, but Cerrone took the fight to the mat a couple of times. Noons has slowed down a lot in the third and Cerrone took advantage, battering him on the ground down the stretch. All three judges had it 30-27 for Cowboy.
What was the high point of the fight?
Noons landed a nice spinning backfist in the second. Other than that, it was probably the end where both men were just covered in KJ's blood.
Where do they go from here?
Cerrone probably isn't going to go much of anywhere with the win. He's just outside title contention in the stacked UFC lightweight division, and he constantly provides entertainment so he's a staple of the main card. A bout with Josh Thomson was brought up for him next, but I think he'll meet Diego Sanchez instead.
Unfortunately for Noons, he might be on his way out of the organization with the loss. He has lost 5 out of his last 6, and Strikeforce guys upset the UFC pay scale. If he does stay somehow, I'd expect a fight with a mid-level guy like Thiago Tavares.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. It was a very good fight and it's 15 minutes well spent.