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UFC 131 Fight Card Primer: Donald 'The Cowboy' Cerrone vs Vagner Rocha

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Former WEC contender Donald "The Cowboy" Cerrone (14-3, 1-0 UFC) will fight BJJ black belt Vagner Rocha (6-1, 0-0 UFC) in the only lightweight bout on the main card of UFC 131.  The PPV broadcast begins at 6pm PT/9pm ET.

How do these two stack up?

Cerrone: 28y | 6'0" | 73" Reach
Rocha: 29y | 5'11" | Reach unknown

What have these two done recently?

Cerrone: W-Paul Kelly (RNC) | W-Chris Horodecki (Triangle) | W-Jamie Varner (UD)
Rocha: W-Jacob Clark (Armbar) | L-Bret Bergmark (UD) | W-Francisco Soares (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Donald Cerrone is a WEC veteran, known for his cowboy hat, exciting fights, and quick temper.  His first bout with Ben Henderson for WEC gold is an all-time classic, including submission  attempts from Cerrone that would have left less flexible fighters in agony.  He has won his last three fights, including his UFC debut against Paul Kelly (11-4) at UFC 126.  He seems to be around the middle of the pack right now with three failed WEC title shots, and a win against newcomer Vagner Rocha won't do much to raise his stock.

Vagner Rocha was tapped as a replacement for an injured Mac Danzig three weeks ago, so he's not going to have a full training camp for this fight.  While he has made quite the reputation in international BJJ, his MMA record is less impressive, even if some of those fights were for Strikeforce and Bellator.  Only two posts in Bloody Elbow's archives are even tagged with his name.  This is easily the biggest fight in his career, and he's taking it against an aggressive veteran.

Why should you watch?

Cerrone is an exciting fighter - he has 6 "Fight of the Night" awards, a "Fight of the Year" award (the first Henderson fight), and a "Round of the Year" award (the Rob McCullough fight).  If this goes to the ground, we might also see some slick submission work.



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