On most cards, Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown would be rewarded with Fight of the Night honors. But UFC 206 wasn’t a regular card; it was full with exciting wars and vicious finishes, and it was overall a fantastic night of fights, especially considering the fact that it had very little hype.
“Cowboy” extended his winning streak to four in a row and remained undefeated at welterweight with a devastating head-kick knockout win over an extremely tough and gritty veteran in Matt Brown.
It wasn’t an easy fight, though. Brown is known for his aggression, and that was on full display on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. Brown’s excellent clinch game — particularly his nasty elbows — scored him lots of points in the fight opposite Cerrone, and he even rocked his opponent a couple of times. He was rocked himself multiple times; Cerrone had lots of success particularly with head kicks, which is what he eventually used to finish “The Immortal” early in the third round.
What was the highlight of the fight?
Cerrone landed a monster of a head-kick less than a minute into the final round, and that absolutely has to be the highlight of the pivotal welterweight matchup. Cerrone and Brown both had many fantastic moments in this bout, but none were greater than what ended the Team Elevation product’s night.
Where do these two go from here?
Even though Brown has seemed to be on the decline in his past few outings (he’s 1-5 in his last six fights, but, of course, most of those losses are against top competition), I think this is a win the 33-year-old needed to solidify his position in the 170-pound division. Rick Story, Patrick Cote and Alex Oliveira are all good names to have on one’s winning column, but Brown is by far Cerrone’s biggest win at welterweight. Cerrone is realistically only one or two wins away from a title shot, and Demian Maia seems like a perfect matchup to determine the No. 1 contender in the division, considering that champ Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson are expected to have a rematch in the near future.
Brown has lost three fights in a row but is still tough and ready to scrap against any welterweight on the planet. He has taken a beating over the course of his veteran career, however, so I’m not opposed to him retiring at all and wouldn’t be shocked if he chooses to hang up the gloves. But he’s definitely a fighter at heart so I do expect him to keep going for at least a couple more fights. That said, he’s very far from the top of the division now, and I don’t see him ever getting back to the title picture. I don’t have an opponent in mind, but I doubt it’ll be a top 10 fighter next time out.
Watch now, later, or never?
Cerrone vs. Brown was an awesome, back-and-forth war. Check it out, if you haven’t already, right away.