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UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Medeiros post-fight results and analysis

Mookie Alexander recaps an entertaining night of fights that transpired at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Medeiros in Austin, Texas.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Fight Night 126 produced plenty of excitement throughout Sunday evening, and Donald Cerrone closed out proceedings by knocking out Yancy Medeiros just before time expired to end what was already a very compelling round 1. Cerrone needed his win in the worst way, as his three-fight losing streak is over, and he got the knockout against the insanely tough Hawaiian. I feared Cerrone’s own faded ability to take punishment would cost him even against someone he should beat, but he’s still offensively potent enough to take advantage of the numerous defensive vulnerabilities in Medeiros’ game.

I don’t know what’s next for Cerrone, but he doesn’t need to be in title contention type of fights at this stage. Whatever is fun and interesting, whether at welterweight or lightweight, I’m there to watch it.

More thoughts on tonight’s card:

Main Card

  • I really dig the Brendan Fitzgerald-Jimmy Smith commentary duo. This was their first time working together and they sounded great. Fitzgerald in particular has been impressive since his debut as a commentator on Dana White’s Contender Series. He seems to be the #2 play-by-play man behind Jon Anik on the UFC roster.
  • Derrick Lewis hits stupidly hard. With the fight hanging in the balance in round 3, Lewis stopped Marcin Tybura’s takedowns (which he hadn’t done in the previous two rounds) and wiped the seemingly iron-chinned Polish fighter out with his trademark punching power. It was a wild, back-and-forth fight and I honestly didn’t expect Lewis to get the KO after almost getting it in round 1. Lewis gets a good win in front of an adoring crowd, and also he said he’s “going deep” with his wife tonight. Clearly that means they’re playing baseball in his backyard.
  • Nate Diaz... bravo.
  • James Vick and Francisco Trinaldo engaged in one hell of a first round, with Vick hurting Trinaldo and then Trinaldo looking for a guillotine not too long after being dropped. The rest of the fight largely fizzled, but it was another good win for Vick, who is 9-1 in the UFC and should be getting a top-10 opponent next time out. It’s long overdue.
  • “Courteous” Curtis Millender looked outstanding against former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves, finishing the Brazilian with a spectacular knee to the head in round 2. This was all after nearly knocking Alves out in a dominant round 1. Consider Millender a welcome addition to the welterweight division.
  • The final moments of Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis produced chaos. Davis had Peterson all but knocked out with a vicious and well-timed knee, but Peterson stayed on his feet and then recovered enough to fire back against an exhausted Davis. It was a clear win for Davis, who took the fight on short notice, but Peterson staying upright during that sequence was absolutely insane.
  • This might be a little controversial... but I thought Sage Northcutt’s decision win over Thibault Gouti was fine. He clearly lost round 2, won round 3 by having more effective offense than Gouti, who spammed takedowns and did absolutely nothing with them. It all comes down to how you scored round 1, given Northcutt was rocked twice, but did have plenty of early success on the ground after a powerful takedown.
  • There are still major flaws in Northcutt’s game that overshadow any technical improvements he’s made, so it’s a “win” while simultaneously not being overly encouraging. I’m also okay with Gouti losing because that style of fighting needs to be punished by judges more often. He tried to stall out round 3 and paid the price.
  • What the hell was up with Kerry Hatley stopping Northcutt-Gouti early in the 3rd? It looked to have been a Northcutt head kick that grazed Gouti’s eye, which is legal, and Hatley just... intervened. Texas is a terrible place to hold combat sports events.

Preliminary Card

  • I don’t think anyone expected Diego Ferreira to get a first-round TKO vs. Jared Gordon, but the Brazilian featherweight got it done in stunning fashion. After starting off with two groin strikes (which yielded no point deduction), Ferreira hurt “Flash” Gordon with an actual legal strike, knocking him down with a left hook before smashing him with ground-and-pound from backmount, expertly locking up Gordon’s left arm to leave him completely doomed. This was Ferreira’s first fight since 2016, having served an 17-month USADA ban.
  • Geoff Neal likely sent Brian Camozzi out of the UFC with a bulldog choke win inside of three minutes. Neal impressed in front of his hometown fans in Austin, and it’s a great start to his UFC career after being signed through Dana White’s Contender Series.
  • Joby Sanchez returned to the UFC for the first time in three years, and unfortunately for him, it was a one-sided submission loss. Roberto Sanchez got the body triangle while standing up, then secured the rear-naked choke to notch his first win inside the Octagon.
  • Lucie Pudilova’s strength and superior striking carried her to a decision win over Sarah Moras, but referee Jacob Montalvo’s decision to stand them up in round 1, which Moras had dominated up to that point, was absolutely ridiculous. Moras would end up being dropped shortly thereafter, but nearly got the finish through an armbar. Montalvo’s decision-making aside, Pudilova fought back well after a bad start, and might be ranked next week at women’s bantamweight.
  • If Josh Burkman wants to keep fighting, then fine. Just please don’t let it be in the UFC. He took a short notice fight vs. Alex Morono and predictably got dropped and finished with a guillotine. That’s five losses in a row for Burkman, and surely the end of his UFC career. It’s not comfortable watching him fight anymore.
  • Polish middleweight Oskar Piechota kicked off the night with a brutal TKO of Tim Williams in under two minutes. Piechota stays undefeated, while Williams’ official Octagon debut (after two failed stints on The Ultimate Fighter) ended rather painfully. Not as painful as Fergie singing the Star Spangled Banner, but still quite painful.