UFC on Fox 10: What We Learned from Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2014

USA Today

With one of the best head-kick knockouts you'll ever see inside of the Octagon, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone continued his winning ways after leveling Adriano Martins Saturday night with 20 seconds remaining in Round 1.

After exchanging for the majority of the fight, Cerrone and Martins seemed to be playing chicken.  Martins found success when he got inside, but Cowboy gained the upper hand when he was able to maintain his distance and get off first.

Whether it was crisp jabs, front kicks to the sternum or feints followed by low kicks, Cerrone brought it. He gave yet another display of world-class patience, kickboxing and overall fluency.

With that said, Martins was holding his ground. The first round seemed pretty even until Martins dropped his hands and Cerrone landed a powerful right shin to his neck and jawline. The aftermath spoke for itself.

So what did we learn about Cerrone's dismantling of a relatively unknown lightweight? To much surprise, not much.

Since dropping a decision to Rafael dos Anjos back in August, the former WEC champion has been on an absolute tear. His in-cage mission has changed. He no longer waits to explode and has found success getting off first.

But when you consider that Martins had only one promotional bout coming into UFC on Fox 10, it somewhat takes away from the precision and scintillating excellence of Cerrone.

Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) kicks Adriano Martins (blue gloves) in the neck for a knock-out during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

However, a knockout is a knockout. Especially in today's sport, stopping a high-level mixed martial artist in a matter of minutes with one final blow is considerably impressive.

It was another instance of tenured UFC veteran showcasing the resilience, proficiency and adaptation necessary to overcome an opponent. The fact that Cerrone continues to dominate early in fights suggests he may have sparked a career resurgence.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, should want to fight him now. With devilish strikes and a potent submission game, he is good in any environment.

His head just needed to be in the right place, and it seems as if it finally is. Kudos, Donald.


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