Donald Cerrone added another feather to his cowboy hat at UFC Fight Night 45 on Wednesday night by becoming the first man to ever finish Jim Miller with strikes.
Even the hometown crowd in Atlantic City, New Jersey, couldn’t save Miller, who was sent crashing to the canvas after eating a vicious head kick at 3:31 of the second round. Like an old western film, Cerrone came to the shootout, took down his target and galloped off into the sunset in search of the next big challenge.
“He started worrying about the body. I started thinking about drinking those Budweisers tonight,” Cerrone told UFC commentator Jon Anik after the fight.
The beautiful head-kick finish was set up by a string of devastating front kicks to the body.
Initially, Miller got off to a great start in closing the gap and taking away Cerrone’s reach. He was able to get inside and land several significant strikes on the Team Jackson standout. The tide eventually started to turn when Cerrone began to meet Miller’s advancements with a couple of well-timed rear knees to the body.
He soon began complementing that attack with front kicks in hopes of keeping Miller on the outside. A couple of well-executed front kicks to the body had Miller on wobbly legs, backpedaling and clutching his stomach.
Every great striker knows that the strikes you pay attention to aren’t always the ones that knock you out. It’s typically the one you never see coming.
With Miller preoccupied with protecting his stomach, a slight feint and an elevated kick was all Cerrone needed to make it a short night for the New Jersey native. After the fight, UFC President Dana White awarded Cerrone $50,000 for Performance of the Night.
Cerrone, who has finished his last four opponents in impressive fashion, is quickly becoming a human highlight reel.
Picking up a fourth straight fight bonus just may be enough to get him back to the dance against a Top Five opponent.