UFC Fight Night 45 Results: Winners and Scorecards from Cerrone vs. Miller Card
The company will lean on veteran lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller to put on a show in the main event. But there is plenty of intrigue throughout the rest of the card.
Former top prospects Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham, interestingly enough both coming off losses to Cerrone, will battle in an important lightweight battle just outside the top 10.
Alex White will attempt to accelerate his movement in the featherweight division against Lucas Martins, after winning Performance of the Night during his UFC debut in April.
John Lineker, fresh off a defeat against Ali Bagautinov, will attempt to bounce back against Alptekin Ozkilic.
Rick Story vs. Leonardo Mafra and Justin Salas vs. Joe Proctor are also on the main card, rounding out a very full night at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.
Let's take a look at how all the results unfold.
Lightweight: Donald Cerrone Defeated Jim Miller Via 2nd-Round TKO
2014 continued to be the year of Donald Cerrone, as "The Cowboy" defeated Jim Miller with an electrifying second-round knockout during Wednesday's main event.
Cerrone has now won four-straight fights (three in 2014), all by stoppage, and each one has been more impressive than the last. In this one, he handed Miller the first knockout of his career with a ferocious head kick following a series of punishing kicks to the midsection.
It was arguably the Knockout of the Night, a highly impressive feat considering an amazing eight of the 11 fights were stopped early.
It's unclear what's next for Cerrone, but he said afterwards he wants a fight as soon as possible. Whether that's a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov or someone else, it's clear he is getting closer and closer to a title shot against Anthony Pettis.
Lightweight: Edson Barboza Defeated Evan Dunham Via 1st-Round TKO
Although Edson Barboza lost in April to Donald Cerrone, the potential of the man who was once nominated for an ESPY for his knockout of Terry Etim has never been questioned.
That was on display Wednesday night in an immense way.
Just over three minutes in, Barboza crumbled Dunham like a cookie with a massive kick to the midsection and followed up with punches to the body and head for the scintillating TKO.
Coming into the fight ranked No. 13 in the lightweight division, "Junior" has a good shot to valut into the top 10. Either way, after this tremendous showing, which puts him at 8-2 in UFC, he's in line for a huge opportunity to continue to climb the ladder.
Welterweight: Rick Story Defeated Leonardo Mafra Via 2nd-Round Submission
In an intriguing battle between long-time UFC stalwart Rick Story and up-and-coming Leonardo Mafra making his return to the company, the veteran won out.
And it wasn't close.
Story dominated the entire fight before finishing it in the second round with a takedown and arm triangle choke that forced Mafra to tap out.
On the surface, "The Horror" is now 3-2 in his last five fights. However, he has looked better than those numbers suggest, and with two split-decision losses, he could easily be on a five-win streak. Also, remember this is a guy who beat current welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
At just 29 years of age, it's clear Story still has potential. He's probably going to need to prove himself at a pay-per-view event, but with another transcendent performance like this, a big fight will undoubtedly come.
Lightweight: Joe Proctor Defeated Justin Salas Via 2nd-Round TKO
Joe Proctor earned a nice win against Justin Salas, although the referee's decision to stop the fight will certainly be a talking point.
Midway through the second round, the 28-year-old connected with a huge flurry of punches, and as it looked like Salas was working his way out of trouble, the ref stepped in to stop the fight. It was an unfortunate end, but it was still a very entertaining back-and-forth fight and an impressive win for Proctor.
Following a two-year absence, Proctor has now won two fights in a row. He's part of a crowded lightweight division, but the arrow is certainly pointing up.
Salas has now lost three of his last five, but this was hardly a performance he should be ashamed of. He battled and probably won the first round, but he came up just shy in the bruising slugfest.
Flyweight: John Lineker Defeated Alptekin Ozkilic Via 3rd-Round TKO
John Lineker isn't ready to go away in the flyweight division.
The 24-year-old Brazilian, who recently lost to former title contender Ali Bagautinov and had missed weight on several occasions, was on thin ice. After a thrilling TKO win over Alptekin Ozkilic, though, that's no longer the case.
What a fight. Lineker ran into a very game Ozkilic, and after two rounds, they were even. The third round belonged to Lineker, however, and after landing a slew of shots, he eventually scored the TKO with just 11 seconds remaining in the fight.
With his fourth TKO via punches in his last five fights, he is very clearly living up to the "Hands of Stone" nickname. He is arguably the most electrifying, powerful puncher in the flyweight division, and he is firmly in the title picture.
Featherweight: Lucas Martins Defeated Alex White Via 3rd-Round KO
Lucas Martins has jumped around weight classes, but it appears that featherweight is the right fit for him.
The 25-year-old Brazilian was going back-and-forth in a striking battle with Alex White Wednesday night before finally landing a vicious knockout punch in the third round, making him the fourth fighter in history to notch a UFC win in three different weight classes.
After losing his debut to Edson Barboza in January 2013, Martins suddenly looks like a future threat in this company.
This wasn't a perfect performance, but it was yet another thrilling ending, which gives him three stops in his last three fights. If he continues to excite at this level, it won't be long until he gets a top-10 opportunity.
Meanwhile, the loss is the first of White's career. "The Spartan" has potential, and he certainly battled against Martins to get in plenty of his own licks, but the 25-year-old still has room to grow.
Preliminary Card Results
Lightweight: Gleison Tibau defeated Pat Healy, via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Women's Bantamweight: Leslie Smith defeated Jessamyn Duke, via first-round TKO (punches).
Bantamweight: Ajamain Sterling defeated Hugo Viana, via third-round TKO (punches).
Lightweight: Yosdenis Cedeno defeated Jerrod Sanders, via first-round TKO (knee injury).
Women's Strawweight: Claudia Gadelha defeated Tina Lahdemaki, via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).