It might seem redundant if you’re not in the habit of following MMA since your average person assumes two individuals who are throwing fists don’t share an affinity for each other, but Cerrone and Varner sincerely dislike each other.
It all started with a controversial loss due to disqualification for Cowboy after Varner couldn’t recover from an illegal knee. Then Cerrone went on the radio, slurring Varner and alluding to death in the ring.
Yep, that would probably get your hackles up, but Varner instead stewed in silence and I’m sure used it for motivation.
In other words, there should be fists fueled by hate in this bad rider.
Oh yeah, Cerrone is a native of Denver.
Should be fun.
Cowboy Cerrone enters first to Kid Rock’s...uh huh, “Cowboy.” That gives me a chance to expound on Rock—how does that guy still have an audience? He started on the hip-hop angle and has transitioned to some sort of hybrid country-hip-hop-pop nonsense?
How does that work? Perplexing, though his newer songs aren’t all that bad.
Varner comes out to a mix of boos and some sort of bass-heavy, up tempo song about having “the magic in me.” I’m at a loss for words.
Ah, no I’m not—I preferred the boos. So there.
I’m not a malicious man and I’m no Greek god with features chiseled in marble, but Varner looks a lot like a hobbit—he’s short, thick, broad, and has a pretty severe uni-brow. If he had ore hair on his back and shoulders, I’d ask for a DNA test (now that I think about it, who says hobbits can’t use razors?).
And hobbits are magic, aren’t they?
Varner stares at the ground while getting directions from Dean; this certainly doesn’t have the feel of a long fight.
Cerrone doesn’t seem to see that in the cards either as he comes shooting across the ring to do damage. A wild flurry kicks the offense off and Cowboy lands a nice spur that sends Varner running for cover. Cerrone chases him and does some sort of jump knee/front kick that looks more the product of eagerness than forethought as Varner literally catches him.
Things calm down a bit into a more orthodox fight, but Cowboy is still landing the stronger shots and Varner looks more than a little overwhelmed—almost turning his shoulders in retreat any time Cowboy comes forward.
Thwacking leg kick lands for Cerrone as Varner retreats again. He can’t get away, though, as Cerrone takes him down. Nothing materializes, however, before Jamie can re-take his feet. Now they’re back in the middle of the cage as the crowd chants “Cowboy” in its first bit of unison.
The former champ seems to be getting his feet under him as he lands his first real points of the round. Or maybe Cowboy’s punched himself out momentarily.
Guess not, another big shot buckles Varner a bit as Cerrone tries to end matters before the first horn. He can’t and eats a jab to prove it. Still, easy 10-9 for Cowboy. Maybe even 10-8.
The crowd opts for a slightly less subtle chant, which I won’t reproduce.
We’ve got a little discretion breaking out in cage as Cerrone opts for a more staid start to the second. Or maybe he’s tiring.
Varner seems to think so as he presses the action for the first time in the fight and Cowboy answers with a stinging straight right to the body. Nice combo from Varner lands to the body, but misses to the head. He goes for another similar combo, but Cerrone ducks under again and—this time—grabs a body lock to take the fight to the canvas.
He’s on top in north-south, but can’t turn it into serious trouble so the fight returns to its feet. Varner keeps wiping his eye and checking his gloves as if he expects to find blood (or piece of eyeball), much to the crowd’s displeasure.
The pace has slowed waaaaay down as Cerrone appears to be marshalling his strength for specific strikes rather than throwing everything into each assault. A low leg kick almost chops Varner down, but he’s able to regain his balance.
Varner said he had to come out and dominate all three rounds.
That’s not happening, not even close.
Cowboy is starting to play to the crowd and it responds. Another easy 10-9 for Cerrone.
Varner’s gonna need a stoppage to pull this baby out and I really don’t see that happening. Cowboy continues to revel in the crowd’s appreciation as the third stanza begins.
The two clash and Cerrone keeps landing about three or four strikes for every single connection by Varner. He’s also mixing his offense better and throwing with more power. Translation: It’s been a rough rematch for Varner.
His only real hope is for Cerrone to become too impressed with himself and the love from the crowd, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Cowboy’s lost a ton of steam and is wearing it this round, but he’s way ahead on the scorecards and I think he knows it.
No longer does he look so interested in knocking his adversary out, instead opting to score a takedown and perhaps ride the duration out from top position.
With about 90 seconds to go, that is exactly what’s happening—Varner’s trying to get away, but can’t and Cerrone isn’t mustering a whole lot of offense. Finally, Varner’s able to wriggle free and we’re back on the feet.
This one’s over—Varner’s totally spent, standing with his hands on his hips. The horn sounds and Cowboy appears to go in for the reconciliation, but then shoves Varner in the back. Jamie thinks about retaliating, but remembers he just did fight Cerrone and he’s really tired.
Another 10-9 round for Cowboy along with the fight.
Donald Cerrone wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
OK, now the two competitors are sharing a laugh in the cage and all seems forgotten . We’ve got some drunks in the stands getting the boot from the 1stBank Center security staff—did Varner insult Denver or something?
What’s everyone so ornery about, pray tell?
So much for the buried hatchet—Cerrone says nothing’s over or forgotten and seems to taunt the defeated with an offer of a rematch in Arizona while the crowd continues to boo and throw homosexual slurs at Varner.
Which is really odd since Jamie put on a good fight, was conciliatory, and seems like an all-around good hombre.
Oh well, time for the main event.
But first, the fans want in on the action as several security guards go sprinting by and down the tunnel. They’re in pursuit of two amateur boxers, apparently. Incidentally, the professional ranks are safe from these two ass-clowns.