Sunday's main event at UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin, Texas, was promoted as a fighter's fight with two of the sport's most game competitors in Donald Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros.
The fight didn't last long, but it's safe to say it didn't disappoint, as Cerrone knocked Medeiros out with just seconds remaining in the first round after a back-and-forth war.
If you blinked, you missed a lot in the round between the Hawaiian and the New Mexico native, as Medeiros came out looking for another Fight of the Night against Cerrone, staying in front of Cowboy the whole time despite eating a lot of punches.
Medeiros landed some haymakers but never wobbled Cerrone, who kept calm, waited for Medeiros to slow down and then began to pick apart the Hawaiian with his superior counter-striking.
While referees are usually criticized for stopping fights too early, this stoppage was correct, as Medeiros' legs fell out from under him as he fell to the canvas. Cerrone pounced on Medeiros and got the finish with a combination of strikes to snap his three-fight losing streak.
Here's the night's final results from UFC Fight Night Austin's main card.
Donald Cerrone def. Yancy Medeiros via first-round TKO
Derrick Lewis def. Marcin Tybura via third-round KO
James Vick def. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Curtis Millender def. Thiago Alves via second-round KO (4:17)
Brandon Davis def. Steven Peterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)
Sage Northcutt def. Thibault Gouti via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Northcutt earns controversial decision
It was a close fight, as Sage Northcutt was to fortunate to secure a decision against Thibault Gouti.
In the first, Northcutt showed more activity and was pressing the pace against Gouti, even scoring with the judges with some dominant side control. But despite being the more aggressive fighter, Gouti was able to pick apart Northcutt whenever he felt like it, connecting with Northcutt's jaw on multiple occasions and dropping Northcutt a couple of times as the youngster was forced to shoot for takedowns to survive.
Those trends continued in the second Gouti dropped Northcutt with another vicious strike, forcing Northcutt to defend with his back against the cage. Gouti didn't let up, putting his head into Northcutt's chest while wrapping his legs together to keep Northcutt down, despite the displeasure from the fans in attendance.
Northcutt came out in the third round in his usual karate stance, beginning his combinations with a front leg side kick and oblique kicks to keep Gouti at bay. Gouti began to press forward realizing that fighting off his back foot was getting him nowhere, and he was able to drive forward for a double-leg takedown to control the fight on the ground, much like he did in the second round.
Northcutt got separation with under two minutes remaining in the third and even attempted a flying knee, but he didn't land anything with much power behind it to put Gouti in any danger.
But despite Northcutt's ineffectiveness in the third round, he was still given the majority-decision victory on all three of the judges' scorecards.
Davis earns hard-fought division
Peterson started quickly in the first, engaging at every opportunity. He was able to land a nice right to Davis, but then Davis began hacking down Peterson's legs.
Peterson continued to press despite the leg kicks, but Davis began to time Peterson's aggressiveness, using a varied attack to keep Peterson at bay in case he got a little too hot-headed.
In the second round, not much changed, as Peterson ate shots while marching forward and tried to shoot for a takedown moments in. He wasn't able to secure Davis' legs, though, and received a well-timed knee as punishment.
The two continue to brawl as Peterson tried to evade Davis' outstretched arms but kept using his face to block shots. Eventually, Davis landed a beautiful knee on Peterson that sent him to the canvas and administered some brutal ground-and-pound late in the third round.
But Peterson would not go softly into the night, continuing to fight back until the final horn sounded. Davis earned the decision, and rightfully so, but Peterson held his own and showcased a strong chin and a warrior spirit in what was arguably the fight of the night.
Millender muzzles Pitbull
What a UFC debut by Millender.
He didn't look like a rookie inside of the Octagon on Sunday, dropping Alves with regularity throughout the fight, including what looked to a be a walk-off finish in the first round. Remarkably, Alves recovered and tried to answer Millender's combinations with some strikes of his own, but he was clearly outmatched on the feet.
Despite celebrating the victory prematurely, Millender continued to lay into Alves, sending his head rocking backward on multiple occasions with some well-placed straight punches.
Alves survived the first round but didn't last long after that. In the second round, a vicious knee connected with Alves' chin, and this time, the referee did the right thing and stepped in to stop the fight.
It's never good to see a veteran fighter like Alves take shots like he did Sunday, but the UFC did the right thing in giving Millender a big name in his debut like Alves. Millender showed that at 170 pounds, he will be able to use his reach and power with relative ease. But what was most impressive about Millender's fight was the control he showed against a fighter who isn't afraid to bite down on his mouthpiece and have an all-out brawl.
It will be interesting to see who Millender matches up with next at welterweight. What is certain, however, is that the 170-pound division has a new name to keep an eye on.
Vick gets what he wants
Vick wanted a ranked opponent, and he got it against Trinaldo. What he also got was that signature win he's been begging for over recent months.
Vick used his size to his advantage against the Brazilian, keeping Trinaldo at bay with some beautiful head and body kicks, followed up by a series of flying knees to display his complete arsenal of striking.
Trinaldo was dropped in the first round but recovered well, even getting Vick into a little trouble with a guillotine attempt. But Vick immediately gave the thumbs-up to the referee and worked to gain side control before getting back to his feet to continue his assault on the 39-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
In the second round, Vick continued to use his kicks and knees to hurt Trinaldo but never landed a big shot to drop Trinaldo or put him in danger's way. In the third, it was clear that Vick was just waiting for the seconds to tick by after dominating the first two rounds, and he coasted en route to a decision victory.
Now 9-1 in the UFC with a Top 15 victory under his belt, Vick should get a more marketable opponent next.
Lewis ends Tybura's night
Inside the opening seconds of the first round, Lewis connected with Tybura—sending him crashing to the canvas—and showed off some impressive top game on the Polish fighter. Tybura was able to get Lewis in an awkward position while trying to secure a calf-slicer, but Lewis was able to reverse the position and land some ground-and-pound before the fighters got back to their feet.
Well, Tybura got to his feet, that is.
Lewis stumbled backward at his own accord, and Tybura bounced on him, securing full mount with relative ease. But Lewis did well to keep Tybura away from his neck while he spun around and tried to stand back up. Once Lewis got his feet under him, he released a hellacious right hand that connected with Tybura's jaw, taking the legs out of him.
Tybura survived the barrage of strikes from Lewis and even got full mount again as the round came to a close. Tybura nearly had a kimura as the first round ended, but it looked like Lewis' round on the scorecards.
The second round was more of the same: Lewis connects with powerful right hands while Tybura survives and later secures takedowns with ease.
At one point, Tybura was able to get Lewis' back and eventually got back in third mount for the third time in the fight. Unfortunately for Tybura, he didn't do much damage from top position, although he did enough to win the second round.
In the third, Lewis looked gassed and Tybura still had some juice left, throwing head kicks and bouncing around in a muay thai stance. Tybura went for a single-leg and tried to control Lewis against the cage, but Lewis was able to escape and used the rest of his gas tank on a one-two combination to catch Tybura on the chin.
Tybura crashed to the canvas, and Lewis hunted him down, laying down vicious strikes until the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Who's next for Lewis? How about a matchup between "The Black Beast" and "The Predator" in Francis Ngannou?