Some of the top MMA fighters in the world were on display for UFC Fight Night 151 Saturday night from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Canada.
Donald Cerrone defeated Al Iaquinta in the headliner, winning by unanimous decision after dominating his opponent over the course of five rounds. However, this was just one of a long list of exciting battles throughout the main card.
Four of the first five bouts went the distance, with only Walt Harris earning a knockout in a dominant effort. Shane Burgos and Merab Dvalishvili proved themselves against quality opponents, showing they could have some good matches ahead of them in their careers.
Follow along for a full breakdown of the top bouts from the latest UFC competition.
Main Card Results
Lightweight: Donald Cerrone def. Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision
Middleweight: Derek Brunson def. Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision
Featherweight: Shane Burgos def. Cub Swanson by split decision
Bantamweight: Merab Dvalishvili def. Brad Katona by unanimous decision
Heavyweight: Walt Harris def. Serghei Spivac by TKO in 0:50
Middleweight: Andrew Sanchez def. Marc-Andre Barriault by unanimous decision
*Undercard results at MMA Fighting
Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone
Cerrone showed his experience and pure skill in a hard-fought victory against Iaquinta.
He had the clear advantage in the eyes of the judges, getting scores of 49-45, 49-45 and 49-46 on his way to a win. Cowboy looked extremely focused against his younger opponent, earning his 36th career victory.
There was a clear clash in styles, with Cerrone doing damage with his legs and knees, and Iaquinta mostly using his fists.
Both fighters were able to connect with big shots in the first couple of rounds:
Of course, the toughness was also on display, as neither seemed too affected by the hits.
In the third round, Cerrone started to cause much more damage with his punches and kicks to the face.
The veteran took Iaquinta to the ground in both the third and fourth rounds, adding in some key punches while on top:
Iaquinta had never been knocked down in his UFC career before Saturday but took both big hits in stride to stay alive heading into the fifth.
While it was Iaquinta who needed the knockout, Cerrone came just as hard in the final round as he attacked with ferocity. This was enough for Cowboy to earn a win, putting him one step closer to another title opportunity.
Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
In the co-main event, it was Derek Brunson who stole the show with a one-sided effort in an eventual win by decision.
While there were no knockout blows, one big slam serves as the lasting image in this battle:
Elias Theodorou came through with some good blows to keep it competitive, but he wasn't able to gain as much of an advantage as he needed in any of the three rounds.
The judges eventually scored it 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 in favor of Brunson.
The 35-year-old entered the match with two straight losses and four defeats in his last six bouts, but he is back in the win column with a strong effort against a fellow ranked fighter in the middleweight division.
Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos
There were high expectations going into this bout, and it didn't disappoint with Cub Swanson and Shane Burgos battling toe-to-toe for much of the night.
It led to a varied scorecard, with each earning a 30-27 score from different judges. A 29-28 win for Burgos made the difference, giving the up-and-coming fighter a narrow win by split decision.
Burgos had a few more key strikes, which might have gone a long way in the end result:
Although it could have gone either way, the outcome means the two fighters are headed in very different directions.
The 28-year-old Burgos is now 12-1 in his career and could climb up the contender rankings after the latest effort.
Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Although this match went the distance, that doesn't necessarily mean it was close.
Merab Dvalishvili had control throughout nearly the entire bout, nearly earning a knockout in the first period before Brad Katona was saved by the bell. The other two rounds were much of the same, with the Georgian earning takedowns and gaining the majority of strikes.
Dvalishvili had a simple breakdown of the bout after being declared the 30-27 winner by all three judges.
"I take him down, beat him up, slowly. Smart fight," he said, per Bloody Elbow. "And I'm the winner."
It all added up to Katona's first professional loss in his MMA career.
Walt Harris vs. Serghei Spivac
The UFC debut for Serghei Spivac didn't go as he planned.
Walt Harris needed only 50 seconds to take out his opponent with an onslaught of punches leading to a quick ending:
It was hard not to be impressed by the effort from Harris:
Once the Big Ticket engaged, there was no relenting, as he perfectly used his fists and knees to earn an easy victory.
Spivac had finished all nine of his opponents coming into the bout, but he wasn't ready for this level of competition.
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
This one was a true battle, with Marc-Andre Barriault appearing to have several opportunities to knock out his opponent. Both fighters had big hits throughout the day, but Andrew Sanchez especially showed he has quite a chin to take some beating without giving up.
The two men made it through three five-minute rounds without a finish, leading to a decision that was pretty close, as MMA Mania believed:
Sanchez ended up getting the edge 29-28 on all scorecards to earn the win by unanimous decision.
El Dirte seemed to be more aggressive on his feet, using his wrestling skills to gain a couple of takedowns while he also got in a good amount of strikes. This ended up being the difference in a key win for Sanchez.