LAS VEGAS -- Last time out, Donald Cerrone suffered the most embarrassing loss of his career, a knockout at the hands of Anthony Pettis. Since then, he has spent time seeing a sports psychologist, but it was advice from a loved one that rung in his mind as he prepared to fight K.J. Noons.
"My grandma called me today and said, 'There's a bunch of guys watching tonight wishing they could be you. Do you want to be you?'"
Question answered, Cerrone returned to his winning ways, thrashing Noons in a UFC 160 unanimous decision by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
By the end, Noons' blood-soaked face told the story. Game as he was, the damage was undeniable as he had cuts all over.
Noons got off to a slow start, letting Cerrone control the early pace. At one point, Noons' corner implored him to let his hands go. Cerrone certainly had the round's best moments, with an early knee that bloodied Noons near his right eye, as well as a late head kick that clearly scored.
Noons began to press forward early in the second, and finally got off some offense. He scored with a left hook and later with a spinning back fist. Cerrone was able to answer nearly everything though, and usually one-up him.
Noons tried to taunt Cerrone into a slugfest in the third, but Cerrone decided to fight cerebrally, and instead took him down, grinding him with punches and elbows for the rest of the round.
Cerrone is now 20-5 with one no contest. Noons, who was making his UFC debut, fell to 11-7.