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WEC 51: Donald Cerrone Beats Jamie Varner

Donald Cerrone got the revenge he wanted against Jamie Varner at WEC 51, winning a lopsided unanimous decision in a grudge match between two guys who have been itching for a second fight since Varner won a controversial technical split decision a year and a half ago.

There was no touch of gloves at the start of the fight, which was no surprise -- these two guys have made clear, over and over again, that they despise each other. When the fighting started it was Cerrone landing most of the hard strikes, hurting Varner with a knee at the outset and generally controlling the first round.

The pace slowed considerably in the second round, as Cerrone landed some hard leg kicks but wasn't quite as active in the striking, and Varner didn't to much of anything at all. Varner appeared to be bothered by a cut near his eye, which might have slowed him down.

The biggest surprise of the fight came at the start of the third round, when Cerrone and Varner actually did touch gloves. Once the fighting got going in the third, Cerrone landed a good kick to the head, and with about two minutes to go Cerrone landed a takedown and started landing vicious elbows, turning Varner's face into a bloody mess. Varner did a great job of using the cage to get back up, but it was too late: Cerrone had won.

Immediately after the fight it appeared that things could get ugly, as Cerrone gave Varner a little push and then turned his back, only to have Varner come after him. Referee Herb Dean quickly stepped in, however, and nothing further happened. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Cerrone, as did I.

The win improves Cerrone's record to 11-3 and drops Varner to 16-4-1, and it all but assures that the two will fight a third time down the road, perhaps sooner rather than later.

"Jamie you asked for a rematch," Cerrone said in the cage afterward. "I'd be much obliged to give that to you."

Varner-Cerrone 3 is coming in just a matter of time.

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