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UFC Fight Night 59 results: Donald Cerrone ekes out decision over Ben Henderson

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

They said Donald Cerrone was nuts for taking a fight with Benson Henderson on a 15-day turnaround.

And they very well might be right.

But either way, "Cowboy" emerged victorious against the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion on Sunday night. In a tightly contested fight, Cerrone took a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 59 at Boston's TD Garden, winning all three cards by a score of 29-28.

More Coverage: UFC Fight Night 59 Results | UFC news
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The victory is the seventh in a row, over a span of 14 months, for the Jackson's MMA fighter, who recently scored a unanimous decision win over Myles Jury at UFC 182 on Dec. 30.

Asked how he managed to turn around and fight a caliber of Henderson's caliber on such a short notice, a sly Cerrone (23-6, 1 NC) said "That's my secret only."

The opening round was the fight's toughest to judge, as Cerrone landed with punches all over, while Henderson peppered Cerrone with body kicks.

Round two was Cerrone's strongest, as he pushed the pace, landed a takedown, later landed a flush head kick, and generally left Henderson on the defensive.

Henderson rebounded over the final round, became more aggressive, and landed more often.

Henderson, who has made a career out of dancing on the razor's edge with close decisions, appeared stunned as the decision was read.

"Its on the record, it is what it is," said Henderson (21-5), who has dropped two bouts in a row for the first time in his career. "I've got to move on. I've got to go forward and get better."

Cerrone, who stepped in as an injury replacement for Eddie Alvarez, finally won in his third crack at Henderson; Henderson won a pair of WEC bouts between the two.

"Ben is one hell of a guy," Cerrone said. "Fighting him on short notice, he's a stud man. My hat's off to him."