Cerrone, who recently snapped a three-fight skid with a first-round TKO of Yancy Medeiros that also moved him into a tie with Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping for the most wins (20) in UFC history, fights Edwards, whose five straight victories have him tied for the fourth-longest active UFC win streak at 170 pounds, in the main event.
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Round 1: Referee Leon Roberts on hand for the main event. They exchange kicks to the body to start, it looks like Edwards got the better of it. Edwards presses Cerrone against the fence and starts doing damage with knees in the clinch. Cerrone lands a leg kick, but takes a straight left from Edwards. There’s a small cut under Cerrone’s right eye, he’s bleeding. They jockey for position in the clinch, trading knees, Cerrone blocks a trip. Snapping inside leg kicks connect for Edwards. Head kick by Edwards is partially blocked. Edwards continuing to have a lot of success with kicks to the inside leg and body of Cerrone.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Edwards.
Round 2: Edwards slowing Cerrone down with his jab. They trade kicks to the body. Edwards targeting the cut on Cerrone’s right eye with jabs and elbows. Cerrone shoots in for a takedown and they’re battling against the fence with Cowboy leaning on Edwards. Edwards scoring with short punches inside, opening up Cerrone’s cut further. They separate. Edwards rips Cerrone with a kick to the body. Cerrone trying to walk Edwards down but he’s having trouble sustaining any offense. There’s a brief pause in the action as Cerrone clips Edwards below the belt with a kick. Another Cerrone takedown is blocked. Edwards complains about Cerrone grabbing his glove and nearly eats a head kick for his troubles.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Edwards. Overall 20-18, Edwards.
Round 3: In the opening flurry, Edwards catches Cerrone with a left hand. His counter-punching is keeping Cerrone off-balance, but Cowboy gets in with a combination of punches to the head and body. He’s ramping up the aggression. 1-2 up top lands for Edwards. Uppercut by Cerrone, then another three-punch combination. The pace slows as they briefly grapple against the fence, then reset back in the center of the cage. Takedown attempt is a no-go for Cerrone, but overall he had the volume advantage in round three.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Cerrone. Overall 29-28, Edwards.
Round 4: Edwards going to the body with kicks early and often, Cerrone trips after taking one, but quickly recovers. Edwards lands a straight left as Cerrone goes in to clinch up against the fence. They separate again and Edwards looks content to land counter-punches as Cerrone walks him down. Cerrone finding a home for that leg kick, but he’s eating that straight left every time he goes in to clinch. However, it pays off this time as he gets the takedown against the fence. Edwards defends on the mat and gets back to his feet. Cerrone catches a high kick and nearly gets another takedown. Leg kicks from both men connect as the round comes to a close.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Edwards. Overall 39-37, Edwards.
Round 5: Tentative start for both fighters, probing with low kicks. Cerrone is the first to come forward with a flurry of punches, but Edwards evades. Edwards catches a body kick and hits Cerrone with a straight left. Cerrone gets deep on a body lock. Edwards tries to awkwardly defend and balance himself, but Cerrone drags him down. He’s staying heavy on Edwards’s legs and trying to land punches. Edwards gets up. He’s content to chip away at Cerrone’s leg with kicks. Cerrone lands a solid leg kick of his own. Cerrone points at the mat inviting Edwards to brawl, but he’s not biting.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Cerrone. Overall 48-47, Edwards.
Official result: Leon Edwards def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)