Leon Edwards headlined a UFC event for the first time Saturday morning at UFC Singapore and proved to be ready for the upper echelon of the welterweight division with a unanimous decision victory over Donald Cerrone.
Riding the longest winning streak of his UFC career, Edwards controlled the fight from the get-go, stopping virtually every takedown attempt from “Cowboy” and answering with knees to the body, straight left hands, and vicious elbows in the clinch that opened a cut over Cerrone’s right eye in the opening round.
A bloody Cerrone insisted on going for takedowns after Edwards landed the better strikes standing, but Edwards easily stopped his attempts and continue to attack the body. “Cowboy” finally secured a takedown in the fourth and fifth rounds, but Edwards successfully stood to his feet before Cerrone could mount anything significant.
In the end, after a last-minute 10-second flurry from both fighters, all three judges scored the fight 48-47 in Edwards’ favor. Now riding a six-fight winning streak, Edwards called for a fight with Jorge Masvidal in his hometown of Birmingham, England next.
The co-main event lasted less than three minutes, but it was pure action. Tyson Pedro knocked Ovince Saint Preux down early with a head kick followed by a right hand. Pedro continued to pressure after OSP stood back up and went for a takedown, but OSP ended on top position. After landing a few punches, OSP secured the tap with a straight armbar.
”If I’m on top of you, you’re in trouble,” Saint Preux said after the win. “I’m telling you right now, I’ve been in the UFC and they haven’t had any light heavyweight more active than I am. I’ll fight anyone, anywhere. Bring it.”
After a long run of decision losses in the bantamweight division, Jessica Eye added another victory to her record as a flyweight in the UFC at the Singapore Arena. “Evil” took on rising 125-pounder Jessica-Rose Clark, who was coming off victories over Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings in the Octagon, and scored an unanimous decision win.
Clark and Eye traded punches and kicks from the opening seconds of the fight, with Clark using more combinations while Eye worked on power punches, with Eye largely getting the better of the exchanges. In the closing minutes of the third round, Eye sealed the deal by securing a takedown and working from top until the final bell.
“I got an emotional in the Octagon because I just have felt no one has understood what I’ve been up against over the years,” Eye said after the win. “I only fought at bantamweight because I wanted to be in the UFC, but it was never my weight never where I wanted to be.
”It’s just so nice to have people finally see that and stop doubting me. I cant wait to get back to Cleveland and support my team at Strong Style, Stipe Miocic, and then keep training and keep proving myself. I have no problem starting at the bottom and working myself all the way to the top.”
In the preliminary portion of the card, former ACB champion Petr Yan made quick work of Teruto Ishihara in his Octagon debut. Yan applied constant pressure and forced Ishihara to walk backwards, then knocked Ishihara down twice with two hard right hands before the referee stopped the fight. Video of the brutal knockout can be seen here.
Rising sensation Yadong Song continued to impress as well, this time against experienced Brazilian bantamweight Felipe Arantes. Song dominated the opening round with aggressive ground-and-pound, but the finish came with one second left in the second round with a standing elbow that dropped “Sertanejo.”
“The pressure of success only motivates me,” Song said after the win. “The more, the better. I’ve been training hard and am ready for the UFC to come back to China.”
Two other Chinese talents shined on the prelims, as Kenan Song took on Hector Aldana in a welterweight bout and also won in the final seconds of the second round, and Xiaonan Yan scored a clear decision victory over Viviane Pereira in a strawweight contest.