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UFC Ottawa: Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone live blog

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC Ottawa live blog for Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone, the lightweight main event at Saturday’s UFC event at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Iaquinta, a veteran from Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, is looking to continue his winning ways after emerging victorious over Kevin Lee at UFC Milwaukee in December. Prior to this, “Raging” came up short in his late notice title fight against reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Similarly, Cerrone is also looking to pick up another win in the crowded lightweight division after finishing Alexander Hernandez at UFC Brooklyn in January. This marked his first bout at 155-pounds since December 2015.

Check out the UFC Ottawa live blog below.

Round 1

Iaquinta sticks to the inside early as Cerrone dances to the outside. Iaquinta opens up with a side kick before going down low with a leg kick. Cerrone blitzes forward but can only connect with air. After minor clash of the heads, Iaquinta follows up with a one-two combo Cerrone responds with a left jab to the nose. Both men exchanging combinations in the center o of the Octagon. Iaquinta swings and misses badly with a looping overhand right. Cerrone relying heavily on his left jab to leg kick combination but eats a spinning back fist, momentarily stunning him. Cerrone threatens with a switch kick. Iaquinta responds with a hard uppercut to the jaw before dancing away from another high kick. Iaquinta drops down catches a high kick. Eating the blow, Iaquinta breaks free as the clock hits the 10-second mark.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9 Cerrone

Round 2

Cerrone being more selective with his shots early in the second frame. Iaquinta catches another kick and shoves Cerrone back. Catching his balance Cerrone goes back to work and narrowly misses a step in elbow. Cerrone is targeting Iaquinta lead leg with a barrage of kicks. Iaquinta presses forward with a combination, culminating with a pair of heavy hooks to Cerrone’s jaw. Cerrone connects with a pair of jabs but can’t escape a hard leg kick from Iaquinta.

Iaquinta pops another jab in followed by a right high kick. Cerrone responds with a snapping leg kick. Blood leaking out of Iaquinta’s face now but he bites down and plasters Cerrone with a left hook. Cerrone goes downstair with a left leg kick but is stunned with a right counter from Iaquinta.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9 Iaquinta

Round 3

Iaquinta continuing to look for that right counter before barely ducking away from a right head kick. Both men trade kicks but Iaquinta follows up with a hook to the body. Iaquinta finds success with a one-two combo but walks into a hard right hand to the jaw. Iaquinta circles away and misses with a right hook. Cerrone responds with another right kick to the body. Iaquinta on his bike now as Cerrone stalks him across the canvas. Cerrone continues to land glancing punches to Iaquinta’s battered nose before snapping his head back with a left jab. Cerrone stuns Iaquinta with a switch kick to the head. Iaquinta catches another kick and shoves Cerrone to the canvas.

With 20-seconds left Cerrone is just eating away with leg kicks before sending Iaquinta tumbling to the canvas, courtesy of a perfectly timed jab. With 10-second left, Cerrone lunges onto his opponent but can’t finish the job as the horn signals the end of the round.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9 Cerrone

Round 4

Iaquinta shakes off the end of the previous round and sprints back to the center of hte canvas. Cerrone meets him with an inside leg kick followed by a pair of straight kicks to the jaw, sending Iaquinta crashing back down.

Iaquinta somehow makes it back to his feet, but can’t escape the onslaught of Cerrone. Cerrone clearly smells blood now but can’t evade a left hook to the body. Cerrone is picking up the pace now as he dribbles a pair of jabs off Iaquinta’s damaged nose. Iaquinta finds success with a left hook but Cerrone shakes off the blow and responds with a right high kick. Iaquinta once again finds a home for the lunching left jab to the jaw. Both men land crippling counter punches to the jaw, forcing Iaquinta to momentarily retreat.

Cerrone blitzes forward with a hurricane of punches as Iaquinta covers up. Iaquinta catches a kick but can’t complete the single leg takedown as the round comes to an end.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9 Cerrone

Round 5

After quick check on the cut above Iaquinta’s eye, both men step out to clash for the final round. Cerrone continues to snap in his left jab and front right kick as Iaquinta looks to connect with a hellacious overhand left. Iaquinta looks to catch a kick but Cerrone snaps it away before rushing forward with another flurry of punches. Iaquinta lands a huge overhand right. Cerrone, showing no signs of damage, continues to plod forward. Only two minutes left on the clock now as Cerrone rattles off another body kick. Iaquinta responds with a stiff jab but eats another slicing combination to his bloody face.

With 45-seconds left, Cerrone goes up top with another head kick. Iaquinta respond with his own high kick but is met with a violent swarm of punches. Cerrone is clearly hunting for the knockout as he threatens with a flying knee. Iaquinta is on his heels as Cerrone puts him through a buzzsaw to close out the round.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9 Cerrone

OFFICIAL SCORECARD: Donald Cerrone def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-46)