Tony Ferguson notched his 12th straight win in a row on Saturday night, although it definitely wasn’t how he wanted his fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone to end.
The battle between the two top five ranked lightweights lived up to the billing with a back and forth bloody war through the first 10 minutes but unfortunately Cerrone suffered a damaged nose that then led to his right eye swelling completely shut. The doctors took one look at his eye and would not allow Cerrone to continue, which gave Ferguson the TKO win.
“It’s not how I wanted the fight to go,” Ferguson said after the fight was finished. “It was a really emotional year. It’s a f—king fight in here. A lot of emotions flaring. There’s no words to express it. I don’t like to win that way.
“We can throw it back, I don’t mind doing that. He’s a hell of a f—king fighter.”
There was also a late punch thrown after the close of the second round that saw Ferguson pop Cerrone in the nose but the UFC and WEC veteran refused to blame his opponent for that playing a part in how the fight ended. Instead, Cerrone turned the spotlight on himself for blowing his nose between rounds, which led to his eye blowing up like a balloon.
“That was the fight I think everybody wanted. I don’t quit. I don’t back down. I wanted to keep fighting,” Cerrone said. “I shouldn’t have blown my nose.”
Eight months away didn’t slow Ferguson down as the former interim champion was immediately in pursuit with his unorthodox strikes as soon as the fight got started. Cerrone had no problem returning fire with a stiff jab that snapped Ferguson’s head back and several hard hooks that started to do some damage.
One particular combination saw Cerrone land a left-right combination that opened up a cut over Ferguson’s right eye but he somehow seems to come alive at the sight of blood whether it belongs to him or his opponent. Ferguson just kept coming forward with a barrage of shots that never gave Cerrone a second to breathe.
With each passing minute, Ferguson just kept upping his output with a stinging jab that cracked Cerrone repeatedly leaving him with a busted nose and a mouse forming underneath his eye.
Known for his creativity in the cage, Ferguson was throwing anything and everything at Cerrone including a series of spinning back elbows and kicks to the body. As the second round was coming to a close, Ferguson connected with a clubbing elbow that definitely had Cerrone wobbled for a moment.
When the horn sounded to close the second round, Ferguson connected with the late punch, which earned him a hard warning from the referee but the fight ended after Cerrone’s eye swelled shut and the doctors refused to allow him to continue.
It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise incredible fight but Ferguson sounded more than happy to offer Cerrone a rematch rather than call for a title shot, which should certainly belong to him.
“I don’t want to f—king win like that,” Ferguson said. “I know better than that. I’m a better fighter than that. I could give a f—k who’s next. I don’t give two f—ks.”