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UFC 249 results: Anthony Pettis earns second win over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in back-and-forth striking battle

UFC 249 Oleinik v Werdum Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Anthony Pettis moved to 2-0 against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, but the former lightweight champion had a much tougher fight on his hands in their rematch at UFC 249.

After folding Cerrone in half with a kick to the body in their first meeting, Pettis had to engage in a real back-and-forth battle over three rounds to edge out a unanimous decision in the featured preliminary fight from Jacksonville, Fla. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Pettis, who returns to the win column after two straight losses.

“I’ll take it,” Pettis said following the win. “I thought that was close. He’s a legend. We’re friends. We put it on the line.”

Cerrone definitely had something to prove after a 40-second outing in his last appearance against Conor McGregor, and it showed in his early combinations. On the attack as soon as the first round started, Cerrone was focused and aggressive with his strikes.

But as time ticked away from the first round into the second, Pettis began finding his range while opening up his tool box to showcase a variety of weapons in response. With less than 10 seconds remaining in the first round, Pettis landed one of his best shots of the fight when he cracked Cerrone with a stiff punch that stopped him dead in his tracks.

The lightning quick counters continued to find a home on Cerrone’s jaw with Pettis picking and choosing his shots. Still, Cerrone refused to go away as he began mixing in takedown attempts to keep Pettis guessing on his feet.

After a back-and-forth battle through two rounds, Pettis got his opening when the referee failed to see an eye poke and he went for the kill with Cerrone wincing. The former champion threw a flurry of shots, but he couldn’t quite get the finish.

In return, Cerrone decided to uncork a head kick that landed flush, but somehow Pettis ate the shot and continued to move forward. When the final horn sounded, the judges had a tough call to make but in the end, Pettis got the nod.

While Pettis gets a much-needed win, Cerrone has now dropped four straight fights dating back to June 2019, which is the longest losing streak of his career.

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