UFC on FUEL 3 was held on May 15, 2012, at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Brash lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (18-4, 1 NC) looked to rebound from his first UFC loss by taking on veteran bruiser Jeremy Stephens (20-8) on the night's main card. Check out the video highlights below.
For more on Cerrone's bounce-back win, check out the play-by-play from MMA Fighting's own Ben Fowlkes.
Round 1: Stephens goes to work with leg kicks, trying to get in close to land the big right early on. Cerrone seems like he's still getting loose out there. Good combo by Cerrone makes Stephens cover up, and Cerrone finishes with a chopping leg kick. Cerrone is doing a good job of staying out of Stephens' range, then rushing in all at once and attacking while Stephens is on the defensive. After one such combo, Stephens shows blood around his left eye. Jumping knee by Cerrone, but Stephens defends well. Stephens seems off-balance and unsure as the round winds down. He's too busy reacting to generate much of an attack. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Cerrone.
Round 2: Cerrone seems to be only gaining in confidence as this one wears on. He mixes up the kicks and punches, throws in a spinning elbow, and it seems as if he can hit with Stephens with whatever he wants. An uppercut by Cerrone stings Stephens. He throws in a little samba as Stephens watches uncertainly. Stephens covers up after a Cerrone feint, and Cerrone looks like he's just trying to entertain himself in an easy sparring session. Stephens comes back with a one-two, throwing hard still, but he just can't get going. Cerrone dances in and chops Stephens down with another leg kick. Takedown by Cerrone in the final minute, just to be sure the round is his, and it is. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Cerrone.
Round 3: Inside leg kick by Cerrone to start the third sneaks up into Stephens' groin. That's a hard one, and even Cerrone knows it right away. Stephens is going to take a moment, while Cerrone has the cut on the top of his head from a Stephens elbow at the end of the second tended to. Stephens is feeling better, and Cerrone apologizes as they restart. Cerrone ducks under a combo and tries a takedown, but can't finish. Stephens is bleeding from the eye and the nose, but still coming forward. Another chopping leg kick by Cerrone, and it takes Stephens' leg out from under him. Cerrone keeps on picking away at Stephens. He's not exactly going all out to end it, but neither is he showing much mercy on a battered Stephens, who looks as if he can barely see out of his cut and swollen left eye. Final minute, and Stephens shows that he still has that right hand in reserve, not that he can get close enough to land it. Flying knee attempt by Stephens, but Cerrone ducks under and makes it to the final horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Cerrone.
UFC on FUEL 3 results: Donald Cerrone def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).