The main event of UFC Fight Night 45 features a matchup of top-10 lightweights looking to climb one more rung on that proverbial lightweight ladder. #6 Donald Cerrone (23-6, 1 NC) vs. #7 Jim Miller (24-4, 1 NC).
Donald Cerrone fights for the 3rd time in 2014–he had previously asked for 6 fights in the year and is on pace for that mark. “Cowboy” comes off 3 straight finishes in the UFC–submiting Evan Dunham, knocking out Adriano Martins, and submitting Edson Barboza.
Jim Miller is technical unbeaten in his last 4 bouts, defeating Joe Lauzon, Fabricio Camoes, and Yancy Medeiros–inbetween a no-contest against Pat Healy. And has only been finished once in his career.
While Jim Miller is certainly the hometown favourite in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Donald Cerrone (-245) comes into this fight a more than 2-to-1 favourite against Miller (+205) on the betting odds.
Donald Cerrone showed patience throughout, picking his shots and hurting Jim Miller several times with the body kicks, ultimately finishing him with a devastating right head kick knockout. Winning his 3rd fight in the year and 4th straight overall.
Miller and Cerrone touch gloves and off they got. Cerrone lands a knee to the body, Miller answers by cracking Cerrone with a overhand left. Miller begins to mix up his kicks and punches, but absorbs another knee from Cerrone, which leads to him initiating the clinch. Miller catches one of Cerrone’s kicks and takes him down, Cerrone pops right back up. Both fighters being very aggressive, Jim Miller getting the better of the early exchanges, but Cerrone continues to find a home for the knee to the body. Miller clinches and lands a takedown with double under hooks, again Cerrone popped right back up. The round ends with both picking their shots on the feet. 10-9 Jim Miller
Round 2 begins and Miller pushes former landing a straight left, “Cowboy” continues to keep him at distance with his kicks. Miller finishing his combinations well with a leg kick. Cerrone lands a straight kick to the body that forced Jim Miller to bend over, which referee Dan Mirgliotta deemed as a groin kick–giving Miller time to recover. On the rest, Cerrone continued to throw kicks, a leg kick that buckled Jim Miller. Another front kick to the body from Cerrone hurts Miller, and has him in retreat mode. A right head kick by Donald Cerrone lands clean as Miller blocked low to protect the body, the kick knocks Jim Miller out cold–crashing to the canvas.
Donald Cerrone showing concern for Jim Miller does not celebrate, instead paces slowly around the Octagon.
With the knockout, Donald Cerrone has finished 4 straight bouts, and has put himself into contention for a possible title shot. Cerrone with 12 finishes is the most in WEC/UFC history, surpassing Nate Diaz.
Donald Cerrone def. Jim Miller via Knockout (head kick)–Round 2, 3:31
“The body kicks starting getting him worried about the body, and then I went up top,” Cerrone said. “I’m going to drink a bunch of Budweiser tonight and get after it.”
As for who Cerrone wants next for his 4th fight in 2014, “Whoever wants to fight I don’t care, as soon as possible, any 70’s out there that want to fight.”
Full results for UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller can be found here.