Donald Cerrone scored two finishes in the main event of UFC Fight Night 45, first a body kick to the liver of Jim Miller forced him to bend over in pain, but he would be saved by referee Dan Mirgliotta–deeming it an illegal groin shot. This helped Donald Cerrone later on score a head kick knockout, with Jim Miller still attempting to protect the body, he forgot to protect the head–where the kick landed flush and knocked out the 7th ranked lightweight in the UFC.
The body kick landed in the 2nd round would have stopped the fight in most occasions, but this time it did not as referee Dan Mirgliotta did not notice it, Cerrone respected the referee’s decision and kept on fighting.
“It felt good to me, but that’s the reason we have refs to step in there, he says it’s illegal–you can’t really argue with him. So just regroup and go from there,” Cerrone said at the post-fight press conference.
And regroup “Cowboy” did, using the damage inflicted to the body of Jim Miller to his advantage, smartly throwing a kick up high. The win was 6th ranked Donald Cerrone’s 4th straight in a span of just 8-months, the UFC’s most active fighter is looking to become even more active in search of his 4th fight in 2014.
Much was talked about prior and after the fight, of a potential matchup between Cerrone and the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov for logically the next UFC lightweight title shot. Although when asked, Cerrone didn’t mention a specific name, just that he wanted to get back into the cage as soon as possible.
“I will literally fight anybody, UFC tells me the date and time to be there and I’ll gladly be there. Nate [Diaz], Khabib [Nurmagomedov], anybody I wanna fight. So the sooner the better and looking forward to getting back out there,” Cerrone said as he took a sip of his sponsor, Budweiser.
Cerrone has typically had slow starts to his fight, sometimes even costing him the fight in the first round (re: Anthony Pettis). This fight was no different, dropping the first round to Jim Miller. It is an issue that concerns him, but one he’s working towards improving.
“Yeah I concern myself because that’s a dangerous time,” Cerrone said. “But just trying to feel him out, figure it out, and put it all together. There’s a lot going on, when you’re sitting at home watching, oh you just jab and kick like you’re playing a video game. When you’re in there and you gotta do it, it’s hard to pull the trigger. And mastering that art is still something I’m working on.”
On the other hand, Cerrone also credits his slow starts to him being more effective later on in the fight, by getting his opponent’s timing and movement down.
“I think the body work started wearing on him a little bit, I started getting down his timing. It’s kind of why I’m a slow starter, I like to figure out people’s movement and timing, it’s just the way I fight. I got his rhythm and it’s time to switch and go.”