Diaz battered Cerrone with combination after combination in a fast-paced opening round to put “The Cowboy” behind early. As the pace slowed in the following rounds, Cerrone tripped Diaz to the ground with kicks and scored some counters, but Diaz kept the pressure on as he continued to land punches and ultimate took the unanimous decision with 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 scored.
After the fight, Diaz and Cerrone put their rivalry to rest as they shook hands after the final round and applauded one another for putting on a “Fight of the Night” front-runner.
More UFC 141 coverage:
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Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone play-by-play:
Round 1 – Cerrone rushes to the center of the Octagon and both misses with wild punches. Diaz gets Cerrone under control and looks for a takedown, but Cerrone stays on his feet. Diaz knees the body before Cerrone lands a punch as he escapes. Cerrone shrugs off another arm triangle set up. Diaz’s punches are getting through early as Cerrone can’t find the mark with his won. Diaz snaps Cerrone’s head back as more punches get through. Cerrone sneaks in a head kick, but Diaz picks him apart with combinations for the rest of the round. MMAFrenzy.com scores the first for Diaz 10-9.
Round 2 – Diaz picks right back up with punches to start the second. Cerrone chops him down with a leg kick, but lets him back up. Diaz lands with more punches before Cerrone kicks his legs out again. Diaz briefly gets behind Cerrone, but they go back to trading punches. Diaz connects with more punches and Cerrone answers with a head kick, but slips and both fighters return to their feet. Cerrone counters Diaz’ combinations and finally connects with solid punches. Diaz stalks forward, but Cerrone doing a better job blocking them in this round. The pace slows with 90 seconds left as Cerrone trips Diaz again, but refuses to go to the ground. Cerrone slips as Diaz peppers him with more combinations in the final seconds. MMAFrenzy.com scores a closer second for Diaz again 10-9, putting him up 20-18.
Round 3 – Diaz flips off Cerrone before the start of the third. Diaz finds the mark with combinations early in the final round. Cerrone finds the mark with some counters, but Diaz continues to connect with combinations. Cerrone knees the body, weathers some more combos, then trips Diaz again but won’t follow him to the ground. Another knee by Cerrone, but Diaz pours on more punches. Cerrone kicks out the legs again, but Diaz goes back to work with combinations. Cerrone counters, but is clearly being outstruck. Cerrone misses with a flying knee with 45 seconds to go. Diaz pummels Cerrone with more punches. Cerrone misses with a head kick and Diaz finishes with another flurry of punches. Cerrone and Diaz shake hands after the fight ends. MMAFrenzy.com gives the third to Diaz 10-9, giving him the fight 30-27.
Nate Diaz def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Pictured: Nate Diaz