UFC veteran Donald Cerrone racked up another victory and another bonus at Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City. “Cowboy” continued his current path of destruction through the 155-pound division by finishing the ultra-tough Jim Miller in round two of their pivotal main event clash. It marked Cerrone’s fourth straight finish and earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. He now has netted bonuses in four straight Octagon appearances. It was the first time in Miller’s career that he had been stopped via strikes.
Cerrone has clearly taken his career to another level since a decision loss at Fight Night 27 at the hands of Rafael dos Anjos. He’s taken out his frustrations from that setback by recording submission victories over Evan Dunham and Edson Barboza and devastating head kick knockouts of Adriano Martins and Miller. He’s never looked better, and his willingness to fight often and against anybody is refreshing.
The previously No. 7 ranked Miller actually had some solid moments in the first round against Cerrone, landing effective left and right hands and mixing in a couple of takedowns. Cerrone was able to utilize effective knees and kicks to Miller’s body and was quick to get to his feet when taken down by his opponent. It was a fast-paced and highly competitive five minutes of action.
However, the end would come in dramatic fashion in round two. Most would argue Cerrone actually finished the fight twice. “Cowboy” landed a strong front kick to the body that sent Miller to the canvas in agony. Referee Dan Miragliotta gave the veteran a reprieve by ruling it a low blow. Cerrone was undeterred as he continued his relentless pressure and landed further body kicks. He would finally land a perfectly-placed head kick and follow up punches to finish Miller at the 3:31 mark.
Cerrone will no doubt improve upon his current No. 6 ranking and a future matchup against undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov would make a lot of sense. As for Miller, it’s a tough setback at this stage of his career. He’ll likely drop a few rungs on the 155-pound ladder after having his two-fight win streak snapped.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports