Justin Gaethje defeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and announced the world that he wants to fight for the title. The Highlight was very convincing against Cerrone, beating him after just 4 minutes and 18 seconds of a fight at the UFC Vancouver.
He stated that his next opponent should be the winner of the clash between the two biggest names in the lightweight division, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Many reporters wondered will he fight Conor McGregor, but according to Gaethje’s words, he isn’t very tempted to clash with the Notorious.
“The Irishman is retired,” Gaethje said. “I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony and Khabib.”
Still, he did leave a door open for this event.
“If [McGregor is] going to fight, I definitely want to fight him. He punched an old man in the face. I want to f— him up for that,” Gaehtje said.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 15, 2019
Gaethje was bothered with the official last night, because the one in the ring didn’t stop the match when he should. According to Gaethje’s words, the fight was supposed to stop much earlier, as Cowboy couldn’t defend himself properly. The Highlight and Cerrone are close friends outside the ring, which made it more complicated for Gaethje.
“I thought he fell like that two times…that was my friend, I didn’t want to do that to him, I’ll be honest with you,” Gaethje stated.
Right from the start the younger fighter imposed his own tempo and was dominating the ring in Rogers Arena. His left hooks were constantly harassing Cowboy, who didn’t have the solution for them. The combination of those strikes with the leg kicks to Cerrone’s left leg followed by strong right punches was something which eventually destroyed the veteran of this sport.
JUSTIN GAETHJE! He puts away Donald Cerrone in the first round in Vancouver! Unreal power 💥 pic.twitter.com/RbgN40yZDJ
— FightingMatrix 👊 (@FightingMatrix) September 15, 2019
At one point Cowboy was down with his face towards the ground, turtled up, without any defense. Gaethje stopped the fight, looked towards the official who didn’t want to end the battle. He then continued to punch Cerrone, forcing the ref to react and finish the match. That was when he became angry at the official who stalled with the decision to halt the massacre. The scoreboard for significant strikes said that the result at that moment was 40-17 for the Highlight.
This is Gaethje’s third win in a row, and his MMA record is now 21-2. It is the number 18 by a KO or a TKO.
“This kid is a stud, man,” Cerrone said. “It’s very hard to fight a friend. What a cool dude. What a cool sport.”
— UFC (@ufc) September 15, 2019
Cowboy (36-12-1) suffered his second KO loss in a short period of time. Before this bout, he had one against Tony Ferguson, in which he suffered a massive beating, which forced the officials to stop the fight. His nose was broken, and a huge hematoma appeared under his eye, closing it. It seems that one of the biggest names of this sport is in decline because his performances are way beneath the level they used to be.
Meanwhile, Gaethje’s prime is yet to come. The former lightweight champion of the World Series of Fighting is currently ranked 5th among the MMA lightweights, and wants his chance to fight for the belt. For some, that might be too early, for others it is a perfect time. We’ll see if Khabib or Ferguson even accept to fight the Arizona native. McGregor is waiting for his chance to got back into the ring also, so we can say that a very exciting winter awaits us.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.