Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Niko Price delivered a back-and-forth battle but when it was over there was still no winner.
Thanks to a point deduction issued to Price in the opening round after a pair of accidental eye pokes, two scorecards that would have given him the win ended with the fight being declared a majority draw.
Two judges scored the fight 28-28 thanks to that point deduction while a third official actually gave the fight to Cerrone with a 29-27 score after three rounds. Price still seemed excited after the decision was rendered while Cerrone offered a much more muted response after he earned a draw for the first time in his 53-fight career.
Niko is unloading but Cowboy is showing no quit! [ LIVE now on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/6gSnjMuiaP
Knowing that Cerrone is a notoriously slow starter, Price was going for the kill with every punch he threw in the opening round. He came after Cerrone with a series of combinations looking to overwhelm the veteran before he could event manage any offense of his own.
Despite the wild exchanges, Cerrone was able to survive the barrage and he then started to throw some counter shots while seeking to return the favor on the feet.
The action ended up being paused twice in the first round, however, after Price landed a pair of accidental eye pokes. The second foul forced referee Jason Herzog to take away a point from Price, who apologized to Cerrone after both eye pokes happened.
Once the fight restarted, Price was still putting the pressure one with a volume striking attack while “Cowboy” started to return fire with a stiff jab that was constantly landing on target. The second round allowed Cerrone to get back in the fight but he was still losing in overall output with Price throwing and landing more strikes overall.
With five minutes remaining, Price looked to secure the victory with the same game plan he used in the first two rounds while coming after Cerrone with aggression and a whole lot of strikes in succession. Cerrone wasn’t going away without emptying his gas tank with arguably many of his best punches and kicks landed in a final flurry in the last 90 seconds.
Considering the way the fight played out along with that point deduction, a draw definitely seemed likely and that’s what the judges delivered. Sadly, Cerrone is still looking for his first win since last May after dropping four fights in a row followed by the majority draw on Saturday night.
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