Donald Cerrone's transition to the UFC has been nothing but smooth. He made sure of that at UFC 131 by crushing Vagner Rocha with leg kicks. Rocha, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, could never get the fight to the mat and took massive damage to his legs. Cerrone rolled to a unanimous decison, 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26, in the first fight on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 131 in Vancouver.
There were questions about Cerrone, a former WEC lightweight champ, when he was brought on board by the UFC, the biggest promotion under the Zuffa umbrella. He's now won two straight in the UFC over Paul Kelly�and Rocha, and three in a row overall.
"My wrestling has gotten better and better thanks to Greg Jackson and all of the wrestlers down there. I'm working with guys like Clay Guida, Melvin Guillard and the Vanier brothers every day. I'm disappointed that I didn't get the chance to finish him," said Cerrone.
Cerrone's muay thai just destroyed Rocha all night long.� Cerrone (15-3, 2-0 UFC)�landed dozens of kicks on the outside and inside of Rocha's lead leg. By the third round, Rocha switched stances for a brief second and was limping. Over the final two minutes of the fight, he was wincing on each nasty leg kick that landed.
"After the first round, I could tell the leg kicks started bothering him. I just didn't let my hands go after negating the takedown. I'm happy with the win, but you know I always want to put on exciting fights," said Cerrone.
Rocha (6-2, 0-1 UFC) tried for takedowns throughout, but lacked the size and technique to threaten Cerrone. A replacement for Mac Danzig, he was simply overmatched at this point in his career.
"That was just a bad fight for me. It wasn't what I had planned at all. I was really frustrated that he was able to defend the takedowns that well and it threw my game plan completely off," said Rocha.