A new name is pushing his way into UFC welterweight title contention.
Leon Edwards (16-3) recorded his sixth consecutive victory on Saturday, as he defeated Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night in Singapore. The scores were close — unanimously 48-47 after five rounds — but it was a relatively low-drama affair for Edwards.
The 26-year-old Edwards, who had a 101-64 advantage over Cerrone in total strikes and stuffed nearly all of his takedown attempts, immediately called out Jorge Masvidal after the victory.
“I can go five rounds, easy,” Edwards said. “Me and Masvidal, let’s make it happen. I want to keep chipping away. I’ve been watching [Cerrone] since I was a kid, so I know everything he does. An old dog doesn’t change its spots. He’s a legend, thank you.”
“I love my job and I’m not going anywhere,” Cerrone said. “This old dog still has a lot of fights left.”
It was an occasionally frustrating fight for Cerrone, who pointed to the center of the Octagon in the final seconds to entice Edwards to trade with him.
A former lightweight, Cerrone tried to get Edwards to the ground throughout the 25-minute contest but had very little success. He timed his shots well, but Edwards’ size and defensive wrestling proved to be too much. Cerrone repeatedly ate elbow strikes in the clinch as a result of the failed takedowns.
Despite the inefficiency of his grappling, Cerrone mounted a comeback in the later rounds, as Edwards started to rely almost entirely on counter striking. Cerrone landed a hard right uppercut in the third round, which was probably his best shot of the fight.
Cerrone has now lost four of his past five bouts. Edwards, who fights out of Birmingham, England, is 8-2 in the UFC. His last loss came against Kamaru Usman in 2015.
St. Preux stops Pedro in first round
Former light heavyweight title challenger Ovince St. Preux (23-11) put a stop to the momentum behind Tyson Pedro, as he finished the rising Australian contender with a straight armbar inside the first round.
Pedro (7-2) got off to a fast start, dropping St. Preux with a right hand in the first minute of the fight. Pedro, 26, elected to tie St. Preux up in the clinch after the knockdown, however, and ended up on the bottom of a takedown attempt.
That was all the opportunity St. Preux, of Tennessee, needed to finish the bout. He attacked Pedro’s right arm from side control and quickly produced a tap at the 2:54 mark.
“When I’m on top of you, you’re in trouble,” St. Preux said. “He’s still got a lot of growing to do. He’ll get there. Since I’ve been in the UFC, they haven’t had any light heavyweights as active as me. I’ll fight anywhere, anytime.”
It was the 11th submission win of St. Preux’s career and improved his record to 4-1 in his past five fights. Pedro, a promising prospect at 205 pounds, is now 3-2 in the UFC.