Gaethje KOs Cerrone, Calls for Title Shot

The ending may have been a bit bizarre in nature, but, as most predicted, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje didn’t go the distance. And it ended with Gaethje getting a first-round knockout in the main event of UFC Vancouver.

The fight started with Gaethje starting as he normally does, delivering leg kicks as the two felt each other out. The exchanges then began with Cerrone looking to come in with combinations but struggling to catch Gaethje some. Meanwhile, Gaethje looked to add follow-up shots, mostly right hands, to his leg kicks, as he tried to connect from the pocket.

Cerrone was wobbled a little late in the round but continued to press forward and tried to pressure Gaethje. This marked the beginning of the end, however, as Gaethje dropped Cerrone to his knees with a couple of right hands. Gaethje continued to deliver follow-up shots, asking the referee to step in. When the ref did, Gaethje appeared to be upset with the ref for not stopping the fight earlier, while “Cowboy” protested the stoppage.

Cerrone, however, didn’t hold on to the ref’s decision for long, embracing Gaethje in the Octagon.

Daniel Cormier, commentating the event, asked Gaethje in his post-fight interview if he wants a title shot or a fight with Conor McGregor more. And Gaethje answered by shrugging the Irish superstar off, demanding a crack at the winner of Khabib Nurmagmoedov’s next UFC lightweight title defense — presumably against Tony Ferguson.

“The Irishman’s retired. I want a real fighter,” Gaethje said. “I want the winner of Tony and Khabib.”

UFC Vancouver Main Card (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET):

Justin Gaethje def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:18)
Glover Teixeira def. Nikita Krylov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Todd Duffee vs. Jeff Hughes goes to a No Contest (doctor’s stoppage via accidental foul – eye poke) (Rd. 1, 4:03)
Tristan Connelly def. Michel Pereira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Uriah Hall def. Antonio Carlos Junior via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Misha Cirkunov def. Jimmy Crute via submission (Peruvian necktie) (Rd. 1, 3:38)

UFC Vancouver Preliminary Card (ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET):

Augusto Sakai def. Marcin Tybura via KO (Rd. 1, 0:59)
Miles Johns def. Cole Smith via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Hunter Azure def. Brad Katona via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Chas Skelly def. Jordan Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Louis Smolka def. Ryan McDonald via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:43)
Austin Hubbard def. Kyle Prepolec via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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