Darren Till needed less than one round to wrangle Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. In contrast, his fellow Brit Leon Edwards went the full 25 minutes with the combat-sports icon last Saturday in Singapore. “Rocky” looked good at times, but, in this writer’s opinion, his performance was satisfactory at best.
Full disclosure: I scored UFC Fight Night 132’s main event in favor of Cerrone, 48-47.
There is absolutely no denying that the Brummie picked apart “Cowboy” for the better part of the first two rounds, leading all the judges and the majority of people scoring the fight to the same conclusion: Edwards won both rounds by a score of 10-9. I would go on to score the remaining three rounds 10-9 for Cerrone, thereby ending up with a scorecard that read 48-47 in favor of the grizzled UFC veteran.
How anyone scored this fight is irrelevant, though. It’s easy to see how someone could score the fight in favor of Edwards. This was an extremely close fight to call.
Edwards had his moments in the fight. However, the talk of “Rocky” as an elite fighter in the welterweight division is a bit premature.
Edwards eked out a razor-close decision over an aging Cerrone, who, by the way, was sicker than a dog just an hour before the fight. If mediocrity is the new barometer for the elites, then, yes, this was a fantastic performance by Edwards and he should be rewarded with a top-10 opponent like Jorge Masvidal.
Edwards is a talented martial artist, but we can’t all rush to judgment and immediately declare last weekend’s winner to be today’s flavor of the month. A good, solid performance can be just that. Fabrication is not needed.
There were a couple of other welterweights who competed at UFC’s Singapore show that are just as good as Edwards, if not better. Jake Matthews and Kenan Song both had better performances on the night. They looked fantastic in their outings last weekend and should be recognized for it as well. Matthews posted an impressive submission finish of Shinsho Anzai in his contest. Song, meanwhile, dropped Hector Aldana for a knockout finish. Matthews remains undefeated at the 170-pound weight class, and Song has now destroyed his last two opponents with his powerful striking.
Many of these amazing athletes deserve admiration. However, we shouldn’t fall prisoner to the moment. Edwards looked good at times. At times, he didn’t look so good. All in all, the Brit’s performance really was satisfactory at best.