Alexander Hernandez suggested his fight Saturday night against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone would be a “violent handoff” where the younger Hernandez would use the career Cerrone built over the years as his stepping stone up the UFC ladder.
Hernandez was right about the violent part, but Cerrone was not ready to give up the ball at UFC Brooklyn.
Cerrone dominated the 26-year-old Hernandez, ending the lightweight bout in the second round by TKO at Barclays Center. Cerrone landed a violent head kick that wobbled Hernandez, who then fell to the ground. Cerrone swarmed in, got on top of Hernandez and finished the fight with a series of elbows at the 3:43 mark of the second round.
“The old man’s still got it,” said Cerrone, 35.
Cerrone picked apart Hernandez (10-2), in this third UFC bout, the entire fight. He mixed up his strikes and seemed to land whenever he wanted. A short-range elbow in the first round cut Hernandez. Cerrone, one of the best combination strikers in the octagon, showed why in both rounds as several times he landes series of punches like he was hitting mitts during a training session.
It was the 22nd career win in the UFC for Cerrone, adding to his promotional record. It also was his first fight back at lightweight after competing at welterweight for the past three years.
“I want top five,” said Cerrone, who was ranked No. 2 at lightweight when moved up a weight class. “I want Conor [McGregor] if he’ll meet me.”
McGregor responded on Twitter saying, "For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you. Congratulations."
Cerrone has always been that “anytime, anywhere, anybody” type of fighter, the one who often would be the first to tweet “I know a guy” when another fighter pulled out of a bout. But Cerrone now has his sights set on chasing the one thing that’s avoided him in his career: a UFC championship.
“I’m primal,” said Cerrone (35-11, 1 no contest). “I got a little baby right there, Dacson Danger. That’s what I’m here for now.”