It seemed like it was the kind of night where Donald Cerrone couldn't win, but he fought back to win when it mattered most. He submitted Ed Ratcliff at 3:47 in the third round with a rear naked choke.
Cerrone worked a clinch game throughout much of the fight, but that put him in position to land illegal strikes. Three times, Cerrone unintentionally kneed Ratcliff in the groin. Referee Herb Dean took two points away from Cerrone, and it looked like the fight was in jeopardy in the second round after the third knee to the groin sent Ratcliff to the ground. But Ratcliff recovered and soldiered on. Cerrone even locked in a guillotine in the second round, but time expired before he had the chance to finish Ratcliff.
In the final round, Cerrone scored a takedown of Ratcliff, but the two were stood up after Dean said Cerrone grabbed the fence on the way down. All of this did not frustrate Cerrone, but he did clearly realize that he needed to finish the fight. Cerrone calmly took Ratcliff to the ground and put on a jiu-jitsu clinic. He started with a leg lock, and then after Ratcliff got out, Cerrone took him down again and sunk the rear naked choke. Ratcliff had no choice but to tap.
"I'm always down to stand and bang," Cerrone said. "I had no choice but to finish it. I was down two points."