UFC fighter shows unthinkable sportsmanship after opponent faceplants


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MMA may be one of the most brutal and violent sports known to man, but that doesn’t mean all sportsmanship goes out the window — or the cage — whenever fighters step inside the octagon.

At UFC Fight Night 126, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone took on Yancy Medeiros in the main event. Just 17 seconds into the bout, Medeiros lost his balance and fell to the mat in a vulnerable position.

Usually when one fighter goes to the mat in MMA, the other fighter is quick to pounce on his opponent. It’s survival of the fittest in the cage and fighters will seek to exploit every advantage they are presented with.

However, when Medeiros hit the mat, Cerrone simply allowed him to get back to his feet without attacking. That prompted an exchange that you rarely see during an MMA match.

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After getting back to his feet, Medeiros has a huge smile on his face for obvious reasons. He and Cerrone then embrace with a hug before then squaring up and continuing their match.

It was an incredible display of sportsmanship by Cerrone, but he may have known that taking out Medeiros was inevitable.  Cerrone let Medeiros save face for roughly four more minutes before knocking him out late in the first round.

The two were extremely cordial throughout the week leading up to the fight, and it’s clear they have a true friendship. At the weigh-in, Medeiros even came bearing gifts and gave Cerrone a cowboy hat.

Even after getting knocked out, Medeiros was gracious in defeat and showed exemplary sportsmanship. When he learned that Cerrone’s grandmother was sitting cageside, he went over and embraced her.

This was a big victory for Cerrone on multiple counts. First, he put an end to a three-match losing streak which was the longest of his MMA career dating back to 2006.

But most importantly, this was Cerrone’s 20th victory in UFC which ties him for the most wins in the promotion’s history.

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Bisping hasn’t won a fight in nearly 18 months and seems more interested in his media and acting careers than his MMA one. St-Pierre recently returned to the octagon after a four-year retirement but has just gone on another hiatus for an undetermined length.

As for Medeiros, he saw his three-match win streak come to an end as he suffered his first defeat since May 2016.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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