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MMA: Cerrone fights to a draw

In Las Vegas, Nevada, New Mexico fighters went 0-2-1 Saturday on a UFC Fight Night card at UFC Apex.

Edgewood welterweight Donald Cerrone (36-15-1) fought to a majority draw with Niko Price (14-4-1) of Coral Springs, Florida.

Albuquerque flyweight Jordan Espinosa (15-8) lost by unanimous decision to the Czech Republic’s David Dvorak (19-3).

Santa Fe’s Jerome Rivera (10-3) lost to Tyson Nam (20-11-1) of Portland, Oregon by second-round TKO (punches) in a bantamweight fight.

The draw in the Cerrone-Price fight was created when Price had a point deducted for two unintentional eye pokes in the first round.

The official scorecards read 28-28, 28-28 and 29-27 for Cerrone. Without the point deduction, Price would have won by split decision.

Cerrone weathered an all-out assault in the first minute of the fight, then battled Price on essentially equal terms the rest of the way.

Espinosa was unable to consistently penetrate Dvorak’s defense, nor stay away from the powerful leg kicks Dvorak delivered throughout the three rounds.

The quickness advantage that Espinosa has enjoyed in most of his fights was not in evidence against Dvorak.

All three judges scored the fight 30-27.

Rivera, making his UFC debut on eight days’ notice, won the first round against Nam on all three official scorecards on the strength of multiple solid leg kicks.

But early in the second, Nam, a powerful puncher, dropped Rivera with a right hand and launched a furious ground-and-pound assault.

Rivera, conscious and clear-eyed, defended to the best of his ability. But his efforts found no favor with referee Chris Tognoni, who called a stop to the fight at the 34-second mark.

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