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Morning Report: Donald Cerrone submits Rafael dos Anjos twice at Submission Underground

Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This past weekend, Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground returned for their final event of the year and the co-main event featured a match between longtime MMA rivals, Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos. And though Cerrone may be 0-2 against dos Anjos in MMA, he’s now 2-0 against him in submission grappling, and it only took one night to do even the score.

The rules of Submission Underground are pretty straightforward. Fighters have one five-minute round to submit each other. All submissions are legal and no points are scored, nor are there judges. If the bout goes to time, there are then a series of overtime periods where one fighter chooses a dominant position to start from – armbar position or seated back control – and has two minutes to submit his opponent. They then alternate and whoever submits the other in the shortest time, wins.

Cerrone and RDA went five minutes without either man getting particularly close to a submission. In the first overtime period, both men selected back-mount position for their first iteration and both men escaped quickly. In the second overtime, dos Anjos again chose back control and again Cerrone escaped, but this time, Cerrone opted for the armbar position and he was able to secure a finish. Except, RDA did not agree.

Immediately after the referee halted the bout, dos Anjos protested that he had not tapped. Unfortunately, the referee is the final arbiter in these instances and his call stood. However, with such an unsatisfying ending and both men willing to make up for it, Submission Underground called an audible after the bout and set up a redo of the overtime period, following the main event.

In the redo, dos Anjos instead chose to take the armbar position to start and nearly submitted Cerrone, but ultimately “Cowboy” escaped. Once again, Cerrone chose to start in the armbar position and this time, put an end to the controversy, securing a verbal submission from dos Anjos. The win had to feel good for Cerrone whose last bout was a draw (since overturned to a no-contest) and previously was on a four-fight losing streak.

Cerrone and dos Anjos weren’t the only MMA luminaries competing on the night though. As has become common place with Submission Underground, the event was filled with a number of MMA standouts, including a grappling match between Ryan Bader and Anthony Johnson, that saw Bader avenge his MMA loss to “Rumble” with an overtime win on escape time.

You can watch a full replay of the event on UFC Fight Pass.


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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