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Cerrone fails in bid for UFC record books in Singapore

Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone of the US had hoped to claim the standalone record for most wins in UFC history, but was beaten by British fighter Leon "Rocky" Edwards (AFP Photo/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

Singapore (AFP) - Mixed martial arts star Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone failed in his bid to make Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history in Singapore Saturday as he was beaten by his younger opponent after falling ill.

American Cerrone, 35, had hoped to claim the standalone record for most wins in UFC history.

But 26-year-old British fighter Leon "Rocky" Edwards denied him the privilege, winning via unanimous decision.

The loss means Cerrone remains locked in a three-way tie for the win record, along with former champions Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, at 20 victories each.

Welterweight Cerrone said he had been under the weather all day but came out to fight anyway.

"This old dog isn't going anywhere. There's still a lot of fight left in me," he said after the fight.

"I was literally sick all day today, I could barely get out of bed. I've never felt like that," he said, adding later at a news conference he had been throwing up earlier in the day.

The American suffered his 11th career loss, but said he was not sad he failed to achieve a record because there would still be a chance in his future fights.

He was not about to hang up his gloves, he said, adding he would like to have two more fights this year and continue fighting over the next five years.

Cerrone praised Edwards, who notched up his 15th victory.

"Leon was the better man tonight and he did his thing. I hope he takes off and does really well in this sport," he said.

Edwards said he hoped that victory over Cerrone would propel him to main-event status in a sport that is fast gaining popularity worldwide, including in Asia.

"Thank you to Cowboy for giving me the chance to fight a legend," Edwards said after the fight.

Ahead of the fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Edwards had taunted Cerrone for being old and slow, and the American vowed to teach his younger opponent a lesson.

Edwards came to Saturday's fight with a five-fight winning streak, and Cerrone's scalp was his sixth.

Cerrone came in from a victory over Yancy Medeiros in February.

That win followed losing all his three previous matches -- a run that had prompted comments he was past his prime.

Cerrone suffered a cut near his right eye early in the first round from a knee by Edwards and blood trickled from the wound throughout the fight.

The American tried several times to take down his younger opponent, but the more agile Edwards was able to quickly escape. Cerrone later said the blood from his cut made his grip slippery.

"He told me don't run but the whole fight he ran from me," Cerrone said, laughing as he recalled one conversation with Edwards inside the metal cage.

In an apparent show of frustration, Cerrone at one point motioned Edwards with his finger to move to the centre of the octagon and slug it out.

The American said he was flying out early Sunday as his wife is expected to give birth imminently.

In one of the main cards, China's biggest MMA star and welterweight prospect Li "The Leech" Jingliang hammered Japanese judo specialist Daichi Abe via unanimous decision.