Round 1 - Lots of bouncing early as the fighters circle. Diabate moves in first, but Cantwell blocks. Diabate considers a head kick, and he hits his chin even with a half kick. Diabate moves forward with punches as Cantwell covers. Diabate fires off a couple low kicks and then snaps off a couple nice body kicks. Cantwell, though, shoots on the second and gets the takedown. Cantwell lands in half guard and looks to pass. The pace slows as Cantwell looks for better position. Diabate remains patient on his back. Cantwell gets to his knees and delivers some punches, and Diabate throws some elbows. Cantwell stands over his opponent looking to drop a bunch, but Diabate quickly gets back up and delivers a couple knees punches and a knee from the clinch before resetting. Diabate lands a jab and just missed on a knee. Diabate lands another knee, but Cantwell counters with a right. Diabate uses his range to land a few solid shots. Cantwell shoots, but Diabate blocks it and tags him with a knee and some punches. A quick left drops Cantwell. Cantwell, though, survives and gets back to his feet. Exciting first round. MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Diabate.
Round 2 - Diabate fires off a body kick and follows with punches that miss. Diabate appears to be timing his knee, but he eats a punch while sitting in the pocket. Diabate lands a short uppercut aqnd then a body kick is barely checked. Cantwell shoots, but Diabate overpowers him and forces him to the mat. Diabate initially stands over him and then moves in with a couple punches before signaling for the standup. Diabate uses his jab to frustrate Cantwell and then follows with short uppercuts. Cantwell gets through a decent left, but Diabate is getting the better of the exchanges. Cantwell shoots, but Diabate collapses on top of him. Cantwell kneels and then gets back to his feet. Diabate clinches and pushes him against the cage and unloads a nice barrage of punches that put Cantwell in a cloud. A low kick shows Cantwell is clearly wobbly. Cantwell shoots, but he can't finish the takedown, and Diabate gets top position. Diabate drops hammerfists as the round ends. It's all Diabate, who gets it 10-9 on the MMAjunkie.com scorecard.
Round 3 - Diabate goes low with kicks. He then uses punches to set up inside leg kicks. Cantwell's face is badly swelling. Diabate fires off some quick punches and then elbows from close range. The fighters trade low kicks, and then Diabate lands some lunging punches. More low kicks from Diabate, he's slowing his opponent with punches. Diabate lands a low kick and a straight left. Cantwell wings a few shots that Diabate easily avoids. A high knee from Diabate and then another lands. Diabate with a nice one-two combo. Cantwell tries to push forward, but he can't get inside Diabate's reach. Diabate with more jabs and body kicks. Cantwell shoots, but Diabate easily sprawls. A nice knee from Diabate is followed with solid short punches. Cantwell goes high with a kick, but he's tagged again with a rib kick. Diabate lands a couple quick straight punches. Diabate with more knees to the body, and with Cantwell against the cage, he tries for the finish with uppercuts. Cantwell, though, can take a punch. Diabate with more jabs to close the round. It's all Diabate, who takes it 10-9 in what should be a clean sweep.
Cyrille Diabate def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-26)