The UFC gave us a pretty decent pay-per-view last night, with a bantamweight title up for grabs and a female flyweight belt on the line. But the most captivating match-up on the UFC 238 card was a non-title bout between Tony Ferguson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Both men are fan-favorites. Both are a bit crazy – Cerrone with his adrenaline-junkie ways, Ferguson with his restraining orders. And of course, both are skilled. Everyone anticipated a war, and a war was exactly what we got.

At first, it was Cowboy who was kicking all the butt, with his strikes deadly accurate in the first round. Ferguson kept up the heat, making the round close, but the TUF winner was getting a little more than he was giving.

That changed in the second, with Ferguson pouring it on, chasing Cerrone down will chipping away at him with kicks and punches. Cerrone was bloodied and marked up… and when Ferguson popped him in the grill with a punch that was very much after the bell, that didn’t help matters.

That’s why, when Cerrone’s eye ballooned up right before the third round began, the doctor waived the bout off, the crowd was booing. After all, it looked like maybe that late punch is what caused the fight-ending damage.

Referee Dan Miragliotta watched the instant replay and determined otherwise, though, so instead of a “no content” or disqualification, Ferguson got the TKO win. However, even Ferguson was cool with an immediate rematch, so take that for what you will.

It was a great fight with a less-than-satisfying ending. Oh well.

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