The finish came with just two seconds remaining in the round. Cerrone (33-10) wobbled Medeiros with a straight right to the temple and put him away with a vicious follow-up shot. The 170-pound bout headlined the event inside Frank Erwin Center.
"I didn't know there was only 10 seconds left in the round. I was just going for the finish," Cerrone said. "That's what Yancy and I look for. You know what's cool? I think I just tied the most wins in UFC history."
Cerrone and Medeiros (15-5) were extremely cordial with each other all week -- and that continued in the fight. At one point, after Medeiros slipped in an exchange, Cerrone allowed him to get back up, and they shared a high-five.
That friendship, however, did not affect the pace of the bout. According to Fightmetric, Cerrone and Medeiros combined for 137 strike attempts in the opening round. Cerrone dropped Medeiros multiple times, and both welterweights suffered facial cuts.
Immediately after the result, Medeiros leapt over the cage to embrace Cerrone's grandmother, who regularly attends his fights. The victory was a big one for Cerrone, as he snapped a three-fight skid -- the longest losing streak of his career.
Cerrone has expressed interest in returning to the lightweight division but is known to change plans on the fly. When asked what he anticipates next, the New Mexico-based veteran said, "They call me, and I say, 'Where we going?' That's all I need to know."
Medeiros, of Hawaii, saw a three-fight win streak snapped.
Exhausted Derrick Lewis rallies to late knockout
Derrick Lewis (19-5) didn't have much left going into the final round of his heavyweight fight against Marcin Tybura (16-4), but he made the most of it.
Lewis knocked out Tybura with a left-hook, right-cross combination along the fence at 2:48 of the final round. After a trademark celebration, Lewis collapsed backward out of sheer exhaustion.
It was a wild fight that saw both men nearly finished at multiple points. Lewis struck first, hurting Tybura with an overhand right midway through the opening round. Tybura, of Poland, managed to sweep Lewis out of the top position moments later and finished the round in full mount. He moved to full mount again in the second round.
With his corner pleading for him to stop the takedown, Lewis rallied in the final frame. He kept his balance along the fence, then turned Tybura into it to set up the finishing combination.
"I just believed in myself," said Lewis, of Houston. "I knew I had to touch him one more time. That's it. These boys from Texas can hit."
Lewis bounced back from a loss to Mark Hunt in June. Before that setback, he recorded a six-fight win streak.
Popular prospect Sage Northcutt pulls out narrow decision victory
Lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt (10-2) picked up a razor-thin decision over Thibault Gouti (12-4) via unanimous judges scores of 29-28.
A native of Katy, Texas, Northcutt significantly outlanded Gouti in total strikes, but the majority of his offense came in the final round.
Gouti, of France, stunned Northcutt with right hands in the first round and threatened to secure a guillotine choke. He outwrestled Northcutt in the middle frame and again in the third, though he landed virtually no offense in the final five minutes. ESPN still scored the 155-pound bout for Gouti 29-28.
The 21-year-old Northcutt has already accumulated five UFC wins. He has lost twice, but both of those were at welterweight. He fights out of Team Alpha Male.
Surging lightweight James Vick collects ninth UFC win
Lightweight contender James Vick (13-1) has obviously earned a date against a highly ranked opponent. The question now is: Which one will accept the fight?
Vick, of Fort Worth, Texas, moved to 9-1 inside the Octagon with a clear-cut decision victory over Brazil's Francisco Trinaldo (22-6). All three judges scored the contest for Vick, 29-28.
The three-round bout was not all that fan-friendly, as Vick was obviously affected by a dislocated pinkie. The 30-year-old spent the majority of the final round circling away from Trinaldo's power, knowing that he was ahead on the scorecards.
The best action took place early in the fight. Vick dropped Trinaldo with a right hand but was forced to fight off a tight guillotine choke later in the round. Overall, Vick used his height and reach well on the feet and quickly popped back to his feet any time Trinaldo managed to get him to the floor.
"I keep calling these guys out -- Michael Chiesa, Kevin Lee -- these guys turn down fights," Vick said. "I'm tired of calling these clowns out. I'm thinking Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Tony [Ferguson], Conor [McGregor]. World title fights. I'm 9-1 in the UFC. That's one of the best records in the UFC."
Millender knocks out former title challenger Alves with highlight knee
Millender, of Southern California, badly hurt Alves with a straight left and right uppercut in the opening round. Alves, 34, was floored by the shots but managed to get back to his feet and eventually work a takedown in the round's final seconds.
It was more of the same, however, in the second. Millender's size and speed appeared to have Alves a little cautious, which Millender took full advantage of. After the devastating knee, Millender simply stood back and allowed the referee to stop the fight. Alves did not go unconscious from the blow, but he was visibly out of it.
It was Millender's seventh consecutive win. Alves, who fights out of American Top Team in South Florida, has suffered three knockout losses in his career.