Any MMA fan worth their salt is a fan of Donald Cerrone and has endless amount of respect for the man.
One of the biggest cliches in the sport is anytime and anywhere. We hear that statement get thrown out at least once on every show. But that’s Cowboy he has a record of fighting anytime and anywhere.
If the UFC are stuck for a lightweight or welterweight on short notice on a fight card taking place in Outer Mongolia, Cowboy is the man to call.
Cerrone is the type of fighter UFC President Dana White adores.
He has a wild fan friendly fighting style, tough as nails and never backs down from a fight. Simply put everyone loves Donald Cerrone. Fellow fighters love him, Dana White and the UFC love him, you love him and I sure as hell love him.
While he’s a killer in the cage and away from the cage he’s the type of man you would just love to have a pint with. Extremely likeable and fun it’s very easy to see why Cerrone has the fanbase that he does.
Donald has been with the UFC since 2011. Making his debut against Paul Kelly at UFC 126 submitting Kelly in the 2nd round and winning Fight of the Night. He came in as part of the WEC and UFC merger.
During his time in WEC Cerrone fought for the WEC Lightweight Championship three times. Like his single UFC Lightweight Championship fight against Rafael Dos Anjos, he lost all three. This puts Cerrone in the conversation of one of the greatest fighters to never hold UFC gold.
Cerrone does prove that you can be successful without winning a world title. He is an odds-on future Hall of Famer and holds plenty of UFC records that back up his must watch appeal.
Donald has the most wins in UFC history (23), most finished in UFC history (16), most fights in UFC history (36), most post fight bonus awards (18), most fights in a 12 month period (6) and most knockdowns in UFC history (20).
He also has six Fight of the Night, three Knockout of the Night and two Submission of the Night awards to his name in the UFC.
Cerrone is decorated in his own way. His legacy will live on more than some fighters that held UFC gold.
His activity, attitude and ability say more about the man than a world title ever could.
Most Recent Fight
However, we all know the brutal world of MMA is a young man’s game. Sometimes the old get fed to the young in the cage.
This past weekend Cerrone fought for the 36th time in the UFC.
He went to war with fellow hard man Niko Price. As expected, it was a fun fight to watch and ended in a majority draw. The first draw of Cerrone’s professional career. This brought his pro record to 36 wins, 15 defeats, 1 draw and 1 no contest.
While a draw indicates a razor close fight it wasn’t really.
Price was deducted a point in the first round after repeated eye pokes. If this didn’t happen its likely Price would have won, the fight. Cowboy seemed unusually hesitant when striking. It just wasn’t a positive performance by Cerrone who was rocked early in the fight too.
Cerrone was far from out classed but he was just missing a beat that he usually has. After the fight Dana White has said “I know it’s going to crush him and break his heart. It’s time to have a conversation.”
White wouldn’t go into much detail but reading between the lines it seems like retirement talks are on the cards.
Cerrone also said after the fight we won’t see him for the rest of the year. This was his third fight in 2020 so that’s understandable but Cerrone never completely writes himself out.
It’s a well-deserved break for Cerrone who clearly has some big decisions and conversations ahead of him.
Life Away From The Cage
Things are changing in the personal life of Donald Cerrone.
He is a father now and his wife just gave birth to their second child just a week before his fight with Niko Price.
Donald now has a young family to think about and at 37 years old Cerrone still has plenty of living. He has made good money and will have opportunities when he steps away from the cage.
Cerrone is extremely likeable and has a fantastic personality. With this and his excellent knowledge of the sport he could easily transition into an analysis role.
Cerrone also has a role in the Netflix film Spenser Confidential and has appeared in an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So, if this is something, he enjoys doing it could be another option.
Donald also has his own MMA gym the BMF Ranch. He also has an affiliation with Budweiser all of these are possible money makers away from the cage.
While he is firstly a fighter it’s not going to stay that way forever. Nobody will be happy when Cerrone hangs up his gloves. Now with a young family as a fan I would like to see him walk away on his own terms.
Don’t Chase The Fairy-tale Ending
In this sport it is almost impossible to get the perfect send off and chasing it can be detriment to a fighter’s wellbeing.
Like I said early the old are usually fed to the young. Most of our favourites tend to go out on their backs after a string of nasty knockouts and its always difficult to watch.
Greats like Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn and to a certain extent Michael Bisping all hung on to long. It never ends well and can either damage a legendary fighter’s reputation or worse their health.
Cerrone has said he will finish on his terms in the past. But knowing his fighting style and live life to the fullest attitude that has the potential to end badly. Sometimes as much as it hurts you must save a fighter from themselves.
Remind them of what they have away from the cage, offer them support and alternative work if possible or needed and a pathway into retirement.
There will always be some fight left in Cowboy. As a fan I’m just afraid he won’t know when to call it a day.
His last performance was less than impressive. He wasn’t won a fight in his last five outings. With his last one coming against Al Iaquinta in May 2019 by decision.
Good Time To Go?
Cerrone got his deserved big money fight earlier this year against Conor McGregor and at this stage will never win a world title.
He has achieved everything he is realistically going to achieve. Now is probably the best time for him to walk away.
It isn’t ideal and a Cowboy farewell should be in front of a packed arena, but we don’t know when that will be possible. He will also want to run back the fight with Price to get a winner but really what will he get out of that?
If it weren’t for the point dedication Cowboy would have lost that fight by decision. While some fights on paper seem fun ultimately Cerrone will gain nothing from them.
The story ark of the gunslinging out for one last ride rarely has a happy ending.
As a fan of Cowboy as much as it would suck to see him step away from the cage now seems the perfect time.
So, should Donald Cerrone retire? Yes, I hate to say it but now seems like a good time. The jury is still out if Cowboy will make the difficult decision. He has so much going for him that he doesn’t really need to fight anymore. Nobody wants to see him go but we all want to see him walk away.