MMA Legend Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone Retires at UFC 276
A huge part of the UFC for so many years has just called it a career.
After a tough loss this evening to Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone ends his 16 year MMA career, 11 of which were spent with the UFC.
Cerrone is mostly a universally loved figure in MMA. He was a fighter the UFC could lean on to show up and perform time and time again. Simply historically active.
In addition to his high activity rate as a pro fighter, Cerrone was a lock to show up and treat fans. The dude just loved to throw down and swing his limbs violently.
Donald's career reminds me a lot of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre's career, except for Cerrone, he never quite reached the status of being the Champ. Both Favre and Cerrone had great first halves of their careers, followed by inconsistent second halves. Cerrone went 4-10 and one no contest in his last fifteen fights dating back to 2017.
Still, Cerrone in his prime was EXCELLENT. I wish I had been a bigger fan of the UFC while he was in his prime. How excellent was Cerrone exactly?
Before his underwhelming final years as a pro MMA fighter, Cerrone was snatching souls often. Stacking wins.
Cerrone won his very first fight back on February 11th, 2006 and would go on to start his MMA career 9-0 before suffering his first loss on January 25, 2009. It took him nearly three years to suffer a loss in MMA.
Then, starting on September 30th, 2010 Cerrone would enter his prime and go on a historically great rampage that would last over six years. I mean really, when you consider the caliber of talent he faced combined with his sheer absurd activity, I'm not sure we may ever see another run like this. We may never see another fighter like Cowboy, period. It's a shame he never tasted a championship after all his success.
So, starting in September of 2010, all the way until December of 2016, Cerrone would go 21-4!!!! Including win streaks of 8, 6, and 4. His only losses during that time were against Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, and Rafael Dos Anjos twice. Donald fought practically four times a year during that time!
Some say Donald took too long to retire, but that's easy for us fans to say. When you have had the great success Donald has had, I imagine it must be hard to walk away. Similar to what Brett Favre faced when he couldn't decide when to retire towards the end of his NFL career.
Donald may have never won a championship, but he has had a one of a kind career that is arguably better than that of some fighters who've actually tasted gold. Plus, he has some wins over some former champs on his record anyway.
Notable Donald Cerrone Wins include:
- James Krause
- Charles Oliveira - Former UFC Lightweight Champ/Basically still is the Champ
- Jeremy Stephens
- Edson Barboza
- Jim Miller
- Eddie Alvarez - Former UFC Lightweight Champion
- Benson Henderson
- Matt Brown
- Al Iaquinta
There are a lot of other solid wins by Cerrone too, but there are thirty-seven of them, hard to decide which are most noteworthy.
Not to mention the fact that the majority of his losses are against top competition.
I wonder of his insane activity helped contribute to his losses later in his career. Just simply an insane amount of tape on the guy.
But yeah, I could go on and on about the legend that is Donald Cerrone. I'm afraid that it will probably take a book to cover it all.
Cerrone is a go hard or go home, passionate guy. Some people like to say he got maybe overly active, overly punch drunk, or whatever. In my opinion his career is one of the more honorable and badass ones ever.
Cerrone was absurdly active practically to the very end. He left zero doubt for not only himself, but everyone else, that his career was done.
Perhaps he should have retired a bit early, I guess it's debatable. But it is probably such a great feeling for Cerrone to know that he gave it his all. Literally. After all the hard battles and losses, Cerrone truly KNOWS that this chapter of his life is done. So many athletes and fighters are scared to not 'go out on top', but Cowboy never seemed to care. He just loved to fight for a living.
Cerrone is not gonna be the old man wondering if he retired too early. This man squeezed out every last fight that his body could give him.
It just feels right that Donald Cerrone went out fighting. The Cowboy way.