Never count a Cowboy out of a rodeo: Cerrone’s path to the UFC lightweight title
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is without a doubt a future UFC Hall of Famer. With the most wins in UFC history (23), and the most finishes in UFC history (16), you’d think he would have obtained a championship.
Cowboy has never been a champion in the UFC because quite frankly, he didn’t see the big deal. Then he had his son Dacson Danger Cerrone in June 2018, and everything changed. Cowboy wants that title now.
When you look at the run of ‘Dad’ Cerrone and his road to the championship, it all started in Denver against Mike Perry. This is the fight that would start Cowboy’s win streak, we saw a hungrier and more intense Cowboy, who would submit Perry in the first round, earning him a performance of the night bonus. This was Cowboy’s first fight after the birth of his son and it was proof that his mentality had been changed by his little one.
Cowboy’s road to the Championship continued when he faced a brash young challenger at UFC Brooklyn, Alexander Hernandez. Hernandez disrespected to Cowboy in the lead up to the fight and it led to an emphatic TKO in the second round. We saw in his previous fight how intense he was, but this was the fight that really solidified him as a threat to the division in his first fight back at 155-pounds. His return to the division kicked off his run to the title, and it was a huge win over a young contender in Hernandez.
Then we go back to one month ago, in my country of Canada, at UFC Ottawa. Cowboy would face the man that gave champion Khabib one of his toughest challenges thus far, going four hard rounds with The Eagle. Although Cowboy would not get the finish against “Raging Al,” he dominated the majority of the fight, and dismantled one of the best in the division. This was the fight that showed that Cerrone can hang with the best of the division.
The next roadblock for Cowboy comes on June 8th, against the returning Tony Ferguson. This marks Cowboy’s toughest challenge since his return to the division. Tony is a bad matchup for most, and for Cerrone it’s no different. He’s a pressure fighter, which Cowboy has struggled with in the past. However, if Cowboy stops Tony, I don’t think there is any way you can deny him a shot at Dustin or Khabib, unless Conor has something to say about it.
This will be the biggest test for Cerrone and without a doubt the most challenging fight at this point in his road to the title. Cowboy is the underdog heading into UFC 238, but like most MMA fans know, you should never count out Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
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The Scrap’s Austin Luff is broadcasting student with a passion for watching and writing about mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. Make sure to follow Austin on Twitter (@Ginger_Guy_).