Donald Anthony Cerrone, also known professionally as “Cowboy” is an American MMA fighter and former professional kickboxer.
Cerrone was born in Denver, Colorado, and is of Irish and Italian ancestry. Cerrone was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder at a young age but never received therapy for it. He used to get into fights a lot when he was younger.
Cerrone began his professional bull riding career while attending Air Academy High School. Cerrone moved in with his grandparents when his parents divorced. Cerrone began training in kickboxing and Muay Thai at the age of 20. Cerrone explored a career in mixed martial arts after winning a few kickboxing tournaments (MMA).
He now competes for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the Welterweight division (UFC). Cerrone surpassed Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping for the most wins in UFC history on November 10, 2018, and Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort for the most finishes in UFC history with 15.
Cerrone defeated Alexander Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 143 on January 19, 2019, increasing his UFC victory total to 22, as well as his UFC record for most finishes to 16, and tying the record for most bouts in the company with 33. His performance also earned him two post-fight accolades, including his 7th performance of the night award (matching Charles Oliveira’s record), bringing his post-fight award total to 16. (breaking the record previously shared by Nate Diaz and Joe Lauzon).
Mixed martial arts career
Cerrone began his career at a gym called Freedom Fighters in Commerce City, Colorado. In 2006, Cerrone began training with Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, Nathan Marquardt, Keith Jardine, Georges St-Pierre, Leonard Garcia, Tom Watson, and other skilled MMA fighters at Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting Gaidojutsu school in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Cerrone appeared on the Versus television show TapouT, where he faced Anthony Njokuani. Cerrone won the bout with a triangle choke in the first round.
Cerrone is managed by KHI Management, LLC and is sponsored by Budweiser, Monster Energy, Bad Boy Buggies, E-Z-Go, Greenlee, Realtree, Henry Rifles, Bell Helicopters, and P3 Protein.
World Extreme Cagefighting
Cerrone inked a contract with the WEC. Kenneth Alexander was his opponent in his debut bout in the promotion. Originally a submission win in the first round in 56 seconds, the decision was modified to a no-contest when Cerrone tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic.
On January 25, 2009, at WEC 38, he faced WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner, whom he defeated by technical split decision. The bout was fiercely contested and was named Fight of the Night. However, the fight was called off in the fifth round when Cerrone landed an illegal knee to Varner’s temple while he was still on the ground. Varner was given time to rest, but he was unable to continue since he had double vision and a damaged hand.
Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson
Cerrone lost a unanimous decision to Benson Henderson for the WEC Interim Lightweight Championship on October 10, 2009, at WEC 43 in San Antonio, Texas. Sherdog named the fight Fight of the Year in 2009. Cerrone praised Henderson for being “a hell of a fighter” but admitted that his slow start may have cost him the contest.
Donald Cerrone vs. Ed Ratcliff
Cerrone met Ed Ratcliff in the main event of WEC 45 on December 19, 2009. Cerrone submitted Ratcliff in the third round. Cerrone was also named Fight of the Night for this fight.
Cerrone battled Benson Henderson for the WEC Lightweight Championship in a repeat of their 2009 Fight of the Year on April 24, 2010, at WEC 48. Cerrone was defeated in the first round with a guillotine choke submission.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
World Extreme Cagefighting joined with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in October 2010. All WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC as part of the merger. Cerrone fought Paul Kelly at UFC 126 on February 5, 2011, in place of an injured Sam Stout. Cerrone won by a rear naked choke and forced Kelly to tap out. Both boxers were named Fight of the Night for their efforts.
Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver
Donald Cerrone faced Dennis Siver at UFC 137 on October 29, 2011, in place of Sam Stout. Cerrone defeated Siver via first-round submission, winning Submission of the Night honours.
Cerrone next fought Nate Diaz on December 30, 2011 at UFC 141. He was defeated by unanimous decision in a back-and-forth fight that garnered both fighters Fight of the Night accolades.
Despite knocking Diaz off his feet several times with leg kicks, Cerrone was unable to compensate for Diaz’s volume punches, as Diaz landed 82 percent of the blows he threw en route to his victory over Cerrone.
Cerrone faced Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 on August 11, 2012. In the first round, he knocked out the opponent. Cerrone was named Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night for his performance.
Cerrone was scheduled to meet Tim Means in a welterweight fight at UFC Fight Night 83 on February 21, 2016. However, on February 3, Means was withdrawn from the fight and replaced by Alex Oliveira. Cerrone won the fight through first-round submission. He was also given a bonus for Best Performance of the Night.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|54 matches||36 wins||16 losses|
Cerrone and his fiancée Lindsay had their first child, Dacson Danger Cerrone, on June 29, 2018. Cerrone announced on Valentine’s Day 2020 that she and her husband are expecting a second child, with a due date in September. Riot River Cerrone, the couple’s second son, was born on September 11, 2020.
Cerrone is good friends with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator Rob McElhenney, who has trained at BMF Ranch, and Cerrone appeared in the season 12 episode “Wolf Cola: A Public Relations Nightmare.” alongside Paul Felder and Dana White.
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