Cerrone in 2011
|Born||Donald Anthony Cerrone
March 29, 1983
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)|
|Reach||73.0 in (185 cm)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Wrestling|
|Fighting out of||Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States|
|Team||Jackson's Submission Fighting|
|Rank||Black belt in Gaidojutsu
Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Boxing record from BoxRec|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Donald Anthony "Cowboy" Cerrone (//; born March 29, 1983) is an American professional mixed martial artist and former professional kickboxer currently competing in the UFC's Lightweight and Welterweight divisions. As of August 27, 2016, he is #6 in the official UFC Lightweight rankings and #7 in the Welterweight division.  A professional competitor since 2006, Cerrone has also formerly competed for the WEC. Cerrone currently holds the record for most post-fight bonuses (Fight/Performance of the Night, Knockout/Submissions of the Night) in UFC/WEC history with 18. He is also known as the "busiest" fighter in the UFC, due to consistently having at least four fights per year since 2013.
Cerrone was born in Denver, Colorado. Energetic and troubled in his youth, Cerrone was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at a young age and would often get into fights as he was growing up. Cerrone attended Air Academy High School which is when he began professional bull riding and it is during this time that his parents divorced, causing Cerrone to live with his grandparents. In his sophomore year, Cerrone was introduced to kickboxing by a friend, and compiled an undefeated amateur record of 13-0. Cerrone, who later also began training in Muay Thai, later turned professional, compiling an undefeated record of 28-0 with 18 first-round knockout wins, before transitioning into mixed martial arts.
Mixed martial arts career
Cerrone began his career in Commerce City, Colorado at a gym called Freedom Fighters. Cerrone began training with Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, Nathan Marquardt, Keith Jardine, Georges St-Pierre, Leonard Garcia and Tom Watson other skilled MMA fighters at Greg Jackson's Submission Fighting Gaidojutsu school in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
World Extreme Cagefighting
Cerrone was signed to fight in the WEC. His first fight in the promotion was against Kenneth Alexander. Originally a win via submission in 0:56 seconds of the first round, the decision was changed to a no contest when Cerrone tested positive for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.
On January 25, 2009 at WEC 38 he fought WEC Lightweight Champion, Jamie Varner, losing via technical split decision. The fight was highly competitive and won the Fight of the Night award. However, the fight was stopped prematurely in the fifth round when Cerrone hit Varner's temple with an illegal knee while Varner was still on the ground. Varner was given time to recover, but he was unable to continue, noting that he had double vision and had sustained a broken hand.
Cerrone was again scheduled to face Rich Crunkilton on June 7, 2009 at WEC 41, but Crunkilton was forced off the card with an injury and replaced by James Krause. Cerrone defeated Krause via first round submission.
Cerrone and Varner had agreed to a rematch, tentatively at WEC 43, but Varner was unable to receive medical clearance as a result from his hand injury. Cerrone fought Benson Henderson for the WEC Interim Lightweight Championship on October 10, 2009 at WEC 43 in San Antonio, Texas, losing by unanimous decision. The fight was awarded Fight of the Year honors by Sherdog for 2009. Cerrone credited Henderson for being "a hell of a fighter" and conceded that he was slow to start the action, which may have cost him the match.
Cerrone faced Ed Ratcliff on December 19, 2009 in the event headliner at WEC 45. Cerrone defeated Ratcliff via third round submission. The bout also earned Cerrone Fight of the Night honors.
Cerrone fought Benson Henderson in a rematch of their 2009 Fight of the Year, this time for the WEC Lightweight Championship on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48. Cerrone lost via first-round guillotine choke submission.
Cerrone faced rival Jamie Varner in their highly anticipated rematch on September 30, 2010 at WEC 51. He won the fight via unanimous decision, winning all three rounds. In between rounds, there were often many shoves and obscenities exchanged by both fighters, including a shove at the very end of the match. In the post fight interview, Cerrone declared he'd be willing to do a rematch in Arizona, Varner's home state, to settle their score once and for all. The bout won Fight of the Night honors.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Cerrone faced Paul Kelly on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126, replacing an injured Sam Stout. Cerrone defeated Kelly via tapout due to a rear naked choke. For their performance, both fighters earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
Cerrone was expected to face Mac Danzig on June 11, 2011 at UFC 131. However, Danzig was forced out of the bout with a chest injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Vagner Rocha. Cerrone won the fight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), having neutralized his opponent's ability to get close and grapple by way of punishing leg kicks. During the post-fight interview Cerrone apologized for his performance, admitting he "fought to not lose, not to win."
Cerrone was expected to face Paul Taylor on August 14, 2011 at UFC on Versus 5, replacing an injured John Makdessi. However, Taylor was forced out of the bout with a foot injury and replaced by Charles Oliveira. He didn’t waste much time in the fight, landing a hook to the body of Oliveira that dropped him. He then swarmed Oliveira, defeating him via TKO three minutes into the opening round, earning Knockout of Night honors for the performance.
Cerrone lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 141 via unanimous decision, in a performance that earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. Despite knocking Diaz off of his feet multiple times with leg kicks, Cerrone could not offset the volume punches from Diaz, as Diaz landed 82% of the strikes he threw en route to his victory over Cerrone. On his loss to Diaz Cerrone stated, "You know instinct, I think that's the thing a lot of people aren't doing. That's where I made the mistake in my last fight, is, you need to learn to turn your brain off and just go by reactions. Don't go in there and try and think and do things and fight with your brain, because that's the thing, I got angry and tried to kill him, and when you try to go [too] hard you just can't do it."
Cerrone was expected to face Yves Edwards on May 15, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier. However, Edwards was forced from the bout with an injury and replaced by Jeremy Stephens. Cerrone defeated Stephens by unanimous decision.
Cerrone fought and defeated Melvin Guillard via first-round KO on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150. Guillard landed a strong left hand early in the first round that floored Cerrone, who got to his feet only to absorb several more strikes from the pursuing Guillard. After a little more than a minute into the fight Cerrone threw a high kick which grazed Guillard's head - stunning him - and proceeded to knock him unconscious with a straight right hand, forcing the stoppage. The performance earned Cerrone Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night honors.
Cerrone faced Anthony Pettis on January 26, 2013 at UFC on Fox 6. Pettis won the fight by TKO in the first round, finishing Cerrone with a kick to the body. This marked the first time in his career that Cerrone lost via strikes.
Cerrone faced Evan Dunham on November 16, 2013 at UFC 167. Cerrone won the fight via triangle choke in the second round. The win also earned him his second Submission of the Night bonus award.
Cerrone faced Adriano Martins on January 25, 2014 at UFC on Fox 10. He won the fight by knockout due to a headkick in the first round. The win also earned Cerrone his third Knockout of the Night bonus award.
Cerrone faced Edson Barboza on April 19, 2014 at UFC on Fox 11. Cerrone dropped his opponent with a strong jab in the first and quickly secured the rear-naked choke submission for the win. The win also earned Cerrone his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Cerrone faced Jim Miller on July 16, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 45. Cerrone defeated Miller via knockout in the second round due to a head kick and punches, becoming the first man to give Miller a professional knockout loss. The win also earned Cerrone his second Performance of the Night bonus award.
Cerrone was briefly linked to a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178. However, the pairing was quickly scrapped after it was revealed that Nurmagomedov had suffered a knee injury that would sideline him indefinitely. Subsequently, Cerrone was matched with Bobby Green at the event. In turn, Cerrone eventually faced Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event of the card. After being staggered several times in the clinch by Alvarez, Cerrone came back in the following rounds with hard kicks and knees, eventually scoring a knockdown in the 3rd round due to low kicks. Cerrone won the fight via unanimous decision.
Cerrone faced Myles Jury on January 3, 2015 at UFC 182. Cerrone commented on his desire to fight him was due to his disdain over Jury's arrogant response after defeating Cerrone's former training partner, Diego Sanchez, in UFC 171. He won the fight by dominating Jury from 1st to 3rd round via unanimous decision. Regardless, Cerrone expressed disappointment towards himself after the fight due to there being boos from the crowd during some points of inactivity. "My legacy is I want to be fighting my ass off every time, so I don't consider that a win. I'm not happy with my performance and I'm gonna go watch the tape and figure out what I need to do to capitalize if that happens again."
In an unprecedented move, Cerrone requested to face friend and WEC rival Benson Henderson just 15 days later at UFC Fight Night 59, replacing an injured Eddie Alvarez. Cerrone won the fight via a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28. 12 of 14 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Henderson.
Cerrone was expected to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187. However, Nurmagomedov pulled out of the bout on April 30 due to a knee injury. He was replaced by John Makdessi. Cerrone won the fight via TKO after breaking Makdessi's jaw with a head kick in the second round.
After winning eight fights in a row in under two years, Cerrone earned his first UFC lightweight title shot. He faced Rafael dos Anjos in the main event at UFC on Fox 17 on December 19, 2015. Cerrone lost the fight via TKO just 66 seconds into the first round.
Cerrone was expected to face Tim Means in a welterweight bout on February 21, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 83. However, Means was removed from the bout on February 3 and was replaced by Alex Oliveira. Cerrone won the fight via submission in the first round. He was also awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.
Cerrone next faced Patrick Côté on June 18, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 89. He won the fight via TKO in the third round, becoming the first person to finish the notoriously durable Côté by strikes, and earning himself another Performance of the Night bonus.
Cerrone next faced Rick Story on August 20, 2016 at UFC 202. Many analysts thought that the match up with a high level wrestler like Story would prove unfavorable for Cerrone. However, Cerrone answered his critics by taking Story down within the first minute of the fight. Story was able to work back to his feet and quickly responded by taking Cerrone down. Cerrone immediately set about hunting for submissions and eventually was able to stand back up. The rest of the round was contested on the feet, with Cerrone beginning to find success with his striking. He carried this momentum into the second round, winning the early exchanges, before delivering a four-strike combo which might have been the highlight of the night. Cerrone caught Story clean with a jab to the face, followed up with a hard right hand to the body. This punch folded Story forward where he was met by a solid left cross that caused him to stumble to the side. As Story turned, Cerrone immediately threw a right high kick, catching him square in the side of the head. This was the beginning of the end for Story. He staggered back against the cage where Cerrone, seeing his opponent was hurt, pounced on him. Cerrone let loose a barrage of uppercuts before connecting with a knee to the head which dropped Story to the mat. Referee Herb Dean had finally seen enough, and stopped the fight at 2:20 of the second round. As in his previous fight against Patrick Côté, Cerrone became the first man ever to defeat Rick Story by TKO, and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.
On August 26, 2016 it was announced that Cerrone had signed a new, eight-fight contract with UFC.
Championships and achievements
- Dominion Warrior Inc
- Dominion Warrior Muay Thai World Lightweight (-73.4 kg/162 lb) Championship (One time)
- 2006 S-1 Muay Thai U.S. Lightweight (-73.4 kg/162 lb) Tournament Championship
- International Sport Karate Association
- ISKA Amateur Colorado State Middleweight (-75 kg/165 lb) Oriental Championship (One time)
- Kickdown Classic
- KDC Amateur Welterweight Championship (One time)
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
First fighter on UFC roster to be awarded Bonus payments in all four possible categories (Fight, Knockout, Performance & Submission of The Night awards)
Most post fight bonuses in Zuffa history (18)
- Sports Illustrated
- 2009 Fight of the Year vs. Benson Henderson on October 10
- Sherdog Awards
- World MMA Awards
- 2011 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
- 2015 Best Fighter of the Half-Year
- 2009 Fight of the Year vs. Benson Henderson on October 10
- Fight Matrix
- Lineal MMA Lightweight Champion (One time, former)
- The MMA Corner.com
- 2014 Fighter of the Year
- 2014 King of Violence Award
0 wins (0 KOs), 1 loss, 0 draws
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|39 matches||31 wins||7 losses|
|Win||31–7 (1)||Rick Story||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC 202||August 20, 2016||2||2:02||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||30–7 (1)||Patrick Côté||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson||June 18, 2016||3||2:35||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||29–7 (1)||Alex Oliveira||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Cowboy||February 21, 2016||1||2:33||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||Welterweight debut. Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||28–7 (1)||Rafael dos Anjos||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2||December 19, 2015||1||1:06||Orlando, Florida, United States||For the UFC Lightweight Championship|
|Win||28–6 (1)||John Makdessi||TKO (head kick)||UFC 187||May 23, 2015||2||4:44||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||27–6 (1)||Benson Henderson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver||January 18, 2015||3||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||26–6 (1)||Myles Jury||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 182||January 3, 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||25–6 (1)||Eddie Alvarez||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 178||September 27, 2014||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||24–6 (1)||Jim Miller||KO (head kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller||July 16, 2014||2||3:31||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||23–6 (1)||Edson Barboza||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne||April 19, 2014||1||3:15||Orlando, Florida, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||22–6 (1)||Adriano Martins||KO (head kick)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson||January 25, 2014||1||4:40||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||21–6 (1)||Evan Dunham||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC 167||November 16, 2013||2||3:49||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Loss||20–6 (1)||Rafael dos Anjos||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2||August 28, 2013||3||5:00||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||20–5 (1)||KJ Noons||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 160||May 25, 2013||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||19–5 (1)||Anthony Pettis||TKO (body kick)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson||January 26, 2013||1||2:35||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||19–4 (1)||Melvin Guillard||KO (head kick and punch)||UFC 150||August 11, 2012||1||1:16||Denver, Colorado, United States||Catchweight (157.5 lbs); Guillard missed weight. Knockout of the Night. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||18–4 (1)||Jeremy Stephens||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier||May 15, 2012||3||5:00||Fairfax, Virginia, United States|
|Loss||17–4 (1)||Nate Diaz||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 141||December 30, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||17–3 (1)||Dennis Siver||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 137||October 29, 2011||1||2:22||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||16–3 (1)||Charles Oliveira||TKO (punches)||UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle||August 14, 2011||1||3:01||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||15–3 (1)||Vagner Rocha||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 131||June 11, 2011||3||5:00||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Win||14–3 (1)||Paul Kelly||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 126||February 5, 2011||2||3:48||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||13–3 (1)||Chris Horodecki||Submission (triangle choke)||WEC 53||December 16, 2010||2||2:43||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Win||12–3 (1)||Jamie Varner||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 51||September 30, 2010||3||5:00||Broomfield, Colorado, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||11–3 (1)||Benson Henderson||Submission (guillotine choke)||WEC 48||April 24, 2010||1||1:57||Sacramento, California, United States||For the WEC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||11–2 (1)||Ed Ratcliff||Submission (rear-naked choke)||WEC 45||December 19, 2009||3||3:47||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||10–2 (1)||Benson Henderson||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 43||October 10, 2009||5||5:00||San Antonio, Texas, United States||For the interim WEC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||10–1 (1)||James Krause||Submission (rear-naked choke)||WEC 41||June 7, 2009||1||4:38||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Loss||9–1 (1)||Jamie Varner||Technical Decision (split)||WEC 38||January 25, 2009||5||3:10||San Diego, California, United States||For the WEC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||9–0 (1)||Rob McCullough||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 36||November 5, 2008||3||5:00||Hollywood, Florida, United States||WEC Lightweight title eliminator. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||8–0 (1)||Danny Castillo||Submission (armbar)||WEC 34||June 1, 2008||1||1:30||Sacramento, California, United States|
|NC||7–0 (1)||Kenneth Alexander||NC (overturned)||WEC 30||September 5, 2007||1||0:56||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Submission (triangle choke) victory overturned; Cerrone tested positive for a banned diuretic.|
|Win||7–0||Yasunori Kanehara||Submission (triangle choke)||Greatest Common Multiple: Cage Force 3||June 9, 2007||2||2:46||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||6–0||Anthony Njokuani||Submission (triangle choke)||Ring of Fire 29: Aftershock||April 28, 2007||1||4:30||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||5–0||Ryan Roberts||Submission (armbar)||Ring of Fire 28: Evolution||February 16, 2007||1||1:49||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||4–0||Jesse Brock||Submission (triangle choke)||Ring of Fire 26: Relentless||September 9, 2006||1||1:35||Castle Rock, Colorado, United States|
|Win||3–0||Craig Tennant||Submission (armbar)||Ring of Fire 24: Integrity||June 17, 2006||1||1:26||Castle Rock, Colorado, United States|
|Win||2–0||Cruz Chacon||Submission (triangle choke)||American Championship Fighting: Genesis||February 24, 2006||2||2:25||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||1–0||Nate Mohr||Submission (triangle choke)||Ring of Fire 21: Full Blast||February 11, 2006||1||1:42||Castle Rock, Colorado, United States|
- Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone - Official UFC® Fighter Profile
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- Donald Cerrone - lightweight - Mixed Martial Arts Fighter - FIGHT! Magazine
- Mac Danzig vs. Donald Cerrone, UFC 131 | MMA Bout Page | Tapology
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- Official UFC rankings
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- Bleacher Report | Sports. Highlights. News. Now
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- "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". mmajunkie.com. October 28, 2010.
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- "Mac Danzig out at UFC 131, Vagner Rocha now faces Donald Cerrone". MMAJunkie.com. May 17, 2011.
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- "Donald Cerrone replaces Sam Stout at UFC 137, meets Dennis Siver". mmajunkie.com. August 29, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
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- "Edwards out, Stephens in against Cerrone at UFC on FUEL TV 3". MMAjunkie.com. February 27, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
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- Mrosko, Gene (July 13, 2012). "UFC 150: Donald Cerrone vs Melvin Guillard booked for Aug. 11 in Denver". mmamania.com.
- Mrosko, Gene (August 11, 2012). "UFC 150 results: Donald Cerrone knocks out Melvin Guillard in a thriller". mmamania.com.
- Mrosko, Gene (August 12, 2012). "UFC 150 bonuses and awards: Donald Cerrone banks $120K for Melvin Guillard knockout". mmamania.com.
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- Mookie Alexander (2013-08-19). "Eddie Alvarez to fight Donald Cerrone in UFC 178 co-main event". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
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- UFC 182: Extended Preview
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- Matt Erickson (2016-01-01). "'Cowboy' Cerrone moves to 170, meets Tim Means in UFC Fight Night 82 main event". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
- Jesse Holland (2016-02-04). "Donald Cerrone vs Alex Oliveira main event on tap for UFC Fight Night 83". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
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- Mike Bohn (2016-03-18). "'Cowboy' Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote being targeted for UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
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- "'Cowboy' sticking around: Donald Cerrone signs new 8-fight UFC contract". mmajunkie.com. 2016-08-26.
- The MMA Corner's 2014 MMA Awards