Fighter Profile: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone

What you need to know about Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone
Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has gained a reputation in the MMA world of being the type of fighter that will throw down anytime and anywhere, and often on short notice. Cerrone is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and shows his Grappling abilities and his striking prowess in the UFC Octagon almost every time he steps into the cage. Unfortunately as of late he hasn’t been doing too great when it comes to his MMA Career losing five of his last six with the sixth being a no contest due to a positive Marijuana test by his opponent, Niko Price. We hope that Cerrone can go out with a win. Rumor is Cerrone may face Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett soon, but who knows what the UFC matchmakers will choose to do.

Cerrone was born on March 29, 1983 in Denver, Colorado. Cerrone is of Italian and Irish descent. Cerrone had many problems growing up stemming from an ADHD diagnosis that never received any treatment. Cerrone was in trouble with the law from a very young age due to fighting and was often bailed out by his grandmother who was looking after him. Cerrone would eventually start riding bulls, and then somehow got linked up training kickboxing and later Muay Thai. Cerrone noticed he was good at striking and decided that he’d turn his focus to MMA.

Cerrone made his MMA debut in February of 2006 when he faced Nate Mohr for the ROF promotion. He’d win by Submission (Triangle Choke) in round one, a quick night at the office for Cerrone. He then faced Cruz Chacon and secured the victory via Submission (Triangle Choke) in round two. He’d switch it up in his next fight when he faced Craig Tennant and won via armbar. He’d win his next four fights by submission before earning a spot in one of the best MMA promotions that wasn’t the UFC at that time called World Extreme Cagefighting. Cerrone Would make his WEC debut in September of 2007 winning by submission, but this was overturned after Cerrone tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide. Cerrone would fight for the WEC title three times, unfortunately for Cerrone it didn’t work out for him.

WEC Eventually merged with the UFC, and Cerrone found himself on the UFC roster as the result of the merger. Cerrone made his UFC debut at UFC 126 in February of 2011 when he faced Paul Kelly and would win via Submission (rear-naked choke.) Cerrone would then face Vagner Rocha and secure the victory by unanimous decision. Cerrone would then face current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira he’d win by TKO (punches) in the first round. Cerrone proved his worth in to the UFC and often said he’d fight every other week if he could. Cerrone holds the record for most wins in the UFC and also holds the record for most finishes in the UFC. Unfortunately Cerrone is currently on a losing streak. 

Whether it be in the cage or outside the cage Cerrone is a badass. He embodies grit and hopefully can get back to his winning ways sooner rather than later.


Charles Oliveira captured the vacant UFC lightweight title

Charles Oliveira will be making his return to the UFC Octagon to make his first title defense at UFC 269 against Dustin Poirier. Oliveira who is a submission specialist with knockout power. Oliveira is a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ericson Cardoso and Jorge “Macaco” Patino. And he hopes to finish Dustin Poirier by Snap, Tap, or nap. But Poirier is riding his own streak so it will be interesting to see how this one shakes out. It’s sure to be a great fight.

Oliveira was born in Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil on October 17, 1989. Oliveira was born into a poor family and came from nothing and was raised in a favela which is a type of slum in Brazil which is a very rough place to grow up. As a child Oliveira started playing soccer, but unfortunately at age seven he was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever and a Heart murmur. This condition affected Oliveira who was told by doctors he might not be able to walk again. Despite this setback Oliveira continued walking and took up Martial Arts. He started out with a neighbor, but soon it would consume him; he won his first major Jiu Jitsu title as a white belt in 2003.

In 2007 Oliveira took his first MMA fight against Rui Machado for the Circuito Nacional de Vale-Tudo Amador promotion. Oliveira would win by Submission (Armbar.) Oliveira would then go pro, he’d make his pro debut against Jackson Pontes for the Predador FC Promotion. He’d fight twice more for that promotion that night with victories over  Viscardi Andrade and Diego Braga both by TKO. Oliveira would fight for a few more different promotions and compiled an impressive record of 12-0. Oliveira caught the attention of the UFC.

Oliveira made his UFC debut on August 1, 2010 with a victory over Darren Elkins by Submission (armbar.)  his next fight would be a win against Efrain Escudero by Submission (rear-naked choke.) After this fight Oliveira would have a rough patch in his career with his first loss to Jim Miller, then a no contest to Nik Lentz, and then a Loss to Cowboy Cerrone. He’d win his next two, but then drop a pair of fights to Frankie Edgar. He’d win six of his next 10 fights. Oliveira would then return to Lightweight where he has been unstoppable. Only losing one fight to Paul Felder. Oliveira has been on a nine fight win streak including a win in his last fight for the vacant Lightweight title against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 which he won by TKO (punches.)

Oliveira makes his return to the UFC octagon on Saturday at UFC 269 to defend his title. Oliveira does everything right so it will be interesting to see if he pulls off the victory against Poirier.

What’s Next For ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler throws a shot at Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 courtesy of Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After Making a promising debut in the UFC against Dan Hooker at UFC 257, Michael Chandler has lost back to back fights. The first to Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 in May and on Saturday at UFC 268 against Justin Gaethje. The Former Bellator MMA champ is top of the heap when it comes to contenders in the Lightweight division so it will be interesting to see who the UFC taps to face Chandler next. 

Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier will face each other on December 11th at UFC 269. It is presumed that the winner will face Justin Gaethje. The loser however will not face Gaethje one would think if Poirier loses to Oliveira He may face Michael Chandler. Poirier is the number one ranked UFC Lightweight and if in the unlikely event he loses to Oliveira an interesting matchup would be against Chandler. Although it would probably be more likely that Poirier faces Beneil Dariush.

Another interesting option would be a fight with Islam Makhachev. Makhachev is currently ranked fourth in the Lightweight division and is coming off an amazingly quick victory against Dan Hooker at UFC 267. Makhachev has climbed to the top of the Lightweight division and is likely to be a champion in the Division in the next few years. It’d be interesting to see  Makhachev’s Sambo skill go up against Chandler’s wrestling. 

Tony Ferguson would also be an interesting matchup for Chandler. They’re both on skids as of late Ferguson is coming off losses to Dariush, Oliveira, and Gaethje. It’d be great for either of these Lightweights to make a statement that they’re still contenders in the division and are still in it to eventually win or reclaim a title.

One odd note is that Conor McGregor has been linked to a fight with Chandler. The two shared an interesting exchange on Twitter where McGregor showed respect to Chandler for his performance at UFC 268. It’d definitely be a great fight and would raise Chandler’s bank account and status as a fighter. It’d be interesting to see Chandler’s wrestling against McGregor’s striking.

Chandler has made a splash in the UFC, and though he is down, he definitely isn’t out. He has a plethora of fights that he could choose from. We will see what the UFC has in store for Chandler.