Donald Cerrone is as game as they come, and that goes without saying. Since his first year as a professional fighter in 2006, “Cowboy” has been fighting four times a year, taking on every opposition thrown at him.
But the last year and a half have not been well for the 37-year-old veteran. He lost four of his last five, and his most recent fight against Niko Price ended in a disappointing draw. And as he enters his 54th professional fight at a still undetermined date, Cerrone is looking at it from a perspective of someone’s who’s nearing the end of the journey.
“Now, I can see the end of the tunnel. It’s there. We’re at the end of the tunnel,” Cerrone said in a recent video uploaded on his YouTube channel. “So now, it’s (come) to the point where we’re talking legacy, and we’re talking ‘What do I want to look back on?’ So no longer am I in the middle, kinda doing it.
“Now, I’m at the end, like, ‘Alright, now, I don’t want to end like this.’ I wanna end kicking ass.
“I’m gonna do everything in my power to end like that. Now, if it doesn’t go like that, it doesn’t go like that. But at least I could tell the kids, ‘Man, that’s all I had, kids.’ But I don’t think that’s gonna be the case. I’m gonna go Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot, baby. I’mma go in there and fight my ass off.”
Cerrone himself admitted that he lost the sense of urgency when he was fighting at 170 pounds. As he gives himself a couple more years, he considers his return to lightweight as a homecoming.
“I started (at 155), I end there. That’s how it’s gonna be,” Cerrone said.
“This is the last run. This is it. I don’t have much left in me, time-wise. So if I’m gonna really say this is my last run, really give it all. I’d rather go out when I want to. Go perform, enjoy it, then kick off the boots while I’m still flying through the air, call it a day. Not get cut, or everybody telling me I need to slow down, or stop. I want to retire when I want to retire. I don’t care about what anyone else will say.
“Realistically, I probably got a couple of years left,” he added. “And that’s probably four or five fights left in me. Who knows? I’mma go back to ’55 and make a run. Let’s go.”
A UFC title may have evaded him, but Cerrone is inarguably one of the most accomplished fighters today. To date, he holds the record for the most number of wins in the UFC with 23, the most knockdowns with 20, the most fight night bonuses with 18, and the most finishes with 16. He is also tied with Jim Miller at number one for the most bouts in the UFC with 36.