UFC president Dana White told ESPN that he will give Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone one more fight at 155 pounds, saying it will “probably” be his last.
Cerrone (36-16) is one of the UFC’s most popular fighters, and is tied with fellow lightweight Jim Miller for the most appearances in the Octagon all time at 37. The former title challenger is amid the worst stretch of his career, however, as he’s gone winless in six consecutive fights, including four knockouts.
Cerrone, 38, was scheduled to face Diego Sanchez last weekend at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, but his opponent changed to 30-year-old Alex Morono during fight week, after the UFC abruptly cut ties with Sanchez due to medical concerns. Cerrone lost via first-round knockout, but told ESPN afterward he wants to fight again.
“I think it was, you know, classic ‘Cowboy,’” White told ESPN. “He stays in there. He was supposed to fight Diego Sanchez, they agreed to fight at 170 pounds. He didn’t really want to fight at 170 pounds, but those two agreed to that weight. The fight falls out and he ends up with another opponent. He stays in and does it anyway, because that’s what this kid does. That’s why everybody loves him, including us at the UFC. He wants another fight at 155 pounds, and I’m going to give it to him.”
White said he hasn’t considered a potential opponent for Cerrone yet. He wants him to take time off and then slowly get back into camp and the process of dropping weight.
Cerrone, who trains out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, built his reputation on accepting any and every fight the UFC offered. He’s made four UFC appearances in seven of the last eight calendar years. He fought Rafael Dos Anjos for the UFC’s lightweight championship in December 2015, and came up short via first-round TKO.
Following his loss last weekend, Cerrone told ESPN there was no way that would be his final fight, but admitted his recent performances have concerned him.
“[I’m] a little heartbroken,” Cerrone said. “I don’t know, man. I don’t know what to answer you on, ‘Is it time [to retire]?’ I don’t know. I don’t feel like it, but how I feel and how I perform are two different things, you know? Sucks.”