Donald Cowboy Cerrone is one of the biggest fan favorites the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen. When attempting to delve into what it is that makes him so lovable to the fanbase, the hardest part is finding out where to begin.
For starters, he is as authentic as it gets. The nickname doesn’t represent a gimmick, it represents who Cerrone is to the core. The persona he has that endears him to fans is so big that it gets in the way of a lot of people seeing him for what he is. Which is one of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet.
One of his best qualities is that he is truly down to fight whenever and against whoever. Most fighters like to make this claim, but Cowboy is a part of the small percentile of professional MMA fighters that truly means it. Usually, the single and only caveat on whether or not he accepts a fight is if his grandmother is free to be able to attend. It doesn’t get any more wholesome than that.
Inside the cage the results speak for themselves, he has 54 professional fights under his belt and 27 finishes to his name. The latest fight against Alex Morono was his 37th appearance in the UFC, tying the record for the most Octagon appearances. Having never been in a boring fight over the course of his career is why Cowboy is who he is. How genuine he is in a world where professional wrestling antics are being shoved down our throats is fantastic, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing unless the in-competition performances are entertaining the fan base.
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2021
Cerrone always delivers, win or lose, fans are always in for an exciting contest when Cowboy makes the walk. Consistently producing the exact type of action we are all here to see, for as long as he has done it is something fans shouldn’t’ take for granted. There aren’t too many fighters like Cerrone out there these days, and although it’s reasonable to believe there is still some gas left in the tank , we are certainly in the latter stages of this fan favorites career.
Currently, on the longest winless streak of his storied career after a first-round TKO loss to Morono at UFC Vegas 26, the reality of how much time he has left in this sport is something that has to be considered.
People often confuse the age of a fighter being a determining factor on how much runway is left to a career when in actuality it’s the mileage that’s the most telling. Cowboy isn’t getting any younger at 38 years old, but it’s less about his age and more about the 54 fights he has been in the past 15 years that’s the determining factor of his physical capabilities.
Fanduel had Cowboy as the (-158) betting favorite over Morono who was the (+128) underdog. While Cowboy may not be in his prime, the performance against Morono certainly didn’t show us any signs of slowing down or diminished durability. He just happened to run into a top-notch up and comer who unquestionably had the best performance of his career. Morono was composed, with little pressure on his shoulders, and came in with the perfect game plan. Cerrone is known to be a bit of a slow starter, and Morono’s approach of getting in his face early with aggression paid off. Cowboy got his licks in too and reminded us that he is fully capable of hurting anyone standing across from him with his patent kicks to the body.
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2021
He just ended up being on the wrong end of a perfectly well-placed overhand right that Morono pitched like a fastball and hit right on the target. The loss isn’t necessarily indicative of Cerrone’s capabilities at this juncture, just the result of what happened when he took on a last-minute replacement. Something he was vocal about having trepidation about when coming into this contest. Cowboy cited wanting to live up to his “Anytime, any place” identity as the reason why he took the fight, which is a big part of the reason fans and the UFC have so much appreciation for him. Perhaps at this point in his career, it would be best to be a bit more selective on which situations he should step into.
He’s earned his keep, along with the right to pick and choose what works best for him. There’s no need to worry about appeasing the fanbase, Cerrone can do no wrong at this point. Here’s to hoping that at this stage in his career, he makes a point to position himself for success, show up and just be Cowboy. The rest will take care of itself.