The clock is ticking on Donald Cerrone’s amazing career in mixed martial arts. However, the man who goes by “Cowboy” in the octagon isn’t ready to ride off into the sunset despite what UFC president Dana White is saying about his appearance on the UFC Fight Night 178 card.
Cerrone says he’ll leave when he’s ready to leave, and not a moment sooner.
Cowboy Cerrone is running out of chances in the UFC
The numbers suggest that Cowboy Cerrone’s matchup against Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 178 has a do-or-die feel to it. Cerrone is 37 years old and has lost his last four bouts.
“I would say everything is on the line for Cowboy,” White said during an ESPN SportsCenter interview as reported by MMA Junkie. “In professional sports, the day starts to come where all of our heroes start to get old, and Cowboy Cerrone is getting there. He needs a win. He needs a win badly.”
Even with another loss, it’s difficult to imagine White and the UFC dropping Cerrone from the roster. But a fifth straight setback likely would mean the end of his days as a headliner. Barring a strong second wind, Cerrone would serve his final few fights as the guy that White pairs against up-and-coming guys with more fight in them but less name-recognition value.
“This fight’s for me, man,” Cerrone said in the pre-fight news conference this week. “All the naysayers, all the people that say, ‘You’ve lost four in a row, you don’t belong, you should be retired.’ … I don’t give a s–t. I don’t care if I need to prove anything.”
It’s worth noting something about Cerrone’s losing streak since the night in May 2019 that he decisioned Al Iaquinta: Cerrone hasn’t been fighting tomato cans. Justin Gaethje is the interim champ in the lightweight division, where Tony Ferguson is the No. 3 contender. Anthony Pettis is the No. 14 welterweight, and the fourth recent loss was to the incomparable Conor McGregor.
A milestone worth mentioning
Say this for Cowboy Cerrone: He shows up. With the exception of 2012, when he entered the octagon twice, he has fought at least three times a year since making his UFC debut in February 2011.
His appearance against Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 178 is Cerrone’s 36th bout in the UFC and 53rd overall in his career. The fight is the co-main event ahead of fellow welterweights Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley as each angles for a rematch against champion Kamaru Usman after losing to him in 2019.
Cerrone comes into the fight having hit a milestone within the UFC. During weigh-ins for the Sept. 19 bout, Cerrone was recognized by the UFC for completing 50 clean drug tests by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Former champions Holly Holm and Daniel Cormier were the first two fighters to reach the 50-test threshold. For Cerrone, it’s a nice milestone alongside UFC records he holds for wins (23) and performance bonuses (18). The fight against Niko Price will be his 36th, tying the UFC record.
Cowboy Cerrone’s long career has built up his net worth
Being one of the busiest fighters in the business — UFC Fight Night 178 is his 12th appearance in the Octagon in 38 months — has its benefits for Cowboy Cerrone. So many bouts and accompanying bonuses for the fight or performance of the night add up to a string of sizeable paychecks.
The biggest of those paychecks came in January 2020, when Conor McGregor took Cerrone out in by TKO in 40 seconds. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Cerrone was guaranteed $2 million for taking that fight.
The website calculates Cerrone’s net worth at $9 million.