Even though Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has his eyes set on a return to 155lbs, one of the toughest match-ups at 170lbs has offered to take him on in his next outing.
Donald Cerrone’s time as a UFC welterweight has been nothing short of a mixed bag, all things considered. After a stunning run that saw him rack up four consecutive wins by way of finish, the three losses in 2017 that followed had many speculating that the always-game and ever-active Cowboy had finally hit his end-of-career decline.
UFC Austin saw Cerrone matched up with last year’s Fight of the Year-winner Yancy Medeiros in a main event fixture that never really seemed in any danger of being a disappointment on fight night.
Medeiros’ incredible UFC 218 victory over Alex Oliveira could well rank among the greatest fights of the sport’s modern era and while both men sustained some pretty heavy damage, Yancy’s ability to sustain pressure and manage his gas tank proved to be too much, despite the best efforts of his opponent.
With virtually no chance possible that it could have been a stinker, Cerrone and Medeiros did not allow their clear mutual respect to dampen their even clearer drive to inflict pain on each other. The bout lasted just under a round and even though the night’s Fight of the Night honours went elsewhere, the fans unanimously agreed that both men had done themselves justice.
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I just got home from the @icehousecc and decided to unwind by rewatching this epic fight between @yancymedeiros and @cowboycerrone. This fight wasn’t just epic because it launched cowboy into a 3 way tie with @mikebisping and @georgesstpierre for the most wins ever in the UFC (20). It was also a special fight in that one of the things that was so enjoyable about the fight was the respect the two had for each other, both before and after their one round of chaos. They even embraced in friendship in the middle of a round, and I fucking loved it. They briefly paused to hug and then went right back to a full tilt brawl. They both just went for it with pure respect and love for each other, and they both swung for the fences. Cowboy wound up connecting with a pinpoint right hand and wound up getting the stoppage right before the buzzer. It was epic, and then again, after it was over there was nothing but love and respect. I thought it was all around an awesome experience to watch it even a second time. Thank you, gentlemen, for a great moment in MMA, and a really fun fight to watch.
Cerrone took home the win, his first in over a year and now, despite making his wish to drop back down to the lightweight division clear, he has received a call-out from one of the scariest customers at welterweight.
Santiago Ponzinibbio is probably still fresh in the minds of the Irish MMA fanbase after his controversial UFC Glasgow victory over Gunnar Nelson but with his last win against Mike Perry, he has certainly established himself as one to watch in 2018.
Speaking to MMAFighting, Ponzinibbio called out Cowboy in a pretty respectful fashion, saying that the world would be in for a treat if the UFC step in and make the booking.
“The best options are Thompson and Cerrone because of their fighting styles. It would be a great show against either one of them, but Thompson is saying that he’s injured. After such a beautiful performance last night, Cerrone would be a great option.
“I was watching Cerrone’s fight last night and he was really impressive. It was a good knockout. He has a lot of knockouts, and I think it would be a fun fight for the fans. Cerrone and I could do a fight that will go down in history, in an event that will already make history in Chile.”
Perhaps a proven knockout artist like Ponzinibbio wouldn’t exactly be the best match-up for Donald Cerrone at this point in his career but alas, if there is one thing we know about the former lightweight title challenger, its that he is never shy of taking on a fight that has him pegged as the underdog.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena