Last month, only weeks removed from a terrible one-round beating at the hands of surging welterweight Darren Till, Donald Cerrone told Brendan Schaub that he planned to drop back down to the lightweight division.
Cerrone’s stint at 170lbs got off to a tremendous start, as he scored four straight wins in 2016, all of which came inside the distance. However, a devastating TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal followed, and then a close decision defeat to Robbie Lawler, before Till scythed through ‘Cowboy’ with alarming ease in Gdansk.
“I’m going back to 155 (pounds),” Cerrone told Schaub on a subsequent episode of The Fighter and The Kid. “I’m only 175. I’ve been waking up at 175 everyday, so it’s like, ‘Pffft, I’m fine.’ I’m more focused. At 170, I can just not train and (expletive) off. I put more into it at 155, so let’s do it. Let’s have a couple more fights(via MMAJunkie).”
Lightweight is the division in which Cerrone competed for the first ten years of his career, in which he fought for both UFC and WEC titles, and in which he went on a scintillating eight-fight winning run between November 2013 and May of 2015, recording wins over the likes of Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez and Benson Henderson along the way. The only man to beat Cerrone over the course of his last 11 fights at 155lbs was Rafael dos Anjos, who did it twice, and the Brazilian has himself since departed the division for welterweight.
One can understand, then, why ‘Cowboy’ might want to return to his old stomping ground.
Cerrone isn’t quite ready to make the descent to ’55 just yet, however.
On Tuesday, MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani reported that a welterweight bout between Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros is on the verge of being announced.
In his aforementioned interview with Schaub, Cerrone also claimed that he planned to reduce his activity, which is notoriously hyper. The fight with Medeiros, however, is slated to land in the headline slot of UFC Fight Night 126, which takes place in Austin on February 18th – less than four months after the Till fight. That’s not a lightning-quick turnaround by any stretch, but it doesn’t give Cerrone that much time to recover from the physical and psychological damage he accrued in Poland either.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone x Yancy Medeiros currently slated as the UFC Austin main event on Feb. 18, per sources. All but official. 170 pounds.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 26, 2017
Medeiros is a tough opponent as well. The Hawaiian has won three consecutive fights, all inside the distance, since suffering a decision defeat to Francisco Trinaldo in May of last year. In his most recent outing, a little over three weeks ago, ‘The Kid’ out-dueled another ‘Cowboy’, Alex Oliveira, in the brutal ‘Fight of the Night’ at UFC 218.