The Record Setting Career of Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone

The Record Setting Career of Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone

Jack MacCool|
June 14, 2022|

Very rarely is a fighter able to go out on their own terms, but when you’re as universally beloved as Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, the wins and losses towards the end of a career cannot do justice to the amazing journey that got him the universal love he sees today. Over the course of his career, Cerrone shared the Octagon with icons such as Conor McGregor, Rafael Dos Anjos, Robbie Lawler, Nate Diaz, and many more, all of which helped build the legend of the “anytime, anyplace, anywhere” fighter from Denver, Colorado.

Today, we sit just over five days away from what could possibly be Cerrone’s last UFC bout against another OG of the fight game, Joe Lauzon. Whether this is the final walk of Cerrone’s career or not, he has painted the UFC record books with his name during his 11-year UFC run, so let’s take a look back on the record setting career of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

Walks and Wins

As mentioned above ‘Cowboy’ prides himself on being willing and able to take on any opponent at any time, even on short notice. This has helped catapult him up the UFC rankings in both total fights and wins. He currently sits in third for total fights at 37 and can move into a tie with former Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski for second with a win this weekend. Jim Miller currently sits atop the rankings with 39 UFC appearances, so if ‘Cowboy’ has another bout in him after the Lauzon fight, he could potentially hold the top spot with Miller in the future.

In terms of wins, Cerrone’s 23 put him in a three-way tie for first with Arlovski and Miller. Those 23 wins also put him ahead of legends like Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, and RDA whom he shared the cage with. Cerrone’s success in the win column didn’t come against easy opposition whatsoever, with some of the names on his resume including; Charles Oliveira by KO, Edson Barboza by submission, the aforementioned Jim Miller by KO, and former champions Eddie Alvarez and Benson Henderson. A win over Lauzon on June 18 would put him in sole possession of first place on the wins list, a feat that would cement his legacy forever.



Donald Cerrone is a natural closer. He currently sits at second in the record books for most finishes in UFC history behind current (yes I’m calling him the current) lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, who also happens to be on Cerrone’s list of finishes. ‘Cowboy’ can get it done in just about any way, whether it is a nasty combination involving his beautiful kicks, or a technically sublime submission from his back or his opponents’. Some of his best finishes recently include the head kick KO of Matt Brown, his incredible combination that led to the finish of Rick Story, or his armbar victory over Mike Perry in 2018.

Not only is Cerrone featured on the list of total finishes, but his name is also etched in on the all time knockouts list as well. He is currently in a six way tie for sixth on the list with double digit UFC knockouts, something only 12 other fighters can say. He is also one of the lightest fighters on this list, alongside Matt Brown, and Dustin Poirier as the only fighters 170 pounds or below with 10 knockouts.

Donald ‘Performance Bonus’ Cerrone

Perhaps the two best ways to gain fans in MMA are to put on exciting fights and finish said fights–two things ‘Cowboy’ does excellently. The thing that comes out of putting on exciting fights and hunting finishes is the Fight Night Bonus, and Donald currently sits atop the list with Charles Oliveira for the most bonuses in UFC history with an astounding 18. What makes this even more impressive is that Donald gets a bonus in nearly half of his bouts, with a 48.6% bonus rate, win or lose. His 18 bonuses are also more than a lot of other fan favourites and action fighters such as; Nate Diaz, Anderson Silva, Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje.

In conclusion, it’s no coincidence that the well-rounded fighter Donald Cerrone is also a well-rounded record holder with his versatility and never say die attitude. Whether or not his next bout truly will mark the end of his legendary career, it is important to celebrate this man while he is still here and still making a mark in the hearts of combat fans everywhere. There will never be another like Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

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