Despite being finished by short-notice replacement Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 26 this past weekend, Donald Cerrone lives to fight another day.
At least one more day, anyway.
Cerrone (36-16, 2NC), 38-years old, has not won a fight since 2019, posting a 0-5, 1NC record in that span. The No Contest in question was originally a draw against Niko Price, overturned when Price failed a drug test for marijuana.
Originally, “Cowboy” had been expected to face Diego Sanchez this past weekend. But with Sanchez out of the fight (and cut by the promotion), Morono stepped in, finishing Cerrone with heavy strikes in the opening round.
Talk quickly arose of the UFC legend calling it a career, but Cerrone stood firm. “I’m sure now there will be a lot of talk of, ‘Maybe he’ll retire. Maybe this is the right time.’ But that isn’t anywhere in my train of thought,” Cerrone told ESPN following the fight.
He’d later suggest that he’d return to lightweight, something Cowboy has talked of before. And it appears UFC President Dana White is willing to give him the opportunity — but it’s do-or-die for one of the UFC’s most popular characters.
In an interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, White noted that “Cowboy again steps up. Diego [Sanchez] falls out of the fight, [Cerrone] steps up and takes a last-minute replacement, co-main event. What he wants to do— he accepted the Diego fight because they both said they would fight at 170. He wants to move down to 55 and get another fight, and I’m going to let him do that.”
Asked if it could be the last fight for Cerrone if he’s not successful, White replied simply “Yes. Yes.”
No timeline has been given for Cerrone’s return.