UFC 276: Cowboy Cerrone Calls Retirement “Biggest Sigh of Relief I’ve Ever Had”

Las Vegas, NV — It’s time to ride off into the sunset for UFC legend Cowboy Cerrone.

Long one of the UFC’s most popular, and active, fighters, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone announced his retirement at UFC 276, following a submission loss to Jim Miller.

Following the fight, Cerrone (36-17, 2NC) opened up about his decision, speaking at what will be his final post-fight press conference.

“You know this sport is crazy, it’s the highest highs and the lowest lows. And I feel probably the best I’ve felt in my career at my lowest right now, if that makes any sense,” Cerrone said, given the floor to discuss what he was feeling in the wake of closing out his career.

“It was important for me to go out with Joe [Rogan] and Bruce [Buffer] in the cage, they started with me, just an iconic thing here in Vegas,” Cerrone explained. And, as it turns out, despite suggesting he’d look to hit 50 fights under the Zuffa banner, Cowboy has known all along that he was ready to pack it in.

“I knew, when we started training back in January for the first round, this was going to be my last one, no matter what I told you guys,” he revealed. “I remember telling the media team, you guys are not to ask me about retiring, right? Then I said ‘well I’ll do fifty.’ But win or lose tonight, this is it, I was riding off. I don’t love it anymore like I used to. Last night, I couldn’t sleep, I was up til six in the morning just laying there. I’m not going to miss those feelings, I’ll tell you that.”

Cerrone kept his decision to himself, he added. Despite two fights with Joe Lauzon falling through. “I surprised the hell out of my team, they had no idea it was coming. My wife didn’t know. No one knew, it was a big secret I had. Talk about emotional, yeah, but I feel good. Like the biggest sigh of relief I’ve ever had in my life. We’re done. Now it’s off to the next chapter. And I’ll be back, I’ll come hang out, watch fights, talk with the young generation and tell ’em all the things they shoulda coulda woulda shoulda done. Maybe I’ll get an itch in two years, but any time soon, hell to the no.”

Now, it’s off to Hollywood; Cerrone has been landing more and more parts in recent years. And spending time with family. “I’m going off to make some movies, I’m gonna race race cars, I’ve got a race next weekend, I’m gonna get in a race car and go play. Go to the lake house with my wife, I just bought my wife a lake house— don’t think it’s anything nice, it’s a single-wide trailer, we ain’t got money like that, but it’s nice to us. So I’m gonna be spending a lot of time at the lake and hanging out with family.”

The always affable Cowboy also had a message of support for Jim Miller, who tightened his grip on the UFC wins record on Saturday. “Hell yeah Jim! F*cking run with it baby!”

Watch the full UFC 276 post-fight press scrum with Cowboy Cerrone above.