Cowboy Cerrone Announced As 2023 UFC Hall of Fame Inductee

Donald Cowboy Cerrone UFC
Cowboy Cerrone, UFC 276 Ceremonial Weigh-Ins. Credit: Alex Behunin/CagesidePress

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will be among those inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame later this year.

Cowboy’s induction into the Hall’s Modern Wing was announced during Saturday’s UFC San Antonio card. Additionally, the UFC issued a press release breaking the news.

“Cowboy Cerrone is one of the best lightweights in UFC history,” UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying in that press release. “Cowboy consistently fought the best of the best for over a decade inside the Octagon and set a ton of records in the process. He was also a complete savage who would fight anyone at any time. He is a true legend, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame as part of International Fight Week.”

UFC broadcaster and Cerrone pal Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder called Cowboy “the truest fighter I’ve ever met in this organization.”

Cerrone first hit the radar in the WEC, where he would challenge Jamie Varner for lightweight gold in 2009. He would later avenge that loss, and twice fought Benson Henderson for the lightweight title (interim, and later undisputed) in the WEC cage.

When the promotion was absorbed into the UFC, Cerrone became an instant fan favorite. His anyone, any time, anywhere mentality coupled with a record-setting number of post-fight bonuses made “Cowboy” a living legend by the mid-to-late 2010s.

Cerrone faced Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC lightweight championship in 2015, coming up short in that effort. He holds notable wins over Henderson (avenging his two losses in WEC), Edson Barboza, former Bellator/UFC lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez, Matt Brown, Jim Miller, Jeremy Stephens, and others.

He remains tied with the most post-fight bonuses (18) in UFC history, with Charles Oliveira. With 38 appearances inside the octagon, Cerrone is third all-time for most fights. He also holds the most wins (29) and finishes (20) in UFC/WEC combined history.

The UFC’s 2023 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place during International Fight Week in July.