clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Donald Cerrone is the coolest drink of water in the UFC today

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Though it’s a common theme among blowhards, there are very few fighters who can roll out those carefree "anys" and actually mean it. Yet when Donald Cerrone flicks that Stetson off his eyes with his long finger and says "anyone, anytime, anywhere," he’s being completely sincere. Cowboy is your legit huckleberry, always ready to exchange knuckles for a tidy sum. And the kicker is, no matter where he pops up, by air or by RV, no matter if he’s in Reebok or some watery beer brand, if it’s at high noon or in the wee hours out in Ottawa, he usually wins. 

Like he did against the former middleweight Patrick Cote on Saturday night, right there in Cote’s backyard of Canada. Cerrone showed up like it was just another bike rack, and schooled Cote as if it wuddn’t no thang.

At some point, the combination of such evergreen willingness and his ability to keep winning becomes the whole story of Cowboy Cerrone. And it’s an incredible story. He may not have a UFC belt, but he’s a constant narrative in a game that spits people out like peanut shells. He just fights; that’s what he do.

Counting Cerrone’s welterweight bout with Cote, he has now fought 14 times since the start of 2013. If he fights twice more in 2016 — which feels inevitable, unless he gets gnarled-up while wakeboarding or something — he will average four fights a year in that stretch. He fought five times in 2011. Cerrone is security in matchmaking, as he’s always ready to go. He is, for lack of a better word, the UFC’s binky.

And still, he keeps a very high standard. That display against Patrick Cote, who had lost only once in his career on his native soil of Canada, was perhaps the best version of Cerrone we’ve seen. An early takedown against a guy who fought the bulk of his career two weight classes north of him? Those sniping kicks? The left hook, which Cote could never quite pick up? That casual waltz over to finish the fight when he had Cote hurt?

We might take him for granted, but Cowboy is the coolest drink of water in the sport.

It’s hard not to appreciate his roving eye and that sh*t-eating grin, too. Moments after vanquishing Cote, there he was lobbying for yet another fight in three weeks as part of the UFC 200 festivities in Vegas. Later he reiterated that desire while at the same time mumbling under his breath about his pay. He flashed that ornery half-smile as he said it, like he’d got them varmints controlling the purse strings right where he wants them. Dude can speak his mind and be charming at the same time. He’s done that since the WEC days. He’s got that twinkle.

And it never gets old.

With Cerrone, you get the sense that you get what you see. Perhaps we should be grateful that he is such a profligate spender when the spotlight zooms off. If you don’t know by now, Cerrone — a thrill-seeker with a bro ranch where he and dudes like Leonard Garcia can spit tobacco juice into the campfire — enjoys spending money. Even with a dozen end of the night bonuses, he always has a hobby that needs further funding (read: any activity that pushes his face back at the speed of sound). Cerrone’s life is one grand adventure, and his Octagon presence is an extension of it. That’s where he makes money. Beating up dudes at 155 or 170 pounds, whatever is available. People shy away from Khabib Nurmagomedov? Cerrone says he’s a "boring ass fighter" and raises his hand. Nobody wants to fight Tony Ferguson? Cerrone says he doesn’t know exactly who that is, but he’d be more than willing to knuckle-up.

If heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic needed an opponent, Cerrone would just tell you that he knows a guy. He’d mean it. That’s the Cowboy way. He always knows a guy.

After all these years in the Octagon, we know that guy too. In the fight game, that guy is truly one of a kind. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t need to be a champion to appreciate. His eagerness to fight — anyone, anytime, anywhere — comes closer to the spirit of the fight game than any belt can. That’s a fun guy to know.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting