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Morning Report: Donald Cerrone says he's moving back to lightweight, reducing fight frequency

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Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone
Esther Lin

For the better part of six years, Donald Cerrone was a world-class lightweight. He was a perennial contender in the WEC, and he remained one of the best in the world at the weight class up until he challenged for the UFC title in 2015. Cerrone came up short in that fight and afterwards, with limited prospects for another title shot anytime soon, he made the move up a weight division where he immediately was very successful, rattling off four wins and finding himself on the cusp of a title eliminator bout.

Recently though, things have taken a bad turn for Cerrone who has lost his last three fights in a row, and with his career once again at crossroads, it appears “Cowboy” intends to ride back down a familiar path: the UFC lightweight division.

Speaking recently on The Fighter and the Kid podcast about what is next for his fighting career, Cerrone said that he intends to fight five more years but that he would be returning to the division where he made his bones.

“I’m there five [more] years,” said Cerrone. “I’m going back to 155. I’m only 175, I’ve been waking up at 175 everyday so it’s like pffft, I’m fine. I’m more focused. At 170, I can just not train and f**k off. I put more into it at 155 so let’s do it, let’s have a couple more fights. I probably won’t take 20 a year anymore. I’m probably gonna take it down a little bit.”

Cerrone’s built his reputation as the most active fighter on the UFC roster. Despite only joining the UFC in 2011, he already ranks among the very top in most fights, wins, finishes, and bonuses in UFC history. His willingness to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime has earned him innumerable fans but it has also irked his coaches who have campaigned against the frequency with which Cerrone fights, saying that it stunts his potential.

The move back to lightweight and the decision to lessen his workload seems like he may have finally accepted his coach’s advice. It also comes at a good time as Cerrone is on the first losing streak of his career and has suffered to brutal defeats in his last three bouts. The loss that has precipitate his return to lightweight was a first-round destruction at the hands of surging welterweight contender Darren Till, a fighter Cerrone admitted to having never heard of before he stepped in the cage against him. Now though, Cerrone says he’s well aware of who Till is and it seems like that loss may have precipitated the return to 155.

“It wasn’t any disrespect to him, I just honestly had no idea [who he was] but I have a very clear understanding who Darren f**king Till is now. . .

“He was a big boy. He hit really hard, right in my nose, and I was like, ‘Don’t do it again! Not in the face! Not in the face!’”

Till is huge for the welterweight division and said he entered the cage against Cerrone at nearly 200 pounds. Considering that, it’s understandable that Cerrone might want to return to fighting men his own size, even if he has previously said his body feels “thin and brittle” at 155 pounds.


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Of course I put up a poll about who was going to become the inaugural women’s flyweight champion yesterday, and of course something happened to render it irrelevant about half way through the day. MMA is always gonna MMA. Knock on wood nothing similar happens today.

Take it easy everyone and enjoy the multitude of fights available to you this weekend (including a sneaky decent Bellator card tonight). See y’all Monday.


EXIT POLL

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