Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is down but he’s far from out.
On Saturday night, Cerrone suffered his second straight defeat after falling to Justin Gaethje in a first round TKO following a barrage of right hands that put him face first down on the canvas.
It was obviously not the result he wanted but despite the setback, Cerrone isn’t ready to give up his dream to one day become the UFC lightweight champion.
The loss to Gaethje just makes the road to the title a little longer.
“I don’t feel like I’m passing the torch yet,” Cerrone said in his post-fight interview. “I’m going to get the belt. It’s going to happen. I guess I just slid down the rankings a little bit.
“I’m going to come back. I’m going to train hard and I’m going to get it. It’s the last thing I’ve got to do with my legacy.”
While he hasn’t become champion, Cerrone has put together an enviable resume with the most wins, the most finishes and the most post fight bonuses in UFC history.
In fact, numerous fighters currently on the UFC roster have said that they would love to create the kind of legacy that Cerrone has built over the past eight-plus years he’s been competing inside the Octagon.
“That’s really cool. I see people trying to fight a lot and trying to be like ‘we’re trying to do it like you are’ and it’s cool to have that legacy that people want to adapt,” Cerrone said. “I’m stoked. I love this sport. There’s not anywhere else I’d rather been in there tonight.”
As much as he appreciates those compliments, Cerrone isn’t ready to give up his pursuit of the title just because he’s lost his last two fights in a row.
“You can have the greatest legacy ever in the world but if I don’t have a belt, I just fall a little bit short,” Cerrone said. “Now me reflecting on everything, that’s the one thing I want.”
That said, Cerrone added that if his career does eventually come to an end without ever having the UFC title wrapped around his waist, he won’t feel like a failure because it’s just another lesson learned that he can pass along to his son.
“On the flipside of that if everyone says you try so hard and you never get it, is it going to crush you? No, I tried,” Cerrone said. “That’s something I can teach my boy. I tried. I gave it hell.”