While the masses were fortunate enough to witness the emergence of quite a few promising fighters this year, one name continues to echo in the corridors of my mind when contemplating the topic: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. When you consider successful career reassessments, you’ve got to associate Cerrone with the subject matter. This man has taken strides to fill the holes in his game, while continuing to refine his already dangerous weapons. And, of what it has done for his career…
Cerrone migrated over to the UFC ranks after the WEC was disbanded, and given a few unsuccessful title bids for the now defunct promotion, not many expected Donald to surface as a genuine threat to the lightweight division inside of a single year. But Cerronee clearly had plans of his own.
Cerrone exited the octagon a victor, four times in 2011. He also managed to stop three of those four foes, including submission victories over Paul Kelly and Dennis Siver as well as a technical knockout victory over the highly touted Charles Oliveira. Only Vagner Rocha managed to take “Cowboy” the distance. While none of these names sit amongst the division’s top 5 competitors, they’re all undeniably talented, and Cerrone somehow made each look thoroughly outclassed. A step up in competition awaits as Cerrone will lock horns once more in 2011, when he meets Nate Diaz at the year end show.
A victory over Nate will likely align some form of title eliminator for Donald. Five uninterrupted wins in the lightweight division today is a remarkable feat that few manage. However, while that eliminator bout could certainly loom in Cerrone’s near future, it’s time to sit back and respect the year for what it’s been: Donald Cerrone’s most glorious stretch as a professional fighter. Major respect to a kid many had disregarded just a single year ago!The UFC Breakout Fighter of the Year, Related Posts