UFC Fight Night 155 is in the books, and another masterful win is added to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s already incredible 36-11-0-1 record. There has already been a lot of talk about Cowboy since his last two victories over Mike Perry to end 2018 at welterweight and lightweight Alexander Hernandez at Fight Night 143 in January. Talk of dream matches and title fights have been the subject of much talk surrounding the gritty veteran.
After last nights hard-fought and bloody five round affair with Al Iaquinta, Micheal Bisbing asked Cerrone what was next . Of course as any warrior would he called for the title but he called one man by name, Conor McGregor. So the question is what next? Is it the wait for some sort of resolution in the title picture or does he go back to camp and go for the big bucks of a dream match with “The Notorious One?” Currently the title picture is a little fuzzy with the champion currently suspended. Then made a little more unreadable with a new interim Champion in Dustin Poirier. It is believed that upon his return in September the 27-0 Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov will face off with the 25-5-1 interim champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
However as we have learned in the past nothing is for certain. Weight issues, injuries, etcetera, there are so many things that could happen between now and September to muddy the water that could keep the title held up even longer. In a lot of ways either fight is a bit of a calculated risk for Cowboy. A long wait on a title fight could end up fruitless or costing the longtime vet precious time on an already long career that started in 2006. Then again a losing venture against Conor McGregor could stall his momentum and even knock him out of the title picture altogether.
So let’s look at the possible match ups for Donald Cerrone. First there is Khabib. If Khabib returns and successfully unites the championship over interim champ Poirier. Khabib is best known for his wrestling, ground and pound, and submissions. Plus using his size and strength to impose his will on his opponents. However with Cowboy Cerrone fighting at Welterweight recently, and quite successfully I may add, if anyone is used to dealing with larger opposition it’s Cerrone. Plus if anyone could be capable enough to keep the fight where he wanted it, that would be the very experienced Cowboy, with the UFC listing his takedown defense at a very respectable 75%. In fact how many times can we remember Cerrone on his back? A high takedown defense along with years of experience and 45% striking accuracy. This could very possibly be the best possible fight for Cowboy’s legacy.
Next, say September comes and goes and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier emerges as the lone lightweight champion. This match up for the title is likely a little different. Dustin is a very good striker with a wealth of experience unlike “The Eagle,” and is known to be a gritty tough out. Dustin posses probably the most problems for Donald Cerrone’s title hopes. Dustin would likely be competitive on the feet. His youth and cardio, coupled with experience most men his age could only dream of, gives him the ability to change the fight in any round from the first to the last. In a lot of ways, a Dustin Poirier / Donald Cerrone fight is like watching Cowboy fight a younger version of himself. It would be a great fight for the fans, but a tough fight for Cowboy’s career. However a win would get him the belt and still likely gain him access to his next possible opponent.
The next opponent is the big money fight, the high-attention fight, Conor McGregor. This fight would for sure be the best possible scenario for fans. A high profile exciting lead up to a big time fight that would likely be a blazing shoot out the fans dream it to be. The 21-4-0 “Notorious One” would bring his loud brash style back to the press conferences and interviews. The fight would be striker against striker and not likely to go the full five rounds. The fight would in many ways be a dream come true for both of them. If Cowboy can manage to get this fight before a title a win would for sure guarantee a fight with the winner.
However losing to Conor in a classic big time striker shoot out would be enough to keep Cerrone in the title conversation. Not to mention the wonders it would do to his bank account and keep young Danger Cerrone in cool little designer boots and custom ear muffs till forever. To pick the title fight and win would also bring this high-profile pay-day as well. As Conor would for sure not pass up a shot to reclaim his gold and glory. On the same hand, losing a title fight before this marquee match could put Cerrone out of Conor’s sights and could slow up his chance of getting back in the title picture in the future. Conor is Cowboy’s best match for his bank account as well as his career. Most of all, it is probably the best match up for the fans. Which match do you think would be best for Cowboy Cerrone? If you had to pick, who would you like to see him throw down with next?