Is this the end of Cowboy as we know him?
Featured Image Credit: Lowkick MMA
This weekend, the UFC invades Asia once again, this time in Singapore for a night of fights. Also, partially as a result of the massive time difference, the card is on Fight Pass and has a lot of garbage on it. It’s just the way it is. There are a couple bright spots, including the main event. That main event includes crowd-favorite UFC LEGEND (yeah, I said it) Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
It is hard to imagine a UFC without Cowboy. He made his debut in 2011, and since then has fought an astounding 27 times. That’s like 4 times a year. On average. That’s insane. But the man loves to fight and he’s awfully good at it, earning a title shot as well as a plethora of other title runs in his career. One of the few knocks on his legacy was the fact that he could never win the big one. He never won a WEC belt, and lost his sole UFC title shot against RDA.
That could just be the way Cowboy was. He’s one of the few guys in the sport that means it when he says anytime, anyplace, and any weight. Once he lost to RDA, he had the freedom to make a long awaited jump to Welterweight to give some of those boys a taste of Cowboy, and the results speak for themselves. His kickboxing is some of the cleanest in the game, and his Jiu Jitsu is slept on, and that combination makes him dangerous against every single opponent he faces.
Not everything is sunshine and roses, however. He seems to have a kryptonite, and that is his midsection. It seems that whenever anybody truly targets his body, hitting it hard and often, they can make Cerrone crack and often secure the finish (see the Pettis, 2nd RDA, and Masvidal fights as evidence). With this in mind, he must be aware of where the strikes are coming in, as there is an obvious chink in his armor. He also has dropped 3 of his last 4, possibly showing that he is not meant to be a contender at 170. While the losses are to former champions and those in the mix such as Lawler, Masvidal, and Till, these are the guys he needs to be beating in order to secure a title shot.
That brings us up to now. Cerrone sits ranked at 11 and is on the outside looking in. He’s taking on a guy in Leon Edwards, ranked 13th, that is 9 years his junior and a true Welterweight. He seems hungry to make his way to the top and knows that Cerrone would be an excellent name to collect on his way up. With that being said, Edwards should be careful to not underestimate the veteran, or he very much may suffer a Rick Story-esque knockout combination that the rest of us will be watching on a highlight reel for years to come
This fight is big for Cowboy. A win gives him a 2 fight win streak against young talent. A finish likely throws him back into contender status with only another win or two away from a potential shot at UFC gold again. A loss, however, and, unless he moves back down to a murderous row of lightweights, this could be the last we see of Cowboy as an elite fighter. Father Time catches up to everyone, and this weekend, the MMA world will see if it has struck midnight on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.