Performance Flashback: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

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It’s Cowboy Cerrone fight week, a time to reflect on the past in order to generate excitement for the beautiful violence to come.

Performance Flashback

The UFC career of fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has featured 19 wins, 12 finishes, and 11 “of the Night” bonuses. The former UFC and WEC lightweight title challenger now finds himself fighting at 170 pounds and on a three fight losing streak.

In these trying times we look back to 2012. Cowboy had just suffered one of his worst career losses at the hands of Stockton’s Nate Diaz. Cerrone was admittedly flat in that bout, standing in boxing range and waiting on Diaz, on the end of straight punches for three rounds.

Looking to bounce back, he was welcomed by the brick-fisted young veteran Jeremy Stephens. Stephens had just lost a contentious split decision to future champion Anthony Pettis.

In a dangerous matchup, Donald Cerrone was dripping with confidence and put on a show.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Jeremy Stephens

Much respect to Jeremy Stephens for:
1: Retaining the ability to stand after those low kicks. Is he made of leather?
2: Not losing his confidence and continuing a great UFC career, now at featherweight.

Play Time

Dude. If there is one time fight fans and analysts alike can point to and say “Vintage Cowboy Cerrone”, it’s against Jeremy Stephens, hiding on Fuel TV (RIP.) After the first round, head coach Greg Jackson exclaimed “Oh my god! Keep having fun!”

The man with “play time” tattoo’d on his shins was certainly enjoying himself. The Colorado Cowboy was light on his feet, constantly feinting, head faking, and hip checking. There were flying knees, low kicks galore, and even a bit of hands down, “come get me” dancing.

Cowboy Cerrone or Donald the Lumberjack?

A confident Donald Cerrone was so intimidating, the consistently fearless Jeremy Stephens was frozen in place. So while Stephens was really only standing still or moving backwards, he was ripe to have his legs punted out from under him. That fight highlight is 90 percent Cowboy attempting to chop off the dang legs of the Lil’ Heathen (terrible nickname, Jeremy.)

At some points Cowboy was winding up, running, and slamming Stephens’ legs like it was schoolyard kickball.

He mixed it up beautifully with one of the most aesthetically pleasing combinations a lanky guy can throw: a straight right into a lead uppercut followed by another straight or looping rear hand around the guard. A sitting duck hiding behind his guard, Stephens had no answers. Heck, Cowboy even closed out the second round with a nice trip finish from a high double leg entry.

One Last Run

Can Donald Cerrone channel the spirit of this performance once again, or is this the end of his run as a top ranked UFC fighter? Find out in the main event of UFC Fight Night 126 when Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on the surging Hawaiian Yancy Medeiros.

Featured Image credit:
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Ed is a fan of the finer things in combat sports. Low kicks, inside trips and chokes from front headlock are a few of the techniques near and dear to his heart.

When interviewing fighters, Ed is most interested in learning their philosophies and the thoughts behind their in-competition processes.

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