Part of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone‘s appeal is his willingness to take fights on short notice, accept tough opponents, and his appetite to compete often. After a seven-fight stint in the welterweight division, Cerrone plans to drop back down to the 155-pound weight class.
From 2013 to 2015, the 34-year-old reeled off eight consecutive wins and earned a shot at the UFC lightweight title. He came up short against then champion Rafael dos Anjos in December 2015 and moved up a weight class following the loss.
At welterweight, Cerrone won his first four fights, all by finishes. He had moved himself into contender status and was inching chose to a title shot, but the winning streak ended. Cerrone is currently on a three-fight skid with losses to Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler, and Darren Till. With three losses in a row, Cerrone will return to the lightweight division for his next fight.
“I’m going back to ’55,” Cerrone said during a recent episode of “The Fighter and the Kid” with Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen. “It was [a tough cut], but I’m only 175 [pounds]. I’ve been waking up at 175 every day, so I was like, I’m fine. I’m more focused [at 155]. At ’70, I can just not train and [expletive] off. I put more into it at ’55. So let’s do it, man. Let’s go back, have a couple more fights.”
Not only is Cerrone returning to the weight class that he’s had the most success in, he’s also rethinking the how often he competes. While taking two fights in 15 days like he did in 2015 may be good for the bank account, it might not be the best idea for career longevity. It’s a realization he’s been slow to warm up to, but it appears that Cerrone’s experience is directing him toward the work smarter not harder philosophy.
“I probably won’t take 20 a year anymore,” he said. “I’ll probably take it down a little bit.”