With nine UFC and five WEC post-fight bonuses to his name, Donald Cerrone is one of those fighters who makes it tough to find just five highlights from his thrill-a-minute career. But after whittling this list down to his UFC career alone and chopping down ever further, we think we’ve found the perfect five fights to check out if you want to get up to speed on the “Cowboy” before his UFC Fight Night main event against Jim Miller on July 16.
Paul Kelly – UFC 126
Result – Cerrone Wsub2 – Fight of the Night
Cerrone more than made his bones during his 10-fight run in the WEC, fighting the likes of Benson Henderson (twice), Jamie Varner (twice), James Krause, and Danny Castillo, but many wondered whether he could repeat that success in the UFC. Well, England’s Paul Kelly tried to test him, taking the fight to the Coloradan from the opening bell, but by the second round, Cerrone took over, getting into the mount and then finishing Kelly with a rear naked choke when the Brit gave up his back.
Charles Oliveira – UFC Live
Result – Cerrone TKO1 – Knockout of the Night
Known for his back-and-forth wars, Cerrone showed how dominating he could be against a top-level foe in his third Octagon bout, as he simply tore through Brazilian phenom Charles Oliveira. A body shot followed by a knee spelled the beginning of the end for “Do Bronx,” with Cerrone ending matters with ground strikes at 3:01 of the first round.
Melvin Guillard – UFC 150
Result – Cerrone KO1 – Knockout and Fight of the Night
Former training partners Cerrone and Melvin Guillard fought like bitter enemies in one of the most explosive 76-second fights you will ever witness. Guillard struck first, wobbling the steel-chinned Cerrone early on, but the “Cowboy” fired back with his own bombs, and after a head kick and some punches, it was lights out for “The Young Assassin.”
Evan Dunham – UFC 167
Result – Cerrone Wsub2 – Submission of the Night
By the time Cerrone’s UFC 167 bout with Evan Dunham rolled around, the former WEC standout was 1-2 in his previous three bouts, losing to Anthony Pettis and Rafael Dos Anjos and scoring a clear-cut but less than thrilling decision win over KJ Noons. But on this night in November of 2013, the old “Cowboy” was back, putting together one of his most complete and dominant efforts en route to a second-round submission victory via triangle choke.
Edson Barboza – UFC on FOX
Result – Cerrone Wsub 1 – Performance of the Night
Expected to be a war for the ages between two lanky and devastating strikers, the Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza bout in April of this year started out in the Brazilian’s favor, as he tagged his foe with several flush shots. But when Cerrone came back and dropped Barboza with a jab, it was just a matter of seconds before he locked in a rear naked choke and finished matters at 3:15 of the opening stanza.