Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has not tasted victory in a long time in the UFC. Seeking an end to his form slump, a pumped Cerrone took on Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 26, only to be knocked out in the very first round.
Cowboy holds the record for most victories (23) in UFC history, but he seems to have lost the aura. He has lost five of his six last fights with his last fight against Niko Price ending in a draw.
Credit goes to Morono, who stepped up to face Cerrone on short notice, in place of Diego Sanchez. The promotion brought Morono because Sanchez was axed from the organisation after his fight was fixed against Cerrone.
Nonetheless, Morono made amends for his loss in his last match against Anthony Pettis, bypassing the Cowboy test with flying colours as he knocked him out in the final minute of the first round.
In a conversation with former UFC champion Daniel Cormier, Morono said: “I’ve got some mixed emotions right now and just happy to win for Texas and my team. My goal in this fight was to focus on my focus and not deviate.”
Seized his opportunity! 💢
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2021
Cerrone has no answer to his bad patch. Speaking in a post-match interview, the MMA star had a simple response when asked about what went wrong. He said he did not know what he’s not getting right in the latest fights.
Is Donald Cerrone going to retire?
Donald Cerrone has been very clear about his retirement plan since the McGregor fight, where he lost rather sheepishly to the Irishman. The Cowboy’s stance was the same after Morono overwhelmed him.
Cerrone, 38, told ESPN journalist Brett Okamoto that he doesn’t want to hang up his gloves on a bad note. The MMA veteran still feels that he has a lot of fight left in him.
The Colorado-born fighter stated that he will notify everyone before entering the octagon for the last fight whenever he chooses to walk away from the sport.
Spoke to Cowboy, he tells me this was not his final fight and he doesn't feel done, but acknowledges his performances say otherwise. Said he'll have to watch tape, talk to his team and UFC. Whenever it IS his last fight, he believes he'll make that known before his final walk.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 9, 2021
Cerrone’s last victory came against Al Iaquinta in May 2019.
The Morono fight overview
The Cowboy looked good at the beginning as he hurt Morono early with his stinging body kicks. The hits troubled Morono, but the 30-year-old American fighter did not flinch. Morono picked his pace gradually and landed a few clean punches that proved to be just enough for Cerrone.
Watching the Cowboy absorb back-to-back hits and not being able to defend, the referee stopped the fight. The pattern has been similar in Cerrone’s last fights.
Even against Conor McGregor, the Cowboy succumbed to the Southpaw’s powerful strikes early. He was unable to defend anything and this forced the fight official to end the fight instantly.
How can Cerrone get back on track
One thing Cerrone lacks clearly is a solid defensive technique that has exposed him in the last years of his pro career.
If he wishes to demolish top UFC fighters, Cerrone will have to keep his head moving throughout the fight.
His lack of motion allows the opponent to capitalise on the situation.