Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has the biggest fight of his life ahead of him this weekend against Conor McGregor at UFC 246.
But the 36-year-old is way too tough an opponent for McGregor to simply overlook as an easy mark on the way to bigger and better things.
Here are five reasons the UFC’s real-life cowboy might have what it takes to pull off the shocking upset of the UFC’s biggest star on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
‘Cowboy’ Knows How to Finish Opponents
Part of what makes MMA so compelling is how a fight can turn on a dime. Maybe it’s the four-ounce gloves. Maybe it’s the use of legs, knees and elbows. Or maybe it’s all of these things together, and the fact that most MMA fighters would simply rather end the night early than leave it in the judges’ hands.
Cerrone is one of the best finishers in the UFC. In fact, “Cowboy” holds the company record for taking opponents out before the end of the fight at 16. That’s a ton of finishes, so if Cerrone gets McGregor in trouble, don’t expect him to sit back and take things easy.
Cerrone will go for broke and history suggests he’ll get the job done.
Cerrone Motivated By Way More Than Money and Fame
Fighters are motivated by all sorts of things. Some are only after money. Some only care about fame. Heck, some just do what they do because it’s the thing they know how to do.
But Cerrone is the most dangerous type. The American is motivated by his family, including his son Dacson, who has been coming to see Cerrone fight since he was a baby.
That’s the kind of cheering section that helped Cerrone become one of the most popular UFC fighters in the world, and it’s the same kind that could propel “Cowboy” to a life-altering upset of McGregor.
Oh, and if Cerrone does pull the upset, don’t try to get between him and his loved ones. He’ll be celebrating with them as soon as possible.
He Can Finish Opponents All Sorts of Ways
Armbars. Chokes. Head kicks. Cerrone is a well-rounded fighter who possesses all sorts of ways to hurt and finish his opponents. In fact, part of what makes “Cowboy” so dangerous is that he’s equally adept at scoring knockouts and nabbing submissions.
Cerrone has scored 10 KOs and 17 submissions throughout his entire MMA career. Beyond that, he’s hurt his opponents numerous times and is never afraid to let his hands and feet go when the time is right.
Additionally, Cerrone has shown pinpoint precision throughout his MMA career with just about every single technique an MMA fighter can have.
So if McGregor leaves room for Cerrone to strike hard, it won’t be long before he has a punch, elbow, knee or foot flying right back at him.
Huge Moment Won’t Be Too Big for Cerrone
If you’re worried about the moment being too big for Cerrone on Saturday night against McGregor, don’t be. Cerrone is one of the most laid-back fighters in the sport, and he’s not one to be misled by the trappings of huge PPV card main event fights.
In fact, Cerrone probably won’t feel any different at all before facing UFC icon McGregor at UFC 246.
Part of it is because Cerrone has been in so many fights by now that he’ll have no illusions about what’s about to happen when the bell rings.
But another big part of it is that Cerrone is nervous before every single fight, big or small, so he’ll already know how to keep his emotions in check.
Cerrone Was Born to Fight
Some people are just born to fight.
Cerrone is one of these sorts, and his love for the sport is something that is truly awe-inspiring. “Cowboy” talks about MMA the way some people talk about their spouses or puppies.
Dangerous fighters abound across the world in all sorts of fighting sports. But the most dangerous of them are the ones who simply love to do what they do.
“Cowboy” loves fighting in the UFC, and that special feeling is something that could help drive him to the best performance of his life at UFC 246 against McGregor.