Heading into #UFCDenver everyone knew Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone had an incentive win.
The nuclear fall-out from his split with Winklejohn was plastered all over every MMA podcast from Joe Rogan right on down the line.
What we didn’t know was that he had a much larger incentive. Win and he gets a free spin on the Conor McGregor lottery wagon wheel. So win he did in electric style.
In many ways this fight makes sense for both fighters. Both are in need of a little more recovery time.
Despite his win against Mike Perry, Cowboy still has some work to do, to convince me he can compete at the rarefied oxygen levels atop the UFC Lightweight mountain.
Cowboy Cerrone – Fight Record
A quick glance at Cowboys last 6 fights doesn’t make for pretty reading.
The majority, if not all of these fights have been at 170. If Cerrone is to be believed a deal was done (pre-Perry) to come back down to 155 on his next UFC outing.
Only one name makes it worth his while. If Nate is the guy in question a fight at 170 would suit both fighters better.
Two years ago i would have loved this fight. Today not so much. Two guys with the biggest support bases in the game should make for a fun build up. But at 155 Conor smokes an aging Cowboy whose body has gotten used to fighting at the upper weight. His body has been in too many wars for too long and now age is creeping up on him.
This is a retirement party for Cowboy with the bonus of a big golden handshake at the end of his career. No-one deserves one more. Sure he may fight again but the Winklejohn fire may not carry him through many more wars – if any.
This fight is akin to a 30 day rehab job for Mcgregor. While he’ll need to be careful of submission attempts against a technician like Cowboy, Cerrone has been K.Oed enough times to give McGregor ample confidence.
However, a win doesn’t really do anything for McGregor other than make him richer. It doesn’t address his problem with wrestlers and people will immediately point to Cowboy’s aging body and recent loss record. All the same questions will be there.
McGregor will still need to go back out into the big, bad world of the UFC Lightweight division where the same two or three hungry wolves await with salvitating jowls.