Donald Cerrone inducted into UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2023
Just eight months following his retirement in July of 2022, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Prior to his MMA career, Cerrone went 28-0-1 as a professional kickboxer, and following his MMA debut in 2006, he just started submitting everyone he fought.
In fact, ‘Cowboy’ went through his entire WEC tenure without a knockout win, and he didn’t secure his first knockout victory in MMA until he fought Charles Oliveira in August of 2011. This was the 16th win of his career, 12 of his first 15 came via submission.
If that doesn’t scream prodigy, we don’t know what does.
Since then, Cerrone has accumulated so many records in the sport, he’s had one of the greatest careers of any fighter ever.
‘Cowboy’ fought for the WEC lightweight championship three times, two undisputed title fights, and one interim. The first of which he lost to Jamie Varner via split decision, though he’d avenge the loss less than two years later. Then there were his two fights with Benson Henderson, the first of which many believed he won.
Cerrone would win his first four UFC bouts prior to losing to Nate Diaz at UFC 141.
Following a 3-3 span from 2011 to 2013, Cerrone would go on an eight-fight win streak, showing him defeat former world champions such as Ben Henderson in their trilogy bout, Eddie Alvarez, and fellow kickboxing champion Edson Barboza.
After losing his title fight against then champion Rafael dos Anjos, Cerrone would move up to the welterweight division, where he secured four-straight finishes. This included him becoming the first man to ever knock out Rick Story, Matt Brown, and Patrick Cote, who previously fought for the UFC light-heavyweight championship.
Of Cerrone’s 36 career wins, 10 come via knockout with 17 submissions and 9 decisions.
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is one of, if not the greatest fighter ever to have never won a belt.
Donald Cerrone Career Accomplishments
- Tied for most performance bonuses in UFC history (18 – 6 Fight of the Night, 3 Knockout of the Night, 2 Submission of the Night, and 7 Performance of the Night)
- Tied for second-most wins in UFC history (23)
- Tied for second-most finishes in UFC history (16)
- Third-most fights in UFC history (38)
- Second-most wins in UFC lightweight history (17)
- Third-most finishes in UFC lightweight history (10)
- Most knockdowns in UFC history (20)
- Most head kick knockouts in UFC history (7)
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!