Conor McGregor is finally making his long-awaited return to the Octagon on Jan. 18, but he's not getting a tune-up fight. Rather, he gets to take on 36-year-old UFC veteran Donald Cerrone, a man who's accomplished a little bit of everything over the course of his long MMA career.
Cerrone's respect around the sport is boundless, as the frequency at which he breaks records and churns out instant classic fights is almost unrivaled across the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Most Fights In UFC History
Cerrone is currently tied with Jim Miller for the most fights in the history of the promotion with 33, and he'll re-take that record for himself the McGregor fight at UFC 246. Not a year goes by without at least two or three Cerrone fights, and that frequency has helped make him one of the enduring legends in the sport.
Most Wins In UFC History
No fighter in UFC history has more wins than Cowboy, who can claim an absurd 23 wins. 23 fights is a career for plenty of mixed martial artists (McGregor has fought 25 pro MMA matches as of this writing), and Cerrone has managed the same number of wins with one company, to say nothing of his runs in defunct promotions Ring of Fire and WEC.
Most Finishes In UFC History
More often than not, Cowboy will end you before it goes to the scorecards, as his 16 finishes are also a UFC record.
Most Knockdowns In UFC History
Part of what makes Cerrone great is his combination of reach striking power, and his 20 knockdowns -- even more than the legendary Anderson Silva's 18 -- are a testament to his muay thai and kickboxing acumen.
Most Post-fight Bonuses in UFC History
When it comes to awarding Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Performance of the Night honors and the extra paydays that come along with them, nobody can match Cowboy's 18 post-fight bonus awards over the years.
Most Fights In a 12-Month Period
Cerrone's finest trait is his ability to consistently fight multiple times every year, even fighting six times in a span of just 12 months, tied with Smilin' Sam Alvey for the all-time record. He's an ironman in every sense of the word.
Most Knockouts Via Kick
Don't ever say Cowboy doesn't put his best foot forward. On seven different occasions in UFC, his trademark kicks have immediately led to stoppage victories.
This man is not some creampuff that Conor McGregor can sleepwalk right on through. Cowboy Cerrone is one of the toughest and most tireless fighters ever to do it, and the Irish star shouldn't overlook him for even one second.