Donald Cerrone’s Stay-Busy Strategy Continues to Pay Off, but for How Long?

Donald Cerrone closed out his UFC 178 weekend on a fairly cryptic note.

After a days-long extravaganza of wakeboarding, leg-kicking and rib-splitting, Cerrone notched an important unanimous-decision win over Eddie Alvarez on Saturday—but couldn’t leave Las Vegas without teasing us a little bit.

On Monday, the generally open-book fighter posted a tweet so ambiguous we assumed it had to be the prelude to yet another bout announcement. On Tuesday, Cerrone confirmed our suspicions, but only while revealing the rug had already been yanked out from under his boots.

Long story short, we don’t yet know when or against whom, but it’s a good bet we’re all going to get a little bit more Cowboy in our lives before the end of the year.

Hard to complain about that.

Cerrone’s victory over Alvarez pushed his 2014 record to 4-0 and his overall UFC mark to a surprisingly stout 12-3 since coming over from the WEC four years ago. With only three months until New Years, it would take some high-wire theatrics to get Cowboy to the half-dozen fights he wanted this year, but if he falls short, it won’t be by much.

He’s currently No. 4 on the UFC’s official lightweight rankings, and his five straight wins give him a longer streak of victories than anybody else in the Top Five besides the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (who, lest we forget, is 22-0. 22-0!). And yeah, that includes champion Anthony Pettis.

All those victories—made possible by Cerrone’s self-imposed, hard-charging schedule—have put considerable distance between the 31-year-old Colorado native and a 2013 in which he went 1-2. Each time out these days, he looks less like a career gatekeeper and more like a full-fledged title contender in MMA’s most competitive weight class.

If Cerrone wins one more bout before the end of the year against a Top 15 opponent—think Myles Jury, Josh Thomson or Michael Johnson, perhaps—it’ll be hard to deny that he’s ready for a chance at the title.

Not that he appears to give a damn.

At this point, the biggest threat to Cerrone’s contender status might be in own inability to sit still. While injuries to Pettis put the 155-pound championship on ice during the last 13 months, Cerrone made the Octagon his own personal playground. Including his win over Evan Dunham on Nov 16, 2013, he’s had five fights in 293 days.

Even considering the UFC’s new accelerated live event schedule, that’s a lot.

Hard to blame him, either, considering the financials. Saturday’s win over Alvarez was the first time during his ongoing win streak that Cerrone was denied one of the fight company’s lucrative performance-based bonuses—and he still made a reported $126,000 for his trouble. All told, that adds up to an estimated $762,000 in earnings in less than a year including guarantees, win bonuses and performance extras.

Cerrone hasn’t shied away from the hard truth that his salary barely keeps up with his lifestyle, but there’s also a fair amount of showmanship in his work rate. He appears to fight as much for fun as from need, but certainly isn’t oblivious to the fact that his longstanding “anyone, anytime” mantra has made him very popular with fans.

It has also made him very marketable, as his Budweiser sponsorship and current managerial relationship with NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick can attest.

Cerrone simply won’t—or maybe can’t—wait for Pettis and current No. 1 contender Gilbert Melendez to settle their differences near the end of the year. Instead, he’ll just fight and fight and fight.

The strategy has worked wonders so far, and Cerrone looked like the best possible versions of himself in his last two bouts. In July, he kickboxed circles around Jim Miller before knocking him out in the second round. On Saturday, he spoiled Alvarez’s long-awaited UFC debut with a steady diet of knees to the midsection and kicks to the legs.

But the lightweight division is a hornets’ nest of tough opposition, and it feels like anyone who insists on competing as much as Cerrone does is pressing his luck. He’s a self-admitted slow starter and was blown out of the water in recent defeats against offensive-minded strikers like Pettis and Nate Diaz. He also struggled in a loss to Rafael dos Anjos in August of 2013.

If he keeps up this torrid pace, eventually the weight class is going to jump up and bite him again. It’s not unthinkable that he might even fight his way right out of title contention before the championship carousel has a place for him.

Maybe that doesn’t concern Cerrone. Maybe he’s just here for the adrenaline rush, the competition and, of course, to fund his wakeboarding habit. But he’s worked exceedingly hard over the past year and finally appears on the verge of separating himself from the 155-pound division’s hefty pack of also-rans.

It’d be a shame to see all that progress thrown into a tailspin because he feels compelled to fight five or six times in a calendar turn.

It’s safe to say we’re all rooting for him. At this point we know full well that success (or failure) will happen only on the Cowboy’s own terms.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Fight Night 53 and 54: The 5 Best Fights for This Weekend’s Doubleheader

Ah, the double-fight weekend. It used to be a rare bird, indeed, but these days they are coming fast and furious. After a brief respite last weekend with just one fight card (the thrilling UFC 178 card from Las Vegas), the UFC spreads its wings and lands in two different parts of the world this Saturday: Sweden and Halifax, which I’m told is somewhere in the great nation of Canada, though I cannot be certain if that is the truth.

As per usual, there are a lot of dudes you have never heard of on these two cards. But there are some important fights, and there are some fights that have the potential to be less important but no less awesome. I am here today to tell you the five fights you should pay attention to, culled from both cards and combined here for your reading enjoyment.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Should Take This Chance to Set Clear Policy on Domestic Violence

The world of professional sports is marred by a situation that doesn’t involve action within the realm of play. Domestic violence allegations have swarmed the National Football League and other professional organizations. Ultimate Fighting Championship has not been able to escape criticism as it has been mentioned in multiple incidents as well. Whether it is the allegations surrounding Anthony Johnson, Thiago Silva or Will Chope, UFC has shown a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence.

The stigma surrounding professional athletes and heinous situations such as domestic violence is that the alleged individuals are given a “pass” because of their celebrity status. The NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice situation caused a firestorm that led to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitting to making a mistake in how he punished him. Since then, the league has had the opportunity to retrace its steps and suspend him indefinitely due to the release of videotaped evidence (via NFL.com).

Still, UFC can learn much about how that situation was handled and seems to have started with steps in the right direction.

Johnson was recently suspended amid reports of a restraining order filed against him by the mother of two of his children (via Sherdog). According to UFC President Dana White, the issue is not a positive one for the developing star.

“He’s not in a good position right now,” White said in a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “(An indefinite suspension) doesn’t mean he’s definitely going to fight here. Even if (the latest allegations) go his way. We’ll see what happens.”

This article also mentions UFC and its zero-tolerance policy toward domestic violence. In recent months, the organization has had the opportunity to flex that muscle. For example, Chope was released mere hours before a scheduled fight in the Octagon when it was revealed he was discharged from the military in 2011 due to charges of assault (via MMA Mania).

Unfortunately, the question will still arise as to what will happen if a big-name fighter is caught up in these allegations. Silva, who is far from being a mainstream headliner, was recently welcomed back to the organization once the criminal charges he faced were dropped. However, the UFC re-released him as more evidence was made public (via MMA Fighting).

The company should still go forth and make its policy public for fans and media alike to show that the organization is transparent in a time when most major promotions are not. If a situation arises in which a major star, such as a current champion, is caught in a similar situation, UFC will have to respond with the same severity that it has in the cases of Johnson, Chope or Silva. At the same time, the company has to be careful in allowing due process to proceed before making any concluding moves.

It is often forgotten that the athletes who make up the professional sports world are human beings who make mistakes. When their names cross the police blotters, many media members and fans want to see them dealt with in a harsh manner. The UFC has stepped up and created a zero-tolerance policy for its fighters when it comes to domestic violence. Here is to hoping the company will not have to enforce it at any point in the future.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Myles Jury Targeting January Bout Against Donald Cerrone, Cerrone Responds

Myles Jury was last seen inside the UFC Octagon against Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 52, a fight in which “Fury” needed only 90 seconds to defeat the legendary Japanese lightweight via TKO. 

Now, the eighth-ranked fighter is setting his sights on a new challenge, on a man they call “Cowboy.” 

UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m. EST: 

Donald Cerrone apparently wanted to fight Jury in December but said Jury turned that fight down. Now that Jury and his team are angling for a January fight against Cerrone, Cowboy is none too pleased. 

He tweeted: 

Jury’s manager, Ryan Hass, responded to these allegations, saying that his team’s position has remained the same from the onset of the Jury vs. Cerrone talks. 

“We want Cerrone and have made that very clear to the UFC and any time in January,” Hass told Bleacher Report in a text message. “Simple, and just around the corner.” 

–End of Update– 

According to Hass, the scrap against Donald Cerrone is still on deck for January. They’re just waiting on the paperwork to get pushed through. 

“We’re getting asked nonstop for Cerrone vs. Jury,” Hass said. “UFC has been in touch about it, they want it, fans want it, Cerrone wants it, we want it, now it’s about getting all of us confirmed for which event in January.” 

While Jury remains undefeated in his MMA career at 15-0 and has barely been tested inside the UFC Octagon to date, Cerrone represents a serious step up in competition for the 25-year-old Michigan native. 

For his part, Cowboy’s career record stands at an impressive 25-6 (1), chalking up four finishes and one decision victory in his last five outings. He’s hit his stride inside the UFC’s deep lightweight division, and he’s always looking for a fight, a point illustrated by his comments following his most recent victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 178. 

Despite being able to stake a legitimate claim to the No. 1 contender’s spot in the division, Cerrone wants to fight again, title or not, and the sooner that happens, the better. 

“I, of course, want to stay very busy, so taking a fight on November or December would be great for me,” Cerrone told MMAjunkie at the UFC 178 post-fight press conference. “Waiting? I don’t know. I want to fight.”

While the targeted January bout against Jury does not fall within Cerrone’s desired window of November or December, it’s not far off. Right now, the UFC has UFC 182 scheduled for Jan. 3 and UFC 183 set for Jan. 31, and either of those events is currently on table, according to Hass. 

And if Cerrone is down for that, so is Jury. 

“I want to give the fans and the UFC whatever they want,” Jury told Bleacher Report. “So if Cerrone in January is it, I’m in and ready to earn my way to the title.” 

Rankings-wise, the fight makes sense, and each fighter is itching for a fight. Cerrone might not get his end-of-the-year wish, but a fight with Jury would test him anywhere the fight went, and it would provide fireworks for fans across the globe. 

Right now, however, it’s important to keep in mind that nothing is official until the papers are signed. We reached out to the UFC Senior Director of Public Relations Dave Sholler for comment, and he said nothing is inked yet for either fighter. 

“(We have) nothing to report at this time,” Sholler told Bleacher Report in a text message. “We have nothing scheduled for either (fighter) at the moment.” 

What do you think? Would you like to see Jury vs. Cerrone in January, or should Cerrone take a fight against anyone before 2015 hits? 

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

B/R Women’s MMA Rankings, October 2014

Women’s MMA is growing, and we must keep up with the times. Women are getting more and more opportunities in mixed martial arts and are becoming more prevalent on the big stage.

The UFC, Invicta and World Series of Fighting are just three of the major organizations that host female fighters. When you consider Jewels, MMA Super Heroes and several other promotions that let the ladies compete, you have a bunch of proving grounds for these up-and-coming athletes.

Here is this month’s installment of Bleacher Report’s women’s MMA rankings.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC