UFC Fight Night 45 results recap: What's next for Donald Cerrone?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After knocking out Jim Miller this past Wednesday night (July 16, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 45 from inside Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, we take a look at what could be next for Donald Cerrone, and if there’s anyone else fitting apart from the “Eagle.”

Take a bow, Mr. Cerrone.

At UFC Fight Night 45: "Cerrone vs. Miller," which took place this past Wednesday night (July 16, 2014) from inside Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Donald Cerrone continued his impressive finishing streak by knocking out one of the lightweight division's toughest fighters.

"Cowboy" became the first combatant to stop Jim Miller by way of strikes, lacing the New Jersey native with a head kick and following up with punches. It was Cerrone's third successful outing of 2014, with wins over Edson Barboza and Adriano Martins also taking place this current year (watch Cerrone's knockout here).

It was a typical slow start for the Denver-based slugger, who coughed up the first round to his adversary while being taken down and beaten to the punch. To his credit, the main event winner improved drastically in the second round, and had Miller hurt with a kick to the gut who was saved by referee Dan Miragliotta's blunder.

It's the fourth time in a row Cerrone has won a post-fight bonus, and he's got 10 to his name thus far in the promotion. He hasn't acquired a title shot since losing to Benson Henderson back in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC); however, "Cowboy" is closer than he's ever been right now.

Let's cut to the chase and say his next foe should definitely be Khabib Nurmagomedov. Both 155 pounders have their sights set on gold, and it's the best-case scenario for a title eliminator bout at the moment. Plus, the Dagestani standout knew the chips would fall into place after anticipating the winner of New Jersey's headlining fight.

It's going to take time for the results of Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez to materialize towards the end of the year, so Cerrone could duke it out against the "Eagle" in a couple of months or even on the same year-end card.

There's also Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos, which takes place at UFC Fight Night 49 in Oklahoma, and "Smooth" is no stranger to the trooper from Colorado.

Henderson, a former UFC lightweight champion, defeated Cerrone twice at WEC 43 and WEC 48 years back, proving he was a notch above "Cowboy" when it came to their skills. Cerrone has also lost to Dos Anjos, so there's a good chance either of the Oklahoma headliners could play spoiler, but the plans should fall through accordingly.

You can't ignore Nate Diaz either, even if his own company is trying to.

The Stockton fighter ridiculed Cerrone earlier this week by accusing him of "sucking too much UFC dick," and there's a chance "Cowboy" will want to avenge his loss at UFC 141 almost three years ago when Diaz got the better of him.

Nevertheless, the former UFC lightweight title challenger doesn't even have concrete plans to continue his UFC career, and the ball has to roll on without him.

So, "Cowboy" vs. "Eagle"...sounds fair?

For complete UFC Fight Night 45: "Cerrone vs. Miller" results, including video highlights, post-fight recaps and more, click here.

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