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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Cowboy Cerrone after KO loss at UFC Vancouver?

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 158 blew the roof off Rogers Arena last Saturday night (Sept. 14, 2019) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Plenty of fighters were left feeling the blues, including Michel Pereira, who twas out-classed by UFC rookery Tristan Connelly, who humbled the cocky fighter who was more interested in showing off his dancing and gymnastics skills than fighting (recap). And Nikita Krylov, who couldn’t do enough to stop the streaking Glover Texieira in the co-main event (relive it here).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Donald Cerrone.

Coming into his headlining fight against Justin Gaethje, “Cowboy” was looking to get back in the win column and erase the memory of his previous loss to Tony Ferguson, which came via doctor’s stoppage after his eye was nearly swollen shut. Plus, he had a bit more added pressure, as fight fans expected a barn-burner between these two combatants, who attract entertaining violence every time they step inside the Octagon. And if you know Cerrone, he likes to live up to the expectations set forth, as does Gaethje.

Both men came out careful, but Gaethje did show a bit more pressure, though he was a bit more patient when compared to his over-eager past. Cerrone didn’t really do much, leveraging his jab for the majority of the contest.

Gaethje, however, did clip “Cowboy” with some solid right hands, though Cerrone did his best to shake them off. But with little less than one minute left, “The Highlight” clipped Cerrone with a mean right hand that dropped him. Once back on his feet, Cerrone ate a few uppercuts for his trouble, sending him back down to the mat. After a few more blows to a visibly-hurt Cerrone, Gaethje was hoping the referee would intervene and stop the match. Much to his disappointment, the official on duty wanted Gaethje to finish it convincingly, which forced him to hit his friend few more times.

And just like that, Cerrone — who contested the stoppage — found himself with back-to-back losses for the first time in two years. The consecutive defeats put a big damper on the momentum he had built up after taking out Alexander Hernandez, Mike Perry and Al Iaquinta in impressive fashion.

But, if anyone can bounce back, it’s Cerrone, who can rack up wins in a hurry thanks to his preference to fight every other month.

“I’m going to get the belt, it’s going to happen,” Cerrone said about his fight future. “I guess I just slid down the rung a little bit, but I’m going to come back, I’m gonna to train hard, and I’m going to get it. It’s the last thing I’ve got to do with my legacy. You can have the greatest legacy in the world, but if I don’t have a belt it just falls a little short. So now, me, reflecting on everything, that’s one thing I want.”

What division he fights at next, though, is hard to predict as he can either stay at Lightweight or go back up to Welterweight. If it were up to me, I’d like to see him stick around at 155 pounds to face Kevin Lee. “The Motown Phenom” has already stated his Welterweight experiment is over after just one fight.

Lee has also lost two in a row, and once the new rankings come out, Cerrone should drop a spot or two, which means taking on the Top 5 won’t be in his future right away.

For complete UFC: “Vancouver” results and coverage click here.

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