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Donald Cerrone reacts to latest loss, retirement talk: ‘When it’s time, let me bow out right’

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After another loss at UFC Vegas 26, Donald Cerrone addresses the retirement elephant in the room and talks about his future in the UFC.

UFC Fight Night: Cerrone v Morono Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Donald Cerrone is looking pretty done. That’s the general consensus of everyone who watched his fight at UFC Vegas 26 against Alex Morono, who took “Cowboy” out near the end of the first round with a series of huge shots that forced the referee to step in with Cerrone still upright against the cage (watch highlights here).

In a backstage interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, our boy Cerrone had a tight smile and eyes that clearly showed he was thinking the same thing we were: Damn, is it over?

“It’s just a rough day in the office,” he said regarding his performance. “This game can get changed, all it takes is one big shot. He hit me with a good one that sat me back. He hit me with another good one. I heard my coaches say grab a hold of him. It’s like, man, I don’t know if I can take three of ‘em. The kid came hungry and ready. No excuses on my end. I was ready, we warmed up great. Came out and started early.”

The “heartbroken’ Cerrone knew what question would be raised off this fifth loss in a row (sixth if you look at the reality of how his fight with Niko Price went).

“I dunno, man. I don’t know what to answer you on, ‘Is it that time?’ I don’t feel like it,” he said. “But how I feel and how I perform are two different things. It sucks. I wanted to go back to 155 pounds. These boys at 170 hit hard, they’re big boys. But no excuses, man. That kid came in, he was ready. We did everything on our end and he got the luck.”

Asked if he felt like he could still hang with fighters who were younger by a half-decade or more, Cerrone didn’t sound so sure.

“When I’m in the training room and even out there ... I dunno, I gotta watch the fight, I have no idea,” he said. “But I do. I’m standing out here saying yes, but is that just my tainted ego telling me to do more?”

Whatever the case, “Cowboy” isn’t done.

“No, absolutely not,” he said. “No way. I’ll never go out like this — 100 percent I’ll know and I’ll come in whippin’ ass right off. There’s no way I’d end like this. Couldn’t let my legacy end like this. Buy yeah, [I’ll] call the boss and say, ‘Hey it’s been a rough couple of years, but when it’s time let me bow out right.’”

“I need to break the damn streak because it’s brutal.”

While Cerrone is certainly no longer in the running for a title shot like he was during his 2016 and 2018 days, there must be some fights out there with fellow elder statesmen of MMA to be had. The original Diego Sanchez fight was a perfect booking, and it was almost cruel to put “Cowboy” in there with a younger, bigger opponent last minute. If for that reason only, he certainly does deserve one more fight, at 155 pounds, preferably against someone above the age of 30 ... even if it’s advertised up front as his last.

For complete UFC Vegas 26: “Waterson vs. Rodriguez” results and play-by-play, click HERE.